The Duke Blue Devils pushed their season record to 19-1 but more importantly they now stand atop the ACC with a 6-1 mark. In fact, in the locker room was a large standings board so there is more than a little focus on winning their league. Here are some game notes –
Seth Curry gets untracked
One of the things the Duke staff has been hoping for is that Seth Curry start knocking down his perimeter shots. Curry had a career high 20 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field but he played a good floor game as well tallying 3 assists and 3 steals. If Curry can build on this performance it’ll certainly bode well for the Blue Devils down the stretch. Krzyzewski praised his overall game in the post game press conference and said he’s been getting better. His career high was 35 against VMI two years ago. He played a season high 33 minutes tonight.
Ryan Kelly nails 18 straight
The Duke record for consecutive made shots is 20 and that feat was done by the colorful Alaa Abdelnaby in 1989. Kelly fell just short of that mark when he missed a tip in, but 18 straight shots? Well, that’s pretty impressive. But it was Kelly’s 4 blocked shots that drew praise from Krzyzewski. Like Curry, Duke need for Kelly to remain consistent with his shot and continue to play a good floor game. The four blocked shots tied a career high from the Raleigh native.
Sir Nolan Smith
I am of the opinion that Rollin’ Nolan has the ACC Player of the Year Award locked up and that was before the game. Smith put the nail in the coffin tonight with 28 points and 8 rebounds. No ACC player has ever led the league in both categories at seasons end and there is no reason to think Smith’s numbers will go too far south. Mike Krzyzewki used the term All American in the post game press conference and I find it hard to argue with that as well. IMO, there are four locks. Can you name them? Nolan has scored 20 or more points 27 time sin his career. And don’t look now, but Smith has hit 16 straight free throws.
Mason is a rebounding machine
Once again Mason Plumlee grabbed double figure rebounds with 12 for the game. Plumlee added 8 points as well and man would those numbers of 8 and 12 on again, a consistent basis would be heavenly down the stretch. Mason has now 10 or more carems in 4 straight contests and he has 10 or more in 10 games this season.
Cameron was flat
I’m not just saying this because Krzyzewski did, but Cameron was flat tonight and for the first time, there were seats on the side in the student section. Come on Crazies, I praised you as the best in two decades in an earlier article this week and then you under perform? Krzyzewski saw the same thing and FWIW, I have been here since his first season, so I know my Crazies. There are just five home games remaining and you have two amazing seniors in Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler to say goodbye to. You guys and gals gotta pick it up for the remainder of the year. This was a big and or key game for Duke and that’s why you saw Krzyzewski get animated on the bench in that he was trying to manufacture energy.
Duke extended it’s home court consecutive wins to 31 games, the fourth longest in history and that is the longest active streak in the NCAA. Just another reason to cheer hard for the final five games. Duke is 60-2 in Cameron in the past four seasons. Duke has won 12 games or more in 15 straight seasons.
Double Figures Scoring
With Seth Curry knocking down 20 points, Duke has now had an amazing number of 7 players that have scored 20 or more points this season. Duke was just the third team this season to score 80 or more points on Boston College.