[private]The Duke Men’s Basketball team went to 5-0 on the young season defeating Michigan 71-56 to win the 2K Coaches for Cancer Classic. Michigan an upstart winner over #4 UCLA struggled against the Devils vaunted man to man defense.
Duke held the Wolverines to 35% from the field and shut down the majority of their scorers in the process. Duke travels to Ann Arbor on December 6th for a rematch.
Duke was led in scoring by Nolan Smith (16 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds) and Kyle Singler (15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists).
Singler was named the tournaments Most Valuable Player after his well rounded performances.
“Kyle is one of the best players in the country and knows how and wants to play defense. With his length, throughout his career when he is a pro player, he will be playing out in the perimeter all of the time. We like to use our guys in that manner,” stated Krzyzewski.
Duke was once aided by free throw shooting, going to the line 25 times while making 19 of them.
While the victory wasn’t always a pretty win on the eyes, the defensive efforts was text book. One must remember that the ideal time for a team to blossom is March and not November.
Duke is still a team searching for the right chemistry and in doing so they will play several lineups and styles. Last evening it appeared that Duke chose not to push the ball up the floor and worked more on their half court sets.
There were several positives coming from New York besides the victory. The continued improvement of Brian Zoubek was huge and if this continues it will no doubt make Duke a stronger team this season.
The two games also allowed talented junior Gerald Henderson to assert himself. His play landed him on the all tournament team.
Duke has a brief moment of rest before rolling back into Cameron Indoor Stadium for a 1:00 game with Montana. The game as always will be televised – this time on FSN-South or NESN.[/private]