The Duke Blue Devils whipped Syracuse to advance to the ACC Tournament Semi-Final matchup with North Carolina. Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Tre Jones took questions after the contest and here is what they had to say.
The Blue Devils survived the pesky Hokies 60-56 to advance to the semi finals where they'll take on a talented Florida State team this afternoon. In the process Duke tied the second longest streak of ACC Tournament victories at 10 consecutive wins. The Blue Devils defense was the key against the Hokies, holding their opponent to 30.2% from the field.
Duke doubled the production of the Hokies in the paint by a 24-12 margin and their fast break worked as well to a 8 to 3 rate. But Duke was just 5 of 26 from the three point stripe and that number must improve against Florida State. The Blue Devils also benefited from going 15 of 18 from the free throw line and that was a huge factor in winning their 27th game of the season.
Tyler Thornton was a vital part of the win as well, despite missing several three pointers. But the ones he did make were at key moments and he seemed to be there every time their was a loose ball, garnering 3 steals. Austin Rivers led Duke in scoring wih 17 points and Mason Plumlee played very well scoring 12 points to go with 10 rebounds.
As I hinted to earlier, Duke went small just minutes into the game, rotating the the borthers Plumlee with Ryan Kelly sidelined for the tournament. You can expect more of that today against the Semionoles winners over Miami. This will be the rubber match between these two clubs and trust me when I say the Florida State fans travelled well here and they've let their presence be known. Of course, Duke will have all the UNC fans pulling against them as well in that the Heels face rival N.C. State in t he opening game.
There is no doubt that the Duke-Florida State game is likely to go to the wire and it'll be a tense affair throughout. The Blue Devils must keep a body on the Seminoles and hold their on in the paint while hitting a better percentage from beyond the three point arc. So, pull up a chair if you think you can actually sit down during this game and root your Blue Devils on for they'll need the collective support from the fan base today.
Duke fans were a bit quiet in the arena yesterday and they'll need to pick up the support as well. We'll continue to have post game wrap ups with exclusive video and photo galleries from Lance King, so bookmark Blue Devil Nation now and go up close and personal behind the scenes. As for our prediction today, we'll take the Duke Blue Devils 66-64.
DURHAM - Coach Kryzyzewski just finished addressing the media about the upcoming ACC Tournament and BDN was on the scene to bring you his comments via video. We broke it up into to two parts, so be sure to check out both!
1-Seed Duke (26-5, 13-3 ACC) vs. 8-Seed Boston College / 9-Seed Virginia winner
Friday, March 12, 2010 • 12:00 p.m. • Raycom / ESPN
Greensboro Coliseum (23,500) • Greensboro, N.C.
The Opening Tip
Duke (26-5, 13-3 ACC) faces the winner of Thursday’s game between Boston College and Virginia in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on Friday, March 12, at 12:00 p.m.
The Blue Devils enter the ACC Tournament ranked fourth in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.
The game will air locally on Raycom with Tim Brandt and Dan Bonner on the call. Dan Shulman, Len Elmore and Erin Andrews will call the action for ESPN’s national broadcast.
The Last Time Out
Duke is coming off a 32-point win over North Carolina on Saturday, March 6. Kyle Singler (25), Jon Scheyer (20) and Nolan Smith (20) each scored over 20 points in the contest, marking the first time since the 2001-02 season that a Blue Devil trio to accomplish that feat.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 53-26 halftime lead and cruised to an 82-50 win for Duke’s second-largest margin of victory in the series.
Scheyer and Smith combined for 40 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and zero turnovers in the victory. Senior Brian Zoubek finished 4-of-4 from the floor for eight points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds. The Blue Devils also shot a season-best 95.7 percent (22-of-23) from the foul line in the win over North Carolina.
Duke as the No. 1 Seed in the ACC Tournament
Duke is the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament for the 17th time in school history. The Blue Devils are 34-8 all-time as the top seed, winning championships in 1963, 1964, 1966, 1986, 1992, 1999, 2000 and 2006. Duke has won 14 of its last 15 games as the top seed in the tournament.
l Duke has won eight of the last 11 ACC Tournament championships, posting a 29-3 mark since the 1999 tournament.
l The Blue Devils have won 84 ACC Tournament games, tied for the most in league history.
l Duke is ranked fourth in the AP poll, marking the 54th consecutive week ranked in the top 10. The Blue Devils are 44-8 all-time when ranked fourth in the AP poll.
l Jon Scheyer leads the ACC in three statistical categories and is the only player in the league to rank in the top 5 in seven categories: scoring (third, 18.9 ppg.), assists (fourth, 5.2 apg.), free throw percentage (first, .889), three-point field goals (first, 2.9 3pg.), three-point field goal percentage (third, .399), assist-to-turnover ratio (first, 3.0:1) and minutes (second, 36.5 mpg.).
l Brian Zoubek is averaging 7.3 points and 11.0 rebounds (5.0 orpg.) while shooting 71.0 percent (22-of-31) from the field since joining the starting lineup seven games ago. He has grabbed 10+ rebounds in four of the last five games and in five of seven games as a starter. Zoubek is second in the ACC in offensive rebounds (3.5 orpg) and tied for eighth in total rebounds (7.3 rpg.).
l Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler are attempting to become just the third trio in Duke history to each average over 17.0 points per game. Jim Spanarkel, Mike Gminski and Gene Banks accomplished the feat in 1977-78, while Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy did the same in 2001-02.
l Junior Nolan Smith is two points shy of becoming the 60th player in Duke history with 1,000 career points. Smith has 511 points and 14 games with 20 or more points this year after combining for 487 points and one game with 20 or more points in his first two seasons as a Blue Devil.
l The Blue Devils lead the ACC in rebound margin at +6.1 and are 22-2 on the year when outrebounding the opposition. Duke last led the league in rebounding in 1989.
l Duke has had fewer than 10 turnovers in four straight games and is averaging just 11.1 turnovers per game for the season. Duke has never averaged fewer than 12.0 turnovers per game under Coach K.
l Kyle Singler is averaging 20.7 points, while shooting 40.7 percent (15-of-37) from three-point range over the last six games. He has scored 20 or more points in four of the last six contests.
l Lance Thomas was named to the Fan’s Guide Coaches’ All-Defense team, becoming the 20th Blue Devil selected in the 15 years of the team.
l The Blue Devils have won 11 straight games when leading at the half. Duke is 23-1 when entering halftime with the lead.
Checking in on ...
#2 Nolan Smith - +9.2 ppg. increase from a year ago is second-best in the ACC ... shooting a career-best 40.4 percent from three-point range ... fourth in the ACC with 14 games with 20+ points scored ... double figures in 27 of 29 games played
#5 Mason Plumlee - Second on the team with 21 dunks ... fourth with 21 blocks
#12 Kyle Singler - Five double-doubles and six games with 10+ rebounds ... averaged 18.3 points per game in league play ... led the ACC with .415 three-point percentage in conference play ... third in three-point field goals per game at 2.4 threes per game
#20 Andre Dawkins - Fourth on the team with 33 three-point field goals ... shooting 38.8 percent from three-point range
#21 Miles Plumlee - Leads the team with 29 dunks ... shooting 57.5 percent (69-of-120) from the field
#30 Jon Scheyer - 20+ points in seven of the last 12 games ... ranks in the top 10 of the ACC in eight statistical categories ... leads the league in free throw percentage, three-point field goals and assist-to-turnover ratio ... tied for second in the ACC with 15 games with 20 or more points ... three-time ACC Player of the Week
#34 Ryan Kelly - 14 blocked shots ... played in 29 of 31 games
#42 Lance Thomas - Tied for team lead with 12 charges taken ... 5 or more rebounds in 15 games ... 1 of 4 Blue Devils averaging at least 5.0 rebounds per game
#55 Brian Zoubek - Four or more offensive rebounds 14 times ... averaging 17.1 rebounds per 40 minutes played ... nine double-figure rebounding games