Duke defeats Virginia 67-49 to set up showdown with Maryland

Duke came away with a 67-49 win over the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday night and in the process set up the biggest match up in the ACC this season.  With the win the Blue Devils go to 25-4 overall and 12-2 in the ACC and now turn their attention to second place Maryland in a game that could decide the regular season champion.

On a night when Sylvan Landesburg sat with a deep thigh bruise, the Cavaliers were no match for the seasoned Blue Devils.  Once again, defense led the way for the Blue Devils.  Duke held Virginia to just 31% from the field for the game and the Cav’s 49  points marked the 4th time this season Duke has held an opponent under 50 points.

Kyle Singler scored 12 points during a 20-4 Duke run to start the game and the Blue Devils never looked back.  Singler ended the game as Duke’s high scorer with 21 points.  Senior Jon Scheyer picked up where Singler left off in the first half ending the game with 20 points and 5 steals.

Mason Plumlee added six points, while Andre Dawkins and Nolan Smith had 5 points apiece.  Lance Thomas tallied 4 points, Miles Plumlee 3, Steve Johnson 2 and Jordan Davidson 1 to round out the scoring for Duke.  The game marked only the second time this season Smith was held to under 10 points.

Duke Coach Mike Kryzewski moved past Dean Smith of North Carolina for the most ACC road victories this season.  And the Blue Devils pushed their season road mark to 5-2 after many questioned whether they could play away from home just a month ago.  The victory also meant that Krzyzewski know has three consecutive 25 plus win seasons.

Duke will next face their toughest road test of the season when they visit Maryland in College Park.

Notes – During the post game, Kryzewski said he was pleased with his teams performance and that they just want to return to Durham safely and get some rest for the big week ahead.  Duke has now won eight straight games.  Duke’s largest lead in the game was 27 points.

Duke-Virginia Box Score

More to come …

Previewing the Cavaliers

Lance King Photo
Duke (24-4, 11-2) visits Virginia (14-12, 5-8) on Sunday evening at 7:45 pm EST.

The Cavaliers have lost six straight games, while Duke is riding a seven game win streak. Duke won those seven games by an average of 12.86 points, while Virginia lost their six games by an average of 14 points. These are two teams headed in opposite directions. Duke is playing strong basketball and is contention for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, while Virginia is free falling and fighting for their NIT Life.

Virginia is a team with serious offensive issues. The Cavaliers average 67 points per game, which is last in the ACC, and haven’t scored 70 points in a game since January 28th when they lost to Virginia Tech 76-71. The Cavaliers are 12th in the ACC in seven statistical categories, while Duke is 1st in the ACC in 11 categories.

The statistic that jumps out and grabs me from this group is Virginia being 12th in 3-point field goal percentage defense and Duke being 1st in 3-point field goal percentage. The Cavaliers must defend the 3-point line against Duke better than they usually do or it could be a very long night.

Sylvan Landesberg (6’6″ 207) is fifth in the ACC in scoring at 17.4 points per game and Mike Scott (6’8″ 240) is 18th at 12.8 points. Duke has three of the top seven scorers in the league in Jon Scheyer (18.8), Nolan Smith (17.9), and Kyle Singler (16.9).

In rebounding, Scott leads the Cavaliers averaging 7.2 rebounds per game, which is tenth in the ACC. For Duke, Singler averages 7.2 (11th) and Brian Zoubek 7.0 (13th).

For the Blue Devils, Brian Zoubek has been outstanding the past four games averaging 12.25 rebounds and 9.75 points per game. Over the seven game winning streak, Zoubek’s numbers are 9.28 rebounds and 6.71 points per game. Keeping Zoubek on the court and engaged in the game should be a priority for Duke as he is providing the Blue Devils with the strong physical presence in the post that has been missing the past several years.

Virginia is smaller upfront than Duke and the Cavaliers will have to scheme a method to deal with the Blue Devils’ ability to dominant the glass if they are to have a chance to win this game. During Duke’s current seven game winning streak, the Blue Devils are averaging 19 second chance points.

In addition to Scott, Virginia starts Jerome Meyinsse (6’9” 235) in the front court. Meyinsse averages 5.1 points and 4 rebounds per game.

In the backcourt, Sammy Zeglinski (6’0” 180)) and Calvin Baker (6’2” 190) start alongside Landesberg. Zeglinski averages 9 points per game and Baker averages 3.3.

The keys to the game will be:

1. Who guards Kyle Singler? Landesberg is the obvious choice but does Coach Bennett desire to assign his best offensive option a tough defensive assignment? Singler’s play has seen resurgence in recent games. He recorded a 25 points, 10 rebounds double-double in the win over Virginia Tech, 22 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Miami, and 19 points and 9 rebounds in the win over Carolina. Checking Singler is a tall order for the Cavaliers.

2. Rebounding: Duke has been dominating the glass this year. They are 1st in the ACC in rebounding margin at +6.5. Virginia is 10th at +1.5. Duke is 1st in offensive rebounds averaging 15.3 per game, while Virginia is last averaging 10.7 per game.

3. 3-point shooting: Duke is 1st in the ACC in 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal percentage, while Virginia is last in 3-point field goal percentage defense. This is a game where the Blue Devils will have the opportunity to take a lot of long range shots. They need to make them.

This is a bit of a trap game for Duke as the Blue Devils must ensure they take care of business and don’t get caught looking ahead to the trip to College Park. Virginia is a team in a tailspin and they simply do not have the horses to compete with the Blue Devils. Duke should win by double digits. However, the operable word is “should” and that is why they play the games on the court and not on paper.

High School Hoops 2010 Edition No. 9

Here is another edition of High School Hoops for Blue Devil Nation premium members. This edition takes a look at Duke’s three 2010 committed players: Kyrie Irving, Josh Hairston, and Tyler Thornton; as well as the other players Duke is looking at in the Class of 2010 and beyond. [private]

Kyrie Irving: St. Patrick has advanced to the Championship Game in the Union County Tournament in what could be their last game. Kyrie Irving scored 13 points as the Celtics defeated Union 64-47. St. Patrick will face Plainfield for the championship. Here is some video of the action.

St. Patrick has been banned from participating in the State Tournament due to Coach Kevin Boyle being present during open gym workouts prior to the official start of practice. St. Patrick has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court and a hearing will be held on Monday at 9 am.

Josh Hairston: Montrose Christian ended a losing streak with a 62-56 win over Fork Union. Hairston scored 20 points in the game. Hairston is averaging 17 points per game for the Mustangs and he is currently Second Team in the All-Met Watch.

Tyler Thornton: Thornton is averaging 15 points a game for the 22-6 Eagles. On Friday, February 26, O’Connell defeated Gonzaga 67-55. On Wednesday, February 24, Gonzaga defeated McNamara 62-58. Thornton scored 19 points in the victory.

Trey Zeigler: Zeigler fouled out in regulation but first he scored 27 points to go with 10 rebounds as Mt. Pleasant defeated Bay City Central 73-68 in overtime. The Oilers have now won 13 games in a row.

Marshall Plumlee: Christ School is 35-1 and will play Charlotte Christian for the NCISAA Championship on Saturday night. The Greenies defeated Wesleyan Christian Academy 81-40 in the Quarter-Finals and Forsyth Country Day 67-64 in the Semi-Finals.

Charlotte Christian defeated Ravenscroft to advance to the Championship Game.

Austin Rivers: Winter Park defeated Edgewater 70-59 in the Florida 6A Regional Semi-Finals. Edgewater employed a Box and 1 defense designed to stop Austin Rivers and held him to 11 points but it wasn’t enough to stop the Wildcats from advancing to the Regional Finals. Brett Comer stepped up and scored 23 points. Here is some game video.

In the Quarter-Finals, Rivers scored 41 points in front of a crowd of 1,200 fans including Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as Winter Park defeated Winter Springs 83-60.

J.P. Tokoto: Menomonee Falls completed the regular season 14-0 in the Greater Metro Conference with an 80-64 defeat of Brookfield Central on Thursday February 25. J.P. Tokoto scored 23 points.

Menomonee Falls defeated Wauwatosa East 67-46 as Tokoto scored a game-high 18 points. The win clinched the Greater Metro Conference title and earned the Indians’ a first round bye in the upcoming state tournament. Menomonee Falls is the #2 seed in Sectional #5.

On Monday, February 22, Tokoto scored 27 points as Menomonee Falls defeated Homestead 74-71.

Finally, here is an article from the Raleigh News & Observer on Kendall Marshall that I’m including in this update in the spirit of the great Chinese Philosopher Sun Tzu whose sage advice was to keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Taking into account all the Larry Drew II rumors about a possible transfer, Marshall could be given the keys to Roy Williams’ broken down jalopy as a freshman.

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Duke women clinch ACC regular season crown

DURHAM, N.C.—With an 83-65 victory on Friday night against No. 21 Virginia, the sixth-ranked Duke women’s basketball team clinched its ninth ACC Regular Season title in school history and the first under the direction of Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie.  The Blue Devils were led by junior Jasmine Thomas with 21 points and freshman Allison Vernerey added 17.

The trio of Duke seniors – Joy Cheek, Keturah Jackson and Bridgette Mitchell – combined for 25 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots on the night.

Duke will close the regular season on Sunday, Feb. 28 at North Carolina at 3:00 PM on Fox Sports Net.

For a full recap, click on www.GoDuke.com

Blue Devil Postgame Notes   *  Virginia  *  February 26, 2010

With The Duke Victory:

  • Improved to 24-4, 12-1 in the ACC.
  • Clinched first place in the ACC Regular Season standings claiming its ninth ACC Regular Season title in school history.
  • Coach P notched her seventh career regular season title as a head coach – Maine (5), Michigan State (1).
  • Won its 17th straight game against Virginia.
  • Collected its 12th ACC victory of the season, which is the most in the three years at Duke for Coach P.
  • Totaled its 10th consecutive win versus the Cavaliers in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
  • Notched its 16th consecutive win in Cameron Indoor Stadium against ACC teams.
  • Won its 38th game out of the last 42 and 52nd out of the last 56 contests in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
  • Coach P improved to 27-4 all-time in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
  • Has notched a 133-10 record at Cameron Indoor Stadium the last 10 years.

Junior Jasmine Thomas

  • Moved into a tie for 10th place on Duke’s all-time steals list with 180.
  • Totaled six assists on the night, which is a season-high against ACC opponents.
  • Registered her ninth 20+ points game of the season.
  • Finished with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists.
  • Collected 18 or more points in her seventh game against ACC opponents this season.
  • Notched double-digit scoring for the 24th time this season and the 51st career time.
  • Was recognized following the game for becoming the 26th player in Duke history to notch 1,000 career points.

Senior Joy Cheek

  • Finished the game with 13 points and six rebounds on her senior night.
  • Notched double-digit scoring for the second straight game and the 13th time this season.

Junior Krystal Tomas

  • After scoring zero points and having only three rebounds in the first half, notched nine points and six rebounds in the second half.
  • Finished the game with nine points, nine rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one assist in 33 minutes.

Senior Bridgette Mitchell

  • Posted eight points, four rebounds and three assists on her senior night.

Junior Karima Christmas

  • Came off the bench to notch nine points, six rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes.

Freshman Allison Vernerey

  • Broke a string of three straight games without scoring double-figures as she notched 17 points on the night.
  • Added five rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 27 minutes.
  • Hit a career-high 8-of-8 from the field.
  • Started the second half in place of Krystal Thomas after notching six points and four rebounds in 12 minutes in the first half.
  • Will turn 19 years old on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010.
  • Totaled double-digit scoring for the 10th time this season.

Other Duke Notes:

  • Outrebounded Virginia, 26-14, in the second half go on to outrebound the Cavaliers, 41-35.  Was outrebounded 21-15 in the first half.
  • Hit its first seven shots of the second half to open a 51-36 lead with 13:59 remaining.
  • Shot 52.9 percent from the field in the second half.
  • Its 47.7 percent field goal percentage was a season high against ACC opponents.
  • Held a 44-20 points in the paint advantage.
  • Collected 25 points off Virginia’s 19 turnovers.
  • Swatted eight shots by four different players.
  • Had 28 points off the bench.
  • Seniors Joy Cheek, Keturah Jackson and Bridgette Mitchell were recognized prior to the game for senior day.
  • Will close out the regular season on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 3:00 PM against North Carolina.  The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.

Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie

Opening statement:

“It was just a tremendous second half by everybody. I’m very proud of our team, it was great team basketball, much better defense, rebounding, and attacking. Jasmine [Thomas’] leadership in the second half and her attack mode, Allison [Vernerey] starting us off right away and being so aggressive, and Joy [Cheek] was steady Joy all the way through, rebounding and scoring and doing the things that she does. It was really a team effort, I’m very happy for the seniors; I thought all of them played pretty well and were very aggressive. It’s one game and we’ve got a second game to make it a two game weekend but we’re very excited for the next game as well.”

On the difference in getting the ball inside in the second half:

“I thought that the team and players changed the focus and got the ball in more effectively. I thought that we were a little wild in the first 10 minutes of the first half.”

On winning the ACC regular season title:

“I think it’s just great and reflects this team totally. This team has been working hard since summer, everyone has done their part. They’ve been steady and consistent and it’s really been the team’s mindset. It’s special for Duke, it’s always special to capture titles, that’s what it’s all about.”

On Allison’s play in the beginning of the second half:

“The game is a long time and I think that Allison got us started in the right way. The ball went inside, Allison was aggressive, and there were some great passes from Jasmine to get the ball inside as well as finding Joy. Allison can be so aggressive for the basketball; I think that aggressiveness bleeds off to everyone else. Everyone feels good about what is going on. There were a lot of key plays; Jasmine’s attacks in the second half were very key and she hit some critical shots, Allison and what she was doing, her strong moves to the basket and Joy as well, I just think we were at a higher level of attack mode than we were in the first half.”

On the quick turnaround to Sunday and what they can improve on in that time:

“There are a lot of things that we can improve on. I mean we were losing the rebounding battle for forever this game and I’m so happy for the team that they recovered. That would have been a whole lot more film watching. You’ve got to want the ball and the ball has to be a part of us, I just think that we settled down. It’s always hard to get started on a Senior Day, it’s special. Emotions run high and that’s good and bad, you can’t play a 40-minute game based on emotion. You’ve got to play on an even keel. I think we found that even keel in the second half and were able to maintain it throughout. We can grow a whole lot, we’ve got to get the assist numbers up, the turnovers down, be more consistent with the rebounding. Maybe we can pick up a few more things from a few more people as well. It feels good and this team has worked very hard, they deserve a championship, they deserve many championships. We’ve been so close at the ACC Tournament, that’s been frustrating, but that’s a little too far ahead. We’ve got another game across the way and that’s what’s next for us.”

Senior Joy Cheek

On winning an ACC regular season championship as a senior:

“It’s special. It’s great to do it again, especially as a senior.  I’m really looking forward to the ACC Championship and beating Carolina at home would be great.  We’ve got to move on to the next games, but it’s nice to do this as a senior.”

On how it felt to walk off the court on senior night:

“I still don’t think of this as the last game.  I think the last NCAA game that we have will resonant a little more.  I felt like I was coming back after tonight.  That was the mindset that I had.  I guess I’ll have another senior night.”

Freshman Allison Vernerey

On fitting into the team:

“You never what your role and your position is going to be when you arrive, but I was coming here to give whatever I have to give.  That is just what I’m trying to do.”

Junior Jasmine Thomas

On getting excited to play Virginia:

“I don’t think so, not anymore than for any other game.  It is nice to play against Monica [Wright] and [Paulisha] Kellum, and [Ariana] Moorer because I know them from home.”

Duke at Virginia Game Notes

Coach K instructs
BDN Photo

Duke (24-4, 11-2 ACC) vs. Virginia (14-12, 5-8 ACC)

Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010  •  7:45 p.m.  •  FSN

John Paul Jones Arena (14,593)  •  Charlottesville, Va.

The Opening Tip

Duke (24-4, 11-2 ACC), ranked fifth in the AP poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, travels to Charlottesville to play Virginia (14-12, 5-8 ACC) at John Paul Jones Arena on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 7:45 p.m. The game will air on FSN with Rich Waltz, Dan Bonner and Jenn Hildreth calling the action.

The Last Time Out

Duke posted a 70-52 win over Tulsa on Thursday for its seventh straight victory. Junior Nolan Smith scored a game-high 18 points and added four steals, while Kyle Singler finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.

The senior post tandem of Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas combined for 12 points and 21 rebounds in the win. Zoubek recorded his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Thomas grabbed 10 boards, including six offensive rebounds.

Duke posted a 47-37 edge on the glass and finished with 18 offensive rebounds. The Blue Devils have now grabbed 17 or more offensive caroms in five straight games.

Jon Scheyer reached double figures for the 27th time this season with 15 points. He went 3-of-5 from three-point distance and now has an ACC-high 79 three-point field goals. Scheyer also had four rebounds and three assists in the contest.

The Blue Devils held Tulsa to 32.8 percent (19-of-58) shooting from the field, including 1-of-10 from behind the three-point arc. Duke has now held 15 teams to under 40 percent shooting and 14 teams to less than 60 points in a game.

Numbers Game

l Duke is ranked fifth in the AP poll, marking the 52nd consecutive week ranked in the top 10. The Blue Devils are 54-23 all-time when ranked fifth in the AP poll.

l The Blue Devils are holding the opposition to an ACC-low 27.0 percent (106-of-393) shooting from three-point range. Duke is allowing just 3.8 three-point field goals per game and has limited its opponents to three or fewer three-pointers in 13 games.

l Duke leads the ACC with +6.5 rebound margin as Kyle Singler, Brian Zoubek, Miles Plumlee and Lance Thomas are each averaging 5.0 rebounds per game or better for the season. The 2000-01 Blue Devils are the only team to accomplish that feat under Mike Krzyzewski.

l Jon Scheyer leads the ACC in four statistical categories and is the only player in the league to rank in the top 5 in seven statistical categories: scoring (second, 18.8 ppg.), assists (fourth, 5.4 apg.), free throw percentage (first, .887), three-point field goals (first, 2.8 3pg.), three-point field goal percentage (fourth, .403), assist-to-turnover ratio (first, 3.06:1) and minutes (first, 36.6 mpg.).

l Brian Zoubek is averaging 9.8 points and 12.3 rebounds (6.0 orpg.) since joining the starting lineup four games ago. He is second in the ACC in offensive rebounds (3.5 orpg) and ranks 13th in total rebounds (7.0 rpg.), while playing 16.7 minutes per game. Zoubek ranks among the national leaders with 16.8 rebounds, including 8.4 offensive boards, per 40 minutes played.

l Duke is collecting a Coach K era-best 15.3 offensive rebounds per game for the year. The Blue Devils are averaging 16.4 second chance points per game and are 23-2 when scoring more second chance points than their opponent. Duke has grabbed at least 17 offensive rebounds in four straight games.

l Junior Kyle Singler ranks in the top 10 in eight statistical categories in conference play: scoring (fifth, 17.9 ppg.), rebounds (t-seventh, 7.4 rpg.), field goal percentage (10th, .400), three-point percentage (first, .421), three-point field goals (second, 2.5 3pg.), offensive rebounds (t-fifth, 2.8 orpg.), defensive rebounds (10th, 4.6 drpg.) and minutes (first, 38.3 mpg.).

l Nolan Smith has scored 466 points this season after recording 487 points in his first two years as a Blue Devils. He is 47 points shy of becoming the 60th player in Duke history to score 1,000 career points.

Checking in on …

#2 Nolan Smith – +9.5 ppg. increase from a year ago leads the ACC … shooting a career-best 42.2 percent from three-point range … tied for third in the ACC with 12 games with 20+ points scored … double figures in 25 of 26 games played

#5 Mason Plumlee – Second on the team with 21 dunks … fourth with 19 blocks … season-high nine rebounds vs. North Carolina

#12 Kyle Singler – Five double-doubles  and six games with 10+ rebounds … averaging 19.3 points per game during current seven-game win streak … 29 three-point field goals in that span

#20 Andre Dawkins – Fourth on the team with 29 three-point field goals … shooting 37.7 percent from three-point range

#21 Miles Plumlee – Leads the team with 28 dunks … shooting 57.5 percent (65-of-113) from the field

#30 Jon Scheyer – 20+ points in five of the last nine games … ranks in the top 10 of the ACC in eight statistical categories … leads the league in minutes, free throw percentage, three-point field goals and assist-to-turnover ratio … second in the ACC with 13 games with 20 or more points … three-time ACC Player of the Week

#34 Ryan Kelly – 14 blocked shots … one of five Blue Devils with 10+ blocks

#42 Lance Thomas – Leads the Blue Devils with 12 charges taken … 5 or more rebounds in nine of the last 11 games

#55 Brian Zoubek – Four or more offensive rebounds 12 times … averaging 9.68points and 12.3 rebounds, while shooting 76.2 pct (16-of-21) from the field since joining the starting lineup four games ago.