The Duke Blue Devils pushed their record to 9-0 with a 83-48 drubbing of Bradley despite the fact they are missing starting point guard Kyrie Irving. After the game Coach Krzyzewski said the injury was serious and he would see specialist this weekend.
Andre Dawkins was smoking hot
The soft spoken Andre Dawkins' play screamed on the court this evening as he dropped a career high 28 points and nailed 8 of 14 three point shot attempts. He was just one shy of the record set by Shane Battier. It was also Dawkins' first career start at Duke. His 14 attempts from three were the sixth most in Duke history.
Mile Plumlee goes 7 for 7 from the field
Duke got Miles Plumlee going tonight as the Duke big didn't miss a shot going 7 for 7 from the floor tonight. He pulled down 4 rebounds as well but his brother Mason led the team with 7. One of the things Duke wanted to do in the December games was to get Miles going and tonights game went a long ways towards that goal. Miles earned his second start of the year.
Duke bench solid
The Duke bench outscored their opponent 20 to 5 but in fairness the Braves have had some serious injuries. Josh Hairston got some burn and threw down 4 points and Seth Curry added the same. Duke also hope to get Curry going during the December games but he did have 4 assists and 4 rebounds both career highs.
Nolans Smith dishes 10 dimes
Nolan Smith was 0-8 from the floor and 0-4 from the three point stripe but his 10 assists were huge and he was a big reason for getting Miles Plumlee going inside. Smith's shot was off for sure, but he ran the team well and Duke dished out 22 assists to Bradley's 10. Look for Smith to go off against St. Louis on the offensive end this Saturday.
Dual PG's to one PG
In the post game Krzyzewski mentioned that he had gone from having two point guards to having one and that effects their game plan. If Irving's injury keeps him pout for long, Smith will turn into a pure point guard but let's cross that bridge when more results are in. Duke should grow as a team in Irving's absence.
Panic will ensue
After Kyrzyewski's comments which you will hear in their entirety below, he mentioned that Irving's injury was serious and that he'd see the best of the best to evaluate his toe injury. Keep in mind that Krzyzewski is going to take precautions with any player who has huge earning potential in the NBA even more-so than normal where he always watches out for his kids. Expect widespread panic once the morning editions of newspapers hit but it'd be wise to sit back and not think the absolute worst. Krzyzewski did say he could be out for the year but we'll take a wait and see approach and I, for one, am optimistic he'll be back in the new year. Call it a hunch. Meanwhile, Duke has three games they should win left on the December schedule.
Coach K's Post Game Press Conference - Just press play -
It was billed as a battle between two heavyweights and before tip off there was an NCAA Tournament atmosphere just two days shy of Thanksgiving. Duke came in with the target on their back and Kansas State thought they had set a trap but these Blue Devils had other ideas and when the dust cleared, it was evident that the nation's top rated team was not over-hyped.
Let's start with Coach K's 800th victory
Kansas City proved a good setting for Coach K's 800th career win in that it is rich in college basketball lore. A couple of days before Krzyzewski participated in the induction of one of his best players in Christian Laettner and the HOF atmosphere was appropriate in many ways. Face it, Coach K is a living legend and he now joins the rare few coaches who've been supremely successful in the game per their wins. The great thing is that Coach is fresher than ever and seems to be enjoying the success with no plans of ending the ride any time soon. Milestones are nothing new for Krzyzewski for they seem to keep on coming be it at Duke or coaching Team USA.
This is Kyrie Irving
Irving showed flashes of brilliance last evening, something I had seen before while covering him on the AAU circuit. The young man is a difference maker and he'll drive ACC coaches bonkers as the year goes on. He shared defensive assignments with his team on Kansas star guard Jacob Pollen who couldn't find any rhythm. Irving has some jets and he can score in droves but he's accepted a role on this team which is loaded with talent. In short, you ain't seen nothing yet.
The Blue Devils stole KSU's heart
Duke jumped on Kansas State early and weathered their best shot before demoralizing on of the nations top ranked teams. The Blue Devils took what looked to be a raucous crowd right out of the game and gave them no opportunity to get their team going by staying ahead double digits throughout most of the game. You could see the confidence on the faces of the players for Duke, in that they were loose and happy. Meanwhile, the Wildcat's players looked shell shocked and even when they cut it to 7 points in the second half, they looked frazzled. The body language of the KSU players spoke volumes.
Plumlee had a nice couple of games and folks are seeing now what I had while covering him in high school. Plumlee is now the anchor of the Blue Devils front court and his play early in the game set the tone for other teammates to succeed. And make no mistake, the Wildcats game plan was to keep him off the boards, but they couldn't shut him completely down.
A little bit of leadership
When Duke needed a basket, Nolan Smith was there scoring 17 points and sharing top honors with Irving who had the same output. Smith was a steadying influence when KSU started any kind of run and his defense was a key factor.
And Mr. Offense became Mr. Defense
When Seth Curry comes off the Duke bench one expects a flurry and that's what fans got last night from the transfer. The thing is that we are not talking a bunch of threes but his abilities to play passing lanes and pick the ball out of the opponents hands. Curry had 5 steals and each one of them demoralized the Wildcats who saw the Duke backcourt coming at them in waves.
Mr. offensive efficiency
Talk about a spark off the bench! Andre Dawkins comes in and hits all of his field goal and free throw attempts and the basket looked like a giant barrel. Did any of his shots hit rim against KSU?
10-0 run was a knockout punch
Duke used a 10-0 second half run to thwart any hope Kansas State had at a comeback. The spurt game Duke a 62-47 lead with 12:13 left and they stretched that lead even more before settling on an 82-68 victory.
The pre season All American is playing for Duke and not individual accolades to date and that means Duke is even better. How scary is it knowing he's yet to hit his stride in an effort to get more teammates involved and keep Duke in the win column? I imagine he'll have a decent game against Oregon on Saturday for his homecoming and word is the his teammates will get some of his mom's home cooking.
We'll have more on the two games in Kansas City coming, so stay tuned to BDN for top notch coverage of all things Duke Basketball.
OFFICIAL GAME NOTES -
- Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski earned his 800th career win while at Duke, becoming the fifth coach in NCAA history to win 800 games at one school. The win was the 873rd overall for Krzyzewski.
- The Blue Devils played in a game featuring two top-five teams for the first time since 2008 when the then second-ranked Blue Devils knocked off No. 3 North Carolina on the road, 89-78. Duke has won the last three matchups between top five teams and are 19-11 all-time under Krzyzewski in such games. The Blue Devils have also now won four straight games against ranked teams.
- Duke claimed the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Championship to give them four straight in-season tournament titles. They also won the Maui Invitational (2007), 2K Sports Classic (2008) and NIT Season Tip-Off (2009) in the last three years. They have won 15 straight in-season tournament games.
- Duke freshman Kyrie Irving was named the CBE Classic Tournament MVP after recording 17 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals in the championship game. The last Duke freshman to receive MVP honors in an in-season tournament was Kyle Singler in the 2007 Maui Invitational. Irving was joined on the all-tournament team by sophomore Mason Plumlee, who had 10 points and five rebounds on Tuesday and 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots in the semifinal win over Marquette.
- In the month of November, Duke has won 27 consecutive games since a loss to Marquette in the 2006 CBE Classic.
- Dating back to last season, the Blue Devils have now won 15 straight games.
- Duke improved to 5-0 for the fourth straight season and 19th time under Krzyzewski.
- The Blue Devils only trailed for 1:19 total minutes in the game. On the season Duke has only trailed for 2:15 of 200 total minutes. Duke has not trailed by more than two points at any point on the year.
- The Duke guards combined to hold Jacob Pullen, the AP preseason All-America and Big 12 preseason player of the year, to just four points on 1-of-12 shooting, including 1-of-8 from behind the three-point line. Pullen also had just one assist and four turnovers.
- Five Blue Devils scored in double figures, the third this season Duke has had at least five players score 10 points in a game. Entering the contest, six players were averaging over 10 points a game. Duke has had five different players lead the team in scoring in games this season with Irving becoming the fifth against Kansas State.
- For the second straight game, Duke held its opponent to 20 percent or less from three-point range. The Wildcats shot just .176 (3-of-17) from long range in the game, including 0-for-6 in the second half.
- On the other end, the Blue Devils made 6-of-12 (.500) from deep, the second time this year they have shot 50 percent or better from beyond the arc.
- Duke forced 21 turnovers, taking advantage with a 25-18 edge in points off turnovers. It is the third game that the Blue Devils have caused 20 or more turnovers this season. Of those 21 turnovers, 11 came on steals, giving them 10 or more in four of the five games.
- Sophomore Seth Curry registered a career-high five steals to more than double his season total of four from the previous four games. The last Duke player with five steals in a game was Jon Scheyer against Virginia last February.
- Sophomore Andre Dawkins was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including 3-of-3 from behind the three point line for 11 points. He has reached double figures in scoring in three games this season and in nine career contests.
- Dawkins has made at least three treys three times this year and in seven career games.
- Freshman Kyrie Irving averaged 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game in the four games of the CBE Classic to earn MVP honors.
- He has now scored in double figures in each of his first five collegiate games, matching a season high with 17 points against Kansas State.
- Irving was a perfect 7-of-7 at the free throw line and is now shooting .913 (21-of-23) from the charity stripe this season.
- He tied for the team lead with five rebounds, which ties his top total this year.
- The freshman guard continued to find his teammates with six assists and now has five or more in four of the five games this season.
- Irving also posted two steals and has two swipes in three contests.
- Sophomore Mason Plumlee recorded his third game this season with 10 or more points.
- Plumlee matched a career high with four made free throws.
- He has a blocked shot in all five games this season, leading the team with 10 blocks.
- Senior Kyle Singler drew his team-leading 73rd consecutive start and has now started in 115 of his 116 career games.
- Singler scored in double figures for the 99th time in his career and fourth game this season.
- He was 2-of-2 from the free throw line and is now 13-of-14 (.929) through five games.
- Senior Nolan Smith extending his ACC-leading streak of double figure scoring games to 16 with his 17 points. He has scored 10 or more points in 29 of the last 30 games for the Blue Devils.
- Smith pulled down five rebounds to give him three games with five or more. He is averaging 5.0 per game this season after entering the year with a 2.2 career average
Several of the 2010-11 Duke Blue Devils participated in summer basketball events including the N.C. Pro Am and BDN breaks them down after multiple live views. There is no doubt that this coming season will be more than just a little entertaining as Duke will almost certainly be tabbed number one in the nation in the pre season basketball polls. While we realize you can tell but so much from summer basketball, after years of following the off season exploits of our players I have an idea of what to look for. BDN had representatives at all the N.C Pro Am games and off season camps, so our take is from in person accounts. Be sure to bookmark BDN for year round coverage of the Duke Beat and follow us on twitter and facebook for future updates.
Mason Plumlee -Mason spent time in Chicago as a camp counselor in two events this summer. The first event allowed Plumlee to train with Tim Grover of Attack Athletes, who is infamous for tutoring Michael Jordan. Recently, Plumlee attended the Adidas Nations event where he was able to watch his brother Marshall who is Duke's most recent commitment. Mason also participated in the N.C. Pro Am where BDN took in all of his games. Plumlee showed off his athletic abilities and when talking with his teammates, they loved playing with him in that he often hit the open man with passes most big men cannot make. Plumlee is physically more mature and he's stretching his outside shot to the three point stripe, but he will be counted on more in the middle for Duke this season. Plumlee seems to be in great condition and had to play the whole game more often than not at the Pro Am. Players use the tournament to work on certain things and while Plumlee will have his back to the basket more often than not this season, he chose to work on his face up game. In short, he worked on the things he doesn't have a chance to as much in the system. A key for Mason this season will be his defensive footwork and positioning on post defense and you have to love the fact that he has a little nastiness in his game.
Miles Plumlee- Like Mason, Miles attended Adidas Nations as a camp counselor. This is an honor for they normally select the top college players for this role. Plumlee showed of a one handed push hook and worked on his outside shot during the Pro Am more-so than his post game. Still, Plumlee was depended upon for rebounding and there were several plays where he brought the crowd to their feet with his athleticism. Plumlee had a nice perimeter shot in high school and he is trying to get that back on a more consistent basis. He is most effective from twelve feet in and he doesn't have but maybe two pounds of body fat on his physique. Like Mason, Miles will benefit by Duke pushing the ball in an up temp style this coming season and pressure is sure to come the brothers Plumlee's way for they will be depended upon to anchor the middle all season long. The one thing which stood out to me in the Pro Am was the fact he never gave up despite having to play major minutes for a middle of the pack team. The key for Miles will be to bring consistent intensity and for him to realize he can do things few other players can.
Andre Dawkins- It's almost as if you can count on Andre Dawkins to erupt every five games or so and he had one of those performances where he tossed in 36 points during the Pro Am. A shooter keeps shooting and that fits Andre perfectly. He still is dependent on the three ball to score more-so than moves to the basket and he has worked on his handle during the off season. Ball handling is vital for Andre to have the ability to take players off the dribble which will loosen up the outside for him. Dawkins role for the Blue Devils will again, a shooter but he has improved his footwork defensively and is capable of back side help. He is also a good finisher when in the open court and a solid free throw shooter but his passing skills need more development. He will be the recipient of a lot of kick out passes when Duke's deep backcourt drives to the lane.
Seth Curry- Silky smooth best defines Curry's game from my vantage. He moves in a very paced way which makes it look like an altered speed or slow on the surface. Or maybe I should say he weaves through defenders picking and choosing his spots? Anyhow, Curry is a scorer and his three point shot is solid as is his mid range game. He is a capable ball handler and he lulls his man to sleep as a defender allowing him to get in the passing lanes for steals. While not physically intimidating, he is a player you have to be aware of when he is on the court. Curry will not get as many shots as he did with Liberty with a talented Duke team and with that said, he could improve upon his passing skills in the open court. Everybody sees that his offense is solid, but major minutes will depend upon how well he does when playing off ball. The same can be said for the aforementioned Dawkins. Curry is capable of knocking down double digits this season for Duke and his game will thrive in the running style Duke will employ.
Ryan Kelly -No player gained more off season hype than did Ryan Kelly who at 6-11 is now Dukes tallest player. What a difference a year can make with a young mans physical maturity and what you've heard about his weight gain is spot on accurate. The additional strength is helping Kelly where he often got pushed off the blocks in his freshman campaign. Kelly was named the winner of the Spirit Award given out by Rodney Rodgers. Kelly is not a big rah-rah guy and I was told the award went to him for his consummate team play and the fact his teammates loved playing with him. A more confident Kelly showed signs of a baby hook and he has a nice inside-out game going now and that will earn him significant minutes. No player appears to have worked harder than Kelly in the off season and he is certainly Duke's most improved player, or is he?
Nolan Smith-While Kelly has improved, Nolan Smith seems to have found a whole other level for his game. Smith trained with the U.S. Select Team and that experience seems to have helped. Smith seems to be wanting a leadership role for Duke and he could not be stopped during his games at the N.C. Pro Am. He erupted for 43 points one evening and was essentially a human highlight reel when he was on the court. He left a lot of empty sneakers when slashing through defenders as if they were standing still and his shot was good. Really good. This led to him being named the events most outstanding player despite the fact he missed the last three games. Smith epitomizes how a player can improve each year in the Duke system to achieve their goals and remember where you heard it if Kyle Singler is the choice for Player of the Year, then Smith should be listed as 1-A. Quite simply, Smith is an All American in 2010-11.
Kyrie Irving- It's as if we got a sneak peek at Kyrie during the Pro Am where he created quite the buzz with his effortless moves which dazzled the audience. It was no surprise to me for I have seen him do some amazing things on the AAU trail where I witnessed at least 20 games he played in. Go down the checklist ... ball handling, shooting, penetrating, playing the passing lanes, finishing and KI draws a straight A report card. What he can get better at is defense and once K works on that a bit more there will be no stopping him from achieving his goals. No if's ands or but's about the fact that a backcourt of Smith and Irving will be the nations best and Irving brings mad skills to the table. He will make everybody on a talented team better with his ability to break people down off the dribble and he should dish for a lot of dunks to his teammates. Irving didn't play down the stretch in the Pro Am and that is probably all by design but his 30 plus point efforts had Duke fans grinning and opposing fans looking forward to hearing his name be called one day by the NBA commish in New York.
Josh Hairston -During the opening night of the Pro Am, Hairston struggled against veterans Josh Powell and Courtney Fells but that is the kind of learning experience these games provide. Some guys would have crawled in the corner but Hairston turned it around and averaged 14-15 ppg the rest of the way. Hairston loves the drop step and the turn around fade away jumper. He is not a real physical banger type but he is a well rounded front court player who could be depended upon in his first season with certain match ups Duke will face. Hairston showed steady improvement during the N.C. Pro Am event and he adds depth to the roster.
Tyler Thornton -It seems Thorntons play surprised everybody during the Pro Am, but not me. I have known all along that Thornton is underrated and he plays completely within his own skill set making him a steady player who will not hurt his team with turnovers or forced shots. The knock on Thornton was his outside shot but he improved upon that and showed it hitting three consecutive three pointers to open the event. Thornton is a confident player who is a nice addition to the team.
Kyle Singler -He was held out of the N.C. Pro Am and who could blame Duke in that he was the Final Four MVP and the odds on favorite to win national player of the year going into next season. Singler attended several camps including the LeBron James skills academies and most recently practiced with the US Select Team coached by Krzyzewski.
DURHAM, N.C. - Two Duke Blue Devils were a part of another championship as rising sophomores Ryan Kelly and Andre Dawkins helped D-One to the title at the N.C. Pro Am.
D-One scored 135 points to defeat Hendrick's who had buy 124 in an All Star Game atmosphere where defense was in short supply. But that doesn't mean guys were not making plays and Kelly and Dawkins showed a lot of drive to be a part of the last team standing on Sunday afternoon.
The two Blue Devils were joined by new New York Knick and UNC alum Raymond Felton and for Pack standout Josh Powell. Felton did a good job running the team and ended the contest with 28 points but it was Josh Powell's [33 points] play which helped D-One control the inside game.
Andre Dawkins had a stretch where he missed five straight shots, but like a shooter he kept putting the ball up and ended the game with 18 points and as usual the vast majority of his points came on the three ball.
Kelly added 16 points but played all facets of the game well and was named the winner of the Rodney Rodger's Spirit Award before the game started. During the presentation it was stated that Kelly was the player most guys wanted to play with, meaning he is a good teammate who actually plays team ball instead of always looking for his shot.
Another former UNC player Jawad Williams added 16 for the losing team.
This years event shed a lot of light on off season improvement of several Blue Devil players and we'll recap each one and hear from Ryan Kelly shortly, so stay tuned to BDN as we wind up our annual coverage on the N.C. Pro Am.
The North Carolina Pro Am is closing out it's 2010 campaign this weekend as the teams participate in the play offs. On Friday evening, three Duke players helped their teams advance to the Saturday rounds. Seth Curry scored 14 points to go with 4 assists and 3 steals which helped Team Jamison defeat Team Navy 61-46.
The game also featured a up and coming star in Durham Hillside's Torian Graham who has mentioned that he wants Duke and UNC to take a look at him. He is already a key early target for N.C. State. Southern Durham alum and current Miami Hurricane Julian Gamble led Team Jamison with 22 points.
In the evenings best game D-One held off Lucky 7 behind the play of Ryan Kelly [22 points] and Andre Dawkins with 20. Kelly continued to show his off season improvement and he went up against Josh Powell for the evening. Powell finished the game with 15 points and Courtney Fells added a team high 19 for the losers.
Andre Dawkins had just 3 points at the half, but a second half surge helped him end the game with 20. The Pro Am action continues today with the championship game being played Sunday afternoon on the campus of N.C. Central.