Duke clawed their way past Boston College 66-63 on Saturday and, by doing so, laid claim to the top spot in the ACC at 7-2. While the game wasn't pretty, few fans can argue with the result. In fact, I would go as far as to say that tired legs were the culprit for the Blue Devils' sudden inaccuracy at the free throw stripe. Coming into the contest, the Blue Devils led the nation in free throw shooting percentage, which has given them an edge in their first 23 games of the season.
A lot has been made of winning on the road in the ACC and some media members have gone as far to say that Duke has struggled on the road in the past. Well, perhaps you did not check the flash drive key chain which houses the ACC's all time statistics. You know, the one that the ACC generously gave you while you turned in your All ACC ballots and such to start the season. All I will tell you is that Duke has not struggled on the road as you say and it is right there for you to see. Still, it is no secret that winning on the road has been tough in the conference and that the home court advantage is indeed worth some points.
For the first and only time this season, Duke has one more day's rest than their ACC opponent. Duke is the victim of its own success and the result is that all of their games are being televised on a national basis. A look at the ACC schedule shows a clear trend in which the Blue Devils certainly do not benefit from their previous success as a program. That makes a 7-2 record all that more impressive.
Oddly, well, actually not so oddly ... some Duke fans on message boards only see the glass half full. Win or lose, the Devils are critiqued by armchair coaches who base their analogies off what they see or have read. Trust me, there is always more going on than meets the eye behind the scenes, yet conspiracies are born with the touch of the send button. The latest talk is of Andre Dawkins and his playing time. Sticking with the facts here, Andre is in school one year earlier and still has the body of a high school senior more so than a college freshman. Let's not forget the awful tragedy which befell his family, nor the fact he was unable to attend and adjust to Duke through summer school. There are certain spots in Dawkins' game which need improvement, but I won't address that. Instead, I will just say, he'll be fine. A lot of things happen as a season goes along and it would be no surprise to see Dawkins contribute down the stretch. He has a bright future at Duke and he's had to grow up quicker than any roster player I can remember in so many ways.
This is of course, Duke-Carolina week and it all starts today in more ways than one. The Duke Women face the Tar Heels tonight in Cameron Indoor Stadium in a game of critical importance in the ACC standings. If you are local, any Duke-UNC affair is heated and fun and the Duke women need your support.
In just two hours, I will attend Coach Kryzewski's annual press conference going into the UNC game. So, stay tuned for we will offer up our thoughts on Twitter as the event happens.