Sluggish Blue Devils hang on to defeat St. John’s

DURHAM, N.C. – Coach K wasted little time in showing his displeasure in the media room after his Blue Devils had just finished defeating St. John’s 83-76.  Duke rolled out to a 45-29 half time lead but in the second half, the Johnnies lit up the Duke defense for 47 points and more disturbing was the fact the Blue Devils simply wern’t playing together or making easy plays.

“We’re treating this game as a loss. I t was a loss for me today, I didn’t like today.” said Krzyzewski.  He also said that his team had had a tough month and that they would take two days off before preparing for their road trip to play Virginia Tech in Blacksburg at 7:00 on Thursday evening.  Despite the lack luster second half, Mason Plumlee continued to be a bright spot for this years team.

Mason recorded his double-double of the season tallying 15 points to go with a dominating career high 17 rebounds.  But like Krzyzewski, Mason was not too happy in the post game in that his team did not perform well.  “We just have to learn to start putting teams away,” as he looked down and then up again saying, “Our defense was horrible in the second half.”

With just over 17 minutes left in the second half, Duke held a 21 point lead, but from that point forward were outscored by 14 points the rest of the way.  Duke failed to finish a lot of what should have been easy buckets and left a good 20 points or so on the floor.   Duke was also outscored in the paint and second chance points and in fact had just one put back on the offensive end in the half.

The Blue Devils also went ice cold from the three point stripe going just 1 of 7 after going 6 of 11 to open the game.  In short, it was just a disjointed no traditional Duke like performance and one that clearly was unacceptable to Krzyzewski.  With the win Duke improves to 18-3 overall, avenging last seasons upset loss to the Johnnies in New York.

Ryan Kelly led Duke in scoring with a 16 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double, ending the game with 9 boards.  Andre Dawkins chipped in 14 and Austin Rivers dropped 12 to round out the double-figure scores for Duke.  Dawkins nailed three three pointer in a 20-9 Duke run to close the first half while Rivers recorded his 12 double figure scoring game which is tops amongst all Blue Devils.

Duke knocked down 32 of 42 free throws, and Kelly had 10 of 12 of those and Duke did finish the game going 10 of 11 over the final three and a half minutes.  The score was tied just once and the lead changed but a single time and Duke won the game, just not in an impressive fashion.  “We did enough to win and that’s not us, that’s not Duke Basketball,”  said Krzyzewski.  Hear the rest of his comments via BDN Video below –

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 30 Duke at St. JohnÕs

St. John’s at Duke Game Notes

Game 21 • Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers

[8 AP / 6 Coaches] Duke (17-3, 5-1 ACC) vs. St. John’s (9-11, 3-6 Big East)

Saturday, January 28, 2012 • 12:03 p.m. • ESPN

The Opening Tip

• Duke (17-3, 5-1 ACC) hosts St. John’s (9-11, 3-6 Big East) in its final non-conference tilt of the regular season on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tipoff is set for 12:03 p.m.

• Brent Musburger (play-by-play) and Dick Vitale (analyst) will call the game for ESPN.

• Duke is ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. St. John’s is unranked in both polls. The Blue Devils are 71-16 all-time when ranked eighth in the AP Poll.

• Duke is one of three teams (Baylor and Kansas are the others) in the NCAA to rank in the top 10 of the RPI, Strength of Schedule, AP and Coaches Polls.

• The Blue Devils had a 45-game home win streak snapped last Saturday and have not lost consecutive home contests since February of 2007. Duke has not lost more than one game at home in the last five seasons.

Duke-St. John’s Series

• Duke and St. John’s have met 20 times heading into Saturday’s game with the first meeting between the two schools coming on Feb. 4, 1938.

• The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 14-6, including a 5-1 mark at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

• Duke fell to St. John’s a year ago, but has won seven of the last eight contests in the series.

• Mike Krzyzewski is 14-3 at Duke against the Red Storm, including a 5-1 record in Durham.

• Duke has won five straight in the series at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils have a +23.0 scoring margin in that span.

• The Blue Devils have won 93 straight non-conference home games since falling to St. John’s, 83-82, on Feb. 26, 2000.

• Duke’s last two victories in the series have been by 10 points or less. The Blue Devils’ previous seven wins over St. John’s were all by double figures.

Numbers Game

l Duke has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for 86 straight weeks, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.

l Duke has won 93 straight non-conference home games, the longest current streak in the NCAA. The last home loss against a non-conference opponent for the Blue Devils was on Feb. 26, 2000 against St. John’s, 83-82.

l The Blue Devils have won 87 straight games at Cameron Indoor Stadium against unranked non-conference opponents.

l Duke is 59-2 at home since the start of the 2008-09 season.

l The Blue Devils are one of 12 teams in the NCAA with five or more players averaging 10 or more points per game. Duke has finished the year with five double-figure scorers six times under Mike Krzyzewski.

l Austin Rivers, a four-time ACC Rookie of the Week selection, is averaging a team-high 14.2 points per game. Johnny Dawkins was the last Blue Devil freshman to lead the team in scoring in 1983.

l Mason Plumlee collected his eighth double-double of the season (tied for most in the ACC) with 23 points and 12 rebounds in Wednesday’s win over Maryland. He has collected 12 or more rebounds in a game 12 times this season.

l Ryan Kelly is shooting 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from three-point range on the season, including 51.9 percent (14-of-27) over the last 11 games. He shot just 30.7 percent (27-of-88) in his first two seasons at Duke.

l Mason Plumlee and Miles Plumlee combine to average 15.7 rebounds per game. One of the Plumlees has led the team in rebounds in 18 of 20 games.

l Tyler Thornton leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.7:1) through six conference games. He has 20 assists with just three turnovers in the last six games for the Blue Devils.

l Mason Plumlee has improved his free throw shooting over the last four games, going 15-of-18 (.833) from the line during that span. He was shooting 39.8 percent (37-of-93) from the free throw line prior to that stretch. Plumlee averages 5.6 free throw attempts per game.

l Austin Rivers is averaging a team-high 15.7 ppg. at home this season. He is shooting 51.5 percent from the field, including 43.2 percent from three-point range, in 10 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

l Andre Dawkins is averaging 4.0 threes per game and 15.5 ppg. over the last four contests.

l Duke University is honoring the All-American Athletic Association on Saturday. This is their 40th year as ushers in Cameron, and since 1972, they have raised over $450,000 for local charities.

Plumlee leads Duke past Maryland

On a night when Duke hit just 3 of 15 from three point range, stellar free throw shooting and a huge effort from Mason Plumlee helped them gain a 74-61 win over Maryland.  The table was set for an upset and the Maryland crowd was as laying in wait in crazed droves but when you knock down 17 of 18 free throws on the road, you eventually silence them and that’s just what the Blue Devils did.

Speaking of free throws, Mason Plumlee went 5 of 5 from the stripe and dominated the Terps in the paint, scoring 23 points to go with 12 rebounds, 4 assists and a late game block.  It was perhaps the juniors most efficient game as a Blue Devil and his performance helped Duke fo to 5-1 in the ACC and 17-3 overall.   His 23 points were his most in an ACC game and his second career 20 point game.

After being down early, Duke rode their post play and ultimately gained a 37-34 halftime lead and that momentum carried over into the second half where the Blue Devils eventually found a working margin.  That working margin came when they started getting scoring from their guards, namely, Austin Rivers.

The Duke guards of Curry, Dawkins, Rivers and Thornton had just 4 combined points at the half, but Rivers found the open lane for 8 2nd half points.  Thornton would later add some key points to help Duke hold onto a late lead and Curry and Dawkins both had off games combining for just 3 of 15 from the field.

The Blue Devils also received a good effort from junior, Ryan Kelly who went an efficient 5 of 7 from the field to go with 4 boards and 3 blocked shots.  Miles Plumlee added another 7 points and Josh Hairston 2 to round out the scoring for the Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils took advantage of their height and outrebounded Maryland by 5 and they went down low early and often adjusting to the defense designed to push them off the 3 point stripe.  In short, Duke took another teams best shot and came out with a huge road win in a most hostile environment.  And to make their win more impressive. Quinn Cook stayed home with a bruised knee and fellow freshman Michael Gbinije kept him company being sick himself.

The defense showed up as well for Duke, holding Maryland to 27 second half points after they cut off some of the passing lanes int he post.  They also held Maryland to 40% from the field and 61 points.

The Blue Devils are more than happy to come away with the win with just eight scholarship players available. And this is the kind of win that takes the some of the sting out of their upset loss at home to Florida State.  The Blue Devils head back to Durham where they’ll play their last out of conference game against St. John’s on Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  Duke improved to 111-61 in the all-time series against Maryland, which started in 1926. Duke has now won four straight in the series and 10 of the last 11 games

Team Notes:
• Mike Krzyzewski improved his career record against Maryland to 52-21. Coach K is 22-10 all-time in College Park, Md.
• Duke won its third straight ACC road game. Duke is 9-2 when playing away from Cameron Indoor Stadium.
• Duke has now won 13 consecutive games following a loss and is now 21-2 following a loss over the last five seasons. Duke has not lost back-to-back games since Feb. 11 & Feb. 15, 2009.
• Junior forward Mason Plumlee had the best game of his career, recording a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 9-of-13 (.692) from the floor.
• Duke had one of its best free throw shooting performances in school history, finishing 17-of-18 from the line for a .944 percentage. That ties for the 10th highest mark in school history and the team’s highest mark since March 6, 201 (22-of-23, .957).
• Duke outscored Maryland 40-28 in the paint, thanks largely to the production of brothers Mason and Miles Plumlee. Those two dominated the paint early, combining for 18 points, and eight rebounds in the first half while sinking 7-of-9 shots.
• Duke played without freshman point guard Quinn Cook (illness) for the first time. Junior Seth Curry and sophomore Tyler Thornton split time at the point and combined for 15 points, four assists and two turnovers. Curry and Thornton combined to hit eight straight free throws over the final 1:17.
• Duke, which leads the ACC in three-pointers made (158) and three-point percentage (.400), made just three treys in the game. The 3-of-16 performance yielded a .188 three-point percentage, which was the lowest of the season.
• The Blue Devils held Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin, the ACC’s leading scorer with 21.2 points per game, to 16 points. Stoglin, who also ranked third in the ACC with a .410 three-point shooting percentage, went 0-of-4 from three-point range.
• Duke did not miss a free throw until 6:19 remained in the game.
• With just over two minutes into the second half, Duke pulled in three consecutive offensive rebounds on one possession and eventually converted the extra opportunities into a three-pointer by Ryan Kelly. Duke missed its first three three-point attempts during that scoring opportunity before Kelly finally knocked one down to put Duke ahead 42-38 with 17:34 remaining.
• Duke trailed 47-46 with 12:55 remaining in the game, but opened up a 10-2 run to claim its biggest lead of the night at the 8:52 mark. Duke went 5-of-7 from the floor during that run and got a three-point play from Mason Plumlee.

Player Notes:

Seth Curry
• Made his 33rd consecutive start. Duke is 27-6 during that 33-game start streak.
• Saw more time at the point with Quinn Cook out due to an illness. Curry scored eight points on two field goals and a 4-for-4 performance from the free throw line.

Andre Dawkins
• Hit a three-pointer for the sixth straight game. Dawkins leads Duke and ranks second in the ACC with a .409 three-point percentage (min. 90 att.).

Ryan Kelly
• Recorded three blocks in the first half, including rejections on back-to-back layup attempts by Maryland forward James Padgett. Padgett attempted his first layup two feet from the basket and was blocked by Kelly, but grabbed the rebound. He tried again and was blocked by Kelly for a second time, giving Duke the ball in the process.
• Scored in double figures for the 13th time this season with 14 points of 5-of-7 shooting. Kelly has scored in double figures in four of Duke’s six ACC games and is averaging a team-leading 13.7 points per game since Duke opened conference play.

Mason Plumlee
• Made his 41st consecutive start. Duke is 34-7 during that 41-game streak.
• Had his best offensive performance of the season, going 9-of-13 from the floor on the way to an ACC career-high 23 points. Plumlee scored 12 points in the first half and 11 in the second.
• Recorded his team-leading eighth double-double of the season, matching his 23 points with 12 rebounds. Plumlee is tied for the most double-doubles in the ACC alongside North Carolina’s John Henson.
• Continued his improved free throw shooting, going a perfect 5-of-5 from the line. Over his past four games, he is 15-of-18 (.833) from the FT line.
• Converted his sixth three-point play of the season and his third in the last three games. Plumlee also threw down three dunks.

Miles Plumlee
• Contributed seven points and four rebounds in 18 minutes of action. Plumlee has at least seven rebounds in seven games this season.
• Finished an efficient 3-of-4 from the floor to improve his team-leading shooting percentage to .671. Over halfway through the season, Plumlee is on pace to finish among Duke’s top three in that category if he can meet the 100 made field goals threshold. He currently has 53 made field goals this season.

Austin Rivers
• Scored in double figures for the team-leading 16th time this season.
• Took over in the second half, scoring eight of his 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Rivers attempted just one three-pointer in the second half, instead getting all of his production on driving layups and a runner.

Tyler Thornton
• Converted his second career three-point play with just over one minute remaining in the first half. Duke led 34-32 before Thornton sank a driving layup after contact and then knocked down the ensuing free throw.

Duke at Maryland Game Notes

• Game 20 •

[8 AP / 6 Coaches] Duke (16-3, 4-1) vs. Maryland (12-6, 2-2)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 • 9:00 p.m. • ESPN

The Opening Tip

• Duke (16-3, 4-1 ACC) faces Maryland (12-6, 2-2 ACC) on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Comcast Center. Tipoff is set for 9:00 p.m.

• Dan Shulman (play-by-play) and Bob Knight (analyst) will call the game for ESPN.

• Duke is ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Maryland is unranked in both polls. The Blue Devils are 70-16 all-time when ranked eighth in the AP Poll.

• Duke is one of three teams (Baylor and Kansas are the others) in the NCAA to rank in the top 5 of the RPI, Strength of Schedule, AP and Coaches Polls.

• The Blue Devils have won two straight ACC road games. Duke is 7-2 away from Cameron Indoor Stadium this season.

• Duke has won its last 13 games following a loss and has not lost back-to-back games since 2009.

Duke-Maryland Series

• Duke and Maryland have met 171 times heading into Wednesday’s game with the first meeting between the two schools coming in 1926.

• The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 110-61, including a 5-4 mark at the Comcast Center.

• Duke has won three straight and nine of the last 10 games in the series. The Blue Devils topped Maryland three times during the 2011-11 season.

• Mike Krzyzewski is 51-21 at Duke against the Terrapins, including a 31-24 record in College Park, Md.

• The two schools have met 18 times in ACC Tournament play with Duke posting an 11-7 record in those games.

• Six of the last 10 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

• The Blue Devils have won three of the last four games at the Comcast Center. Duke has a +12.7 margin of victory in those three wins.

Numbers Game

l Duke has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll in 86 straight weeks, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.

l Duke has not lost back-to-back games since February of 2009. The Blue Devils are 13-0 following a loss in that span (does not include season-ending loss in 2010-11).

l The Blue Devils have a +14.8 scoring margin in their last 13 games following a loss. Duke has posted a double-figure win in nine of the 13 contests.

l Duke ranks in the top 15 nationally in scoring (80.5 ppg. – 10th), field goal percentage (.498 – 13th) and three-point percentage (.409 – seventh), despite playing five games (Ohio State, Virginia, Florida State, Kansas and Michigan State) against teams ranked in the top 15 nationally in defensive efficiency.

l The Blue Devils are one of 12 teams in the NCAA with five or more players averaging 10 or more points per game. Duke has finished the year with five double-figure scorers six times under Mike Krzyzewski.

l Austin Rivers was named ACC Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season after averaging 19.5 points per game against Wake Forest and Florida State. He is the only freshman in the ACC averaging over 10.0 points per game with a team-high 14.4 ppg. scoring average.

l Andre Dawkins is averaging a team-best 15.0 points and 3.6 three-point field goals per game in ACC play. He is 18-of-39 (.462) from three-point range in Duke’s five league games. He ranks second in the ACC in threes per game and tied for third in three-point percentage in league play.

l Mason Plumlee and Miles Plumlee combine to average 15.7 rebounds per game. One of the Plumlees has led the team in rebounds in 17 of 19 games.

l Mason Plumlee has improved his free throw shooting over the last three games, going 10-of-13 from the line during that span. He was shooting 39.8 percent from the free throw line prior to that stretch. Plumlee averages 5.6 free throw attempts per game.

l Ryan Kelly is shooting 46.0 percent (23-of-50) from three-point range on the season. He shot just 30.7 percent (27-of-88) in his first two seasons at Duke.

l Tyler Thornton leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.0:1) through five conference games. He has 18 assists with just three turnovers in the last five games for the Blue Devils.

l Duke’s bench is averaging 27.2 points per game since beginning ACC play. The Blue Devils have gotten at least 30 points from reserves in three of five ACC games, including a 43-point outburst against Wake Forest.

Wayne Selden: Power Guard

Wayne Selden, Photo by Andrew Slater/BDN

Blessed with a preternatural ability to score, Wayne Selden is a strapping 6’5″ power guard from the Tilton School of New Hampshire.  Although he’s been playing varsity basketball since he was a seventh grader in his native Roxbury, Massachusetts, he announced his arrival as a reclassified freshman last season when he scored twenty-six points and knocked down six three-pointers in his opening game for Tilton at the National Prep Showcase.

The 2014 prospect went on to earn second-team All-NEPSAC Class AA in the best high school conference in the country. Last March, at Endicott College, Wayne Selden capped off his freshman season by scoring twenty-two points for the Rams of Tilton in a 72-56 Class AA Title game win against St. Mark’s, which featured Arizona commitment Kaleb Tarczewski, Michigan commitment Nik Stauskas, and Duke redshirt freshman Alex Murphy.

The winning ways didn’t end there as Selden, blessed with a 6’10” wingspan, helped multiple Boston Amateur Basketball Clubs (BABC) achieve success throughout the AAU season. His 17-U team went 80-4 over the spring and summer, notably winning Nike’s EYBL Peach Jam, while his 16-U team was named number one overall by Five Star Basketball after capturing the AAU National Title in Orlando. He’s become quite close to BABC staff member and former BC guard Steve Hailey.

Following the AAU season, Wayne was diagnosed with Compartment Syndrome and had to have surgery to alleviate the pain associated with the malady. If, after sitting out Tilton’s first few weeks of pre-season training, there were any concerns about his ability to maintain his explosiveness, Selden answered them quickly last month as the sophomore scored thirty-four points against the best prep school team in the country, Brewster Academy, in a tough 84-76 loss. In a rematch against Brewster, Selden scored sixteen points on six of ten shooting in a packed house at Springfield College in another tough loss, 57-53.

Afterwards, Wayne Selden gave a quick update about, amongst other things, the latest in his recruiting, Duke’s interest, and what he’ll be looking for in his future college program.

Can you talk about the competition you face in the conference and also in the game today?
 
It’s real big competition. Everybody’s really solid . So, it’s always a battle whenever you step onto the court. 
 
And in terms of preparing you long-term for college..
 
Yeah, it’s probably for the best.  I feel like it’s the best league in the country. So, it’s probably the best preparatory for me for college. 
 
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This is your second high school. I know you re-classified.
 
Yeah, this is my second one. I went to O’Bryant [nearly ninety miles south in Roxbury, Massachusetts] first.
 
In terms of position, do you see yourself as a two or a three?
 
I probably think of myself as a two or a one. 
 
What’s your current size?
 
6’5”, 235. 
 
Who do you model your game after?
 
I don’t really try to model my game after anybody, but I like to watch Kevin Durant and LeBron James. I like to watch how aggressive they are out there.
 
Can you talk about your strengths and where you like shooting the ball?
 
Probably about two steps behind the three point line. I feel I have to have the confidence to be able to knock it down. 
 
And what about attacking the basket? I really feel like that’s one of your strengths.
 
Yeah, I really like to attack the basket because.. out there you just got to go and just put pressure on the defense, you know what I’m saying?
 
You can really score in any setting, but do you prefer to be in the open court? Do you like an up-tempo style of play?
 
Yeah, that’s what I really like. I feel like I can really explode in the open court. 
 
Talk about your familiarity with some of the guys from the BABC. You obviously have a comfort level or a bond with them from playing with these guys almost 12 months a year.
 
Yeah, absolutely, we’ve been playing together for almost three years, so it’s become pretty normal for us.
 
You guys have become pretty tight.
 
Oh, yeah, definitely.
 
In terms of recruiting, what schools are after you?
 
I’ve got offers from Kentucky, UConn, Boston College, Providence, West Virginia, Florida, Missouri, I think that’s it. 
 
How about other schools that are showing interest?
 
Duke is showing interest. Ohio State, Georgetown, and Arizona are also. Those are really the only other schools.
 
In terms of a timeline, are you in a rush to decide?
 
No, I’m just going to take it as it goes, I’m open. 
 
Do you go to Celtic practices? I know Nerlens talked about watching them play with Coach Papile [of BABC and the Celtics].
 
Yeah, we go to Celtics practices. (laughs)
 
Away from the court, what do you like?
 
You know I’m just a chill kid. I just like playing basketball, listening to music, hanging out with my friends. That’s it pretty much.
 
Are you a good student?
 
I’m an honor roll student, but I had one C this semester. 
 
Alright, borderline honor roll student.
 
(laughs)
 
How about visits? In terms of visits, do you have any ones planned?
 
No, not yet, but I’ve been to Boston College, Providence, and UConn so far.
 
What will you be looking for whenever you do decide?
 
The school, a family atmosphere, a winning tradition, and one that can take me to the next level.
 
That’s pretty blunt or straightforward. Who will be the person you’ll be turning to for guidance whenever you do decide?
 
My family and my mentor, Steven Haley. 
 
What is it like playing with a guy like Nerlens and having him defend right behind you?
 
I like playing with him because it’s like having a cheat code. He’s always blocking shots and getting the fast-break going. He’s got your back and likes to push the pace when it’s there.
 
How do you feel about your defense at this point?
 
I feel like I play really solid defense. I feel like my on-the-ball defense is pretty good, but I have to work on my off-the-ball defense a lot more. 
 
In terms of your recruiting, what are some of the common things about the schools that are recruiting you?
 
I really don’t know. I haven’t put too much thought into recruiting yet. I haven’t had a chance to see a lot of schools. 
 
What about Duke’s interest?
 
Coach K has been at our school at least once and I think maybe twice this fall. It was good that they showed interest and they said that they were interested and keep up what I’ve been doing with basketball.
 
And what do you know about the program?
 
I know they have a winning tradition. They’re a very traditional school. I like how they win. 
 
And would you be open to them if they continue to pursue you?
 
Oh, yeah, I’m definitely open to them and I hope they continue to pursue me.
 
Okay, thank you very much.
 
Oh, no problem.
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