Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blue Devil's Corner: Duke Dominated by Buckeyes

Craft beat up Curry so bad Coach K benched him in the second half....along with Kelly and Dawkins

Duke never showed up in Columbus Tuesday night to take on the Buckeyes in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.  Coach K seemed to throw in the towel early in the second half, putting in Quinn Cook, Michael Gbinije, Josh Hairston and Miles Plumlee instead of players like Ryan Kelly, Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins who hardly saw the court in the second half.  The Ohio St stars were just that, as Craft, Sullinger, Thomas and Buford led the way to a 85-63 win.  I am not going to breakdown what this game means in the long term, cause in reality it will probably not mean much.  This was a blowout pre-halftime and other than K sending a message to some starters, OSU getting some confidence and Duke getting a helping of humble pie not a whole lot will come from this game.

Too many Duke negatives to list...here are a few positives I could pull out of the loss:

Mason Plumlee is a different player in his junior year -
Mason again played well for Duke, unfortunately nobody else did other than Rivers.  Mason ended the game with 16 pts 8 rbs and 2 blks, another nice night building off of a huge performance against Kansas.  Again Mason was going against a top player in the college game in Sullinger after going against Thomas Robinson of Kansas.  Again Mason seemed to take a leadership role in the game and was the probably playing harder on both sides of the court than any other player for Duke.  This is a huge positive for Duke, Seth Curry, Dawkins and Kelly will have few nights like this again, if ever, but having Mason play like this will make this Duke team a more complete team.

Austin Rivers took another step...still nothing near the player you will see in March -
Rivers took over parts of the game offensively for Duke.  Without a few of his runs Duke would've been buried even further than they were.  Yet, even with Rivers impressive game, it is still only created when he is playing 1-1.  Getting Rivers in the game without him having to go 1-1 will be a goal that K I am sure has already worked on.  

Young guys got a lot of run -
Some minutes that weren't expected for Gbinije, Cook and Hairston came due to the blow out and due to Coach K sending an early season message to the under performing starters of Dawkins, Curry and Kelly.  This will be a good experience for the young guys, but more so how the starters respond will be more interesting for Duke.  

Greg Paulus ruining Duke hater's fun -
Shout out to Greg Paulus the Ohio State Video Coordinator for making sure he was up front and center when the starters checked out of the game for OSU, the ex-Dukie (and most hated player since JJ Redick) made sure that Duke haters puked in their mouth some while enjoying this Duke loss just by seeing that Paulus in a small way was part of their joy.  Which for Duke haters...is tough to accept.

That's all my friends.  This reminded me of Duke's game last year against St. John's.  Some games you run into a buzz saw and if you don't bring your best game in response, you get run off the court.  That is what happened tonight, lick the wounds and move on for the Devils.

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