Here are a few post game video comment from Duke players Ryan Kelly, Seth Curry, Miles Plumlee via Blue Devil Nation Video -
Duke toughed out an important ACC win over Virginia on Thursday night pushing it's conference record to 2-0 in league play. And the reason they got the win? Defense. Coming into the game all the media outlets were talking about the Virginia defense and slept on the Blue Devils. In fact, some admonished them for being ranked lower than seasons past. Tonight, Duke held Virginia to 29% shooting in the second half and they also held them to just 0 of 11 from the three point stripe and that allowed them to come away with a hard fought 61-58 win. When the going got tough in ACC play, so did the Blue Devils defense.
Juniors step it up
The Blue Devils contingent of juniors stepped up big tonight. Mason Plumlee earned great praise from Krzyzewski in the post game interview and ended the game with 12 points and 7 boards, but he altered a lot of shots. Ryan Kelly added another 9 points and 7 boards and 3 huge blocked shots., while Seth Curry added 11 points a couple of dimes. But Andre Dawkins was huge in the early going and he too went for double figures with 10 points. Krzyzewski said it was Dawkins best overall defensive game of the season and that's high praise.
Plumlees earn Krzyzewski's praise as well
Miles fouled out and scored just 4 points but he helped on the defensive end against ACC POY candidate, Mike Scott. After his 16 first half points, the brother Plumlee held him to seven in the 2nd half.
Defense has long been a staple of the Duke program and tonight it was stellar. The game was not as close as the score indicated in the 2nd half mainly due to missed free throws where Duke went just 8 of 19 for the game. If those free throws drop, Duke coasts.
This and that
Duke won it's 19th straight ACC home opener and improved to their steak of ACC home wins to 44 straight, the last loss coming to UNC. Duke is now 3-1 against top 25 teams this season. Did you know that Duke is only the second team to score 60 or more on Virginia this season? They were also the first team to shoot 50% or better from the floor against Virginia. Duke used just eight players in the contest for the second time this season. Did you know that Andre Dawkins tied the game four times tonight? The 60 points combined by both teams was by far the lowest in Cameron this season. Mason Plumlee made his 37th straight start at Duke and freshman Austin Rivers scored in double figures for the 13th time this season. Duke next plays at Clemson at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Duke (13-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) avoided consecutive defeats for the first time since Feb. 11 and Feb. 15, 2009.
Glen Rice Jr. scored a season-high 28 points and Mfon Udofia finished with 19 points for Georgia Tech (7-8, 0-1 ACC). The Yellow Jackets, who never led, have lost four straight.
Kelly was 14 of 14 from the free-throw line, including eight in the final 40 seconds to help seal the victory.
Following Thursday's five-point loss to Temple, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski started freshman Quinn Cook at point guard instead of Tyler Thornton and reinserted senior forward Miles Plumlee in the lineup in favor of Kelly.
Freshman Austin Rivers finished with eight points, but gave the Blue Devils a boost after missing a pair of free throws with 3:26 remaining and his team leading 68-66.
After forcing a runner that missed, Rivers stole the ball from Mfon Udofia and scored a fastbreak layup to make it 70-64 and energize the Duke bench.
The Blue Devils took a 72-66 lead with 1:08 remaining when Curry bounced a pass off the glass for an assist that Mason Plumlee converted for a layup that made it 72-66.
Mason Plumlee's three-point play at the 8:07 mark of the first half gave Duke, which began the game shooting nearly 71 percent from the field, its biggest lead at 18.
But the Blue Devils didn't score another field goal in the first half after Andre Dawkins' 3-pointer from the right corner made it 36-24 with 4:07 remaining.
Georgia Tech closed the first half on an 11-4 run that included Pierre Jordan's alley-oop, fastbreak pass to Jason Morris for a right-handed dunk in front of Mason Plumlee at the 1:22 mark.
The Yellow Jackets outrebounded Duke 38-26 and were led by Rice's eight. Duke outscored Georgia Tech 18-10 in points off turnovers.
The Duke Blue Devils held off a late second half comeback for a 86-80 win over Washington pushing their season record to 9-1 with just two games remaining on their December schedule. Three starters were on the bench as Duke held off the Huskies -- Curry and Rivers due to fouls and Mason Plumlee from struggling at the free throw line.
The Blue Devils staff had their team come out of the gate with a great game plan and that allowed for the Dukies to gain another key vicory for their NCAA Tournament resume.
Rough start for Kelly, but ...
Ryan Kelly opened the game 0-7 from the field but then went 6 for 8 the rest of the way to score 16 points to go with 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Lesser players would have kept shooting, good thing for Duke fans Ryan did not.
Miles tough off the bench
Mile Plumlee was very efficient off the bench for Duke grabbing 9 boards and making 3 critical blocks, most during the Huskies comeback. Miles also went 75% from both the field and free throw stripe.
Duke defended well for most of the game
I thought the Blue Devils had a nice game plan on defense but it was a young team on a learning curve which allowed the Huskies to make the game closer towards the end. But make no mistake, it was the Duke frontcourt which was the difference in that they altered a lot of shots, having 7 blocks on the game and 6 steals.
Rivers continues his solid play
Austin Rivers is still on a leanring curve but how impressive does that make his team high 18 points. Rivers is letting the game come to him more and more and he is getting better with each outing and tha bodes well for March.
Dre all day!
IMO, Andre Dawkins played his best floor game of the season. The Blue Devils really needed his mae free throws down the stretch which hepled hold off the Huskies run, especially when the team shot a terrible 27 of 44 from the stripe, including Mason going just 2 of 111. But Dawkins added 5 rebounds and hit 2 of 5 of the Duke three pointers.
The bottom line
Duke got a good win and despite having to hang on at the end, the game was never really in doubt from the opening tip. Had Duke connected on their free throws, that gaem would never have gotten closer that double figures, so make no mistake, this was as solid win.
• The Blue Devils improved to 27-15 all-time in Madison Square Garden and 22-7 under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The win came in Duke’s second appearance of the season in Madison Square Garden. Duke also beat Michigan State 74-69 on November 15 in MSG for Coach K’s record-breaking 903rd career victory.
• The game was Duke’s fifth neutral site game of the year. The Blue Devils are 5-0 this season at neutral sites with two wins in Madison Square Garden and three at the Lahaina Civic Center in Maui. Duke is 35-2 in neutral site contests since the start of the 2008-09 season.
• Duke started 9-1 for the 18th time in school history and the 10th time under Krzyzewski.
• In December, Duke is now 52-3 under Coach K. Duke has won 13 straight December games with 10 of those wins coming by double digits.
• Seven Blue Devils played at least 10 minutes in the game. Duke has had at least seven players with 10 or more minutes in nine of 10 games this year. Seven Blue Devils average 10 or more minutes per game.
• Duke held Washington scoreless during stretches of 5:40 and 2:55 in the first half. The Blue Devils held the Huskies without a field goal for 5:25 in the first half as Washington netted only two free throws from the 9:24 mark to the 3:59 mark in the first half.
• Duke held Washington to just two points over the first 5:40 of the game. The Huskies missed their first eight field goal attempts of the game.
• Duke staked a 10-point lead at the 10:07 mark in the first half and led by no less than 10 points until the 2:49 mark in the second half.
• Austin Rivers (18 points), Andre Dawkins (17), Ryan Kelly (16) and Mason Plumlee (12) all scored in double figures. Duke has 39 double-figure scoring games this season and five players averaging 10 or more points per game. Eight different players have scored 10 or more points in a game this season.
• Duke pulled in 27 rebounds in the first half, which was a season high. Ryan Kelly (6 rebounds), Mason Plumlee (6) and Miles Plumlee (5) all had at least five rebounds in the first half. Duke’s 13 offensive rebounds in the game tied a season high.
• Both Seth Curry and Austin Rivers fouled out, marking the first time since Jan. 19, 2011, that two Blue Devils fouled out in the same game.
• Mason Plumlee went just 2-for-11 from the free throw line, but the rest of Duke’s team went 75.8 percent from the line.
• Duke allowed two 20-point scorers for the first time this season as Tony Wroten (23 points) and C.J. Wilcox (22 points) both reached that mark. Only four players have scored 20 points against Duke this season.
• Played four minutes, including the final 2:19 of the game after both Austin Rivers and Seth Curry fouled out.
• During his final 2:19, sank 4-of-6 free throws and did not commit a turnover to help Duke hold off a late Washington rally.
• Has committed just four turnovers in his 87 minutes this year, averaging a team-high 22 minutes between turnovers. Only Andre Dawkins (five turnovers in 263 minutes) averages more time between turnovers for Duke this season.
• Made his 23rd consecutive start.
• Hit all four free throw attempts, extending his made free throw streak to 19.
• Dished out three assists, giving him at least three assists in eight of Duke’s 10 games.
• Fouled out of a game for the first time since Feb. 26, 2011.
• Scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half for his second straight double-figure scoring game.
• Hit a pair of three-pointers, giving him multiple treys in six games.
• Recorded his seventh double-figure scoring game of the season with 16 points.
• Pulled down a season-high eight rebounds, finishing one board shy of tying his career high.
• Added two blocks and two steals.
• Made his 31st consecutive start.
• Scored in double figures for the seventh time this season and for the fifth straight game. Missed a double-double by one rebound.
• Continued his strong defensive play with two blocks and three steals. Plumlee had five blocks and four steals in his last outing, an 87-64 win over Colorado State.
• Hit his first three field goal attempts, including a pair of dunks. He now has 88 dunks in his three-year career which ranks ninth on Duke’s all-time list.
• Plumlee is now shooting a team-leading 66.2 percent from the floor.
• Shot 75.0 percent or better for the fifth straight game. Plumlee is 13-for-14 (.929) from the floor during that span.
• Pulled in seven rebounds, giving him at least five boards in five games this year.
• Scored in double figures for the ninth time this season. Rivers led Duke in scoring for the sixth straight game.
• Hit multiple treys for the sixth consecutive game. Rivers is 13-for-28 (.464) from three-point range during that span.
• Matched a career high with four rebounds.
• Fouled out for the first time in his career.
Duke (8-1) tips-off against Washington (4-3) Saturday at 12 noon in a nationally televised game being carried by CBS. Blue Devil Nation enlists the help of Dick Fain from Seattle Sports Radio KJRAM 950 and FM 102.9 to preview the game. Duke is coming off an 87-64 home win over Colorado State, while Washington lost a 79-77 heart breaker to #11 Marquette on Tuesday.
Dick is host of the “Live @ 5” radio program and has been the voice of the WNBA Seattle Storm for the past three seasons. He also serves as the assistant basketball coach at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines, a Seattle suburb.
We will start the preview with thoughts from Blue Devil Nation.
Washington is a team, which resembles teams that have given Duke fits in years past. Like St. John’s in 2011 and Georgetown in 2010; Washington, or UDub as they’re referred to in the great Pacific Northwest, has a roster full of 6’5” to 6’9” athletic players. The difference between Washington and those aforementioned Big East teams is the Huskies are a young team. And that is a huge difference.
Washington is a strong shooting perimeter oriented team with an excellent point guard in Abdul Gaddy (6’3”) so Coach Lorenzo Romar likes to play an up tempo game. The Huskies average 81 points per game. Additional perimeter starters, Terrence Ross (6’6”) and C.J. Wilcox (6’5”) are talented players with the ability to get into the lane via dribble penetration. The size and talent of Washington's perimeter will be a factor in this game.
The Huskies interior offense is limited with Aziz N’Diaye (7’1”) and Darnell Gant (6’8”), but Gant does have the ability to knock down the 3-point shot if left open so Duke must be prepared to follow him out to the perimeter.
Like Duke with Austin Rivers, Washington features a super freshman in Tony Wroten (6’5”). Wroten is the Huskies Sixth Man and when he enters the game Washington has two big point guards on the floor in Gaddy and Wroten, which allows both to switch between handling the ball and playing off the ball.
Needless to say, having multiple primary ball handlers on the floor provides Coach Romar versatility in running his offense.
The possibility of seeing super freshmen Rivers and Wroten matched up on each other is an exciting sub content of this early season non-conference game.
The key individual match-up in this game for Duke will be Terrence Ross who is a tremendously talented player and Washington’s leading scorer. Ross is a solid perimeter shooter who has the ability to drive by his defender and finish at the rim. The Blue Devils must know where Ross is at all times and have a man in his face.
For Duke fans who are not familiar with Ross, think Harrison Barnes. Ross is that good. Checking Ross will be a huge defensive assignment for Andre Dawkins and Austin Rivers. It would not surprise me to see Coach Krzyzewski insert Michael Gbinije into the rotation to steal some minutes by having the freshman guard Ross. The health of Andre Dawkins is a concern re defending Ross as Dawkins left the Colorado State game in the first half with back spasms and did not return.
While Gbinije lacks experience, his size and athleticism could bother Ross.
For Washington, Coach Romar must figure out how to contain Mason Plumlee and Duke’s interior strength. N’Diaye has a tendency to be foul prone so look for freshman Shawn Kemp, Jr. (6’9”) to see some minutes in the rotation guarding Plumlee as a preventive measure.
Final analysis: Due to Washington’s youth, Duke will look to disrupt the Huskies offense by pressuring the perimeter and forcing Washington to start their offense further away from the basket than they are accustomed to which will lead to blown opportunities, turnovers and bad shots.
On offense, this is a game where Duke will focus on running things inside-out. The Blue Devils have a big advantage with their post players so they must look inside first and then kick the ball out for open jump shots. Look for Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly to receive lots of touches in the game.
In order for Washington to beat Duke, they must prevent the entry pass, limit interior scoring opportunities and force Duke to become a jump shooting team. Based on Duke’s team 3PT FG percentage of 43.2%, it would help the Huskies immensely to catch the Blue Devils on a cold shooting day.
Okay, to learn more about the Washington Huskies let’s move on to the Question and Answer session with subject matter expert Dick Fain:
BDN: Can you give Duke fans an overview of Washington's strengths and weaknesses?
Dick Fain: Washington has very clear strengths and equally as clear weaknesses. The strengths are all in the backcourt. The Huskies are as athletic as any team in the conference and arguably boast the best shooters as well.
Abdul Gaddy is an improvement over Isaiah Thomas at point guard because he sees the floor much better and is a pass-first guard who makes very good decisions. His 6-3 size also gives him a decided edge over the 5-8 Thomas.
Lorenzo Romar told me two years ago that CJ Wilcox would have been the Pac 10's best three point shooter had he played instead of redshirted that year. Romar's words have proven prophetic as Wilcox hit a respectable 40% from three last year and is a blazing hot 16/29 55% this season.
Terrence Ross is a lottery pick with tremendous penetration and shooting abilities and will undoubtedly get Duke's best perimeter defender. He is still raw and would benefit from staying in school for his sophomore and junior seasons but the Lottery may be too much for him to pass up after this season.
Scott Suggs is a solid shooter and leader that the Dawgs have missed this year due to a training camp injury but should have him back in some capacity by the Duke game.
The Dawgs weaknesses lie in their bigs. Darnell Gant and Desmond Simmons are skilled, athletic, undersized 4 men but have little to no back to the basket ability and are sketchy rebounders at best. Aziz N'diaye is an interesting 7-1 center that is very good a blocking shots and filling the paint but has very little offensive skill. If he stays four years he should be a 1st rounder as he is improving and some NBA team will take a shot on a 7-1 shotblocker.
BDN: We know Washington is a young team with seven freshmen on the squad, which of these freshmen are ready to contribute right away?
Dick Fain: The only freshman that is ready to compete against top 25 competition is Tony Wroten who has been on recruiters radars since he was a 5th grader. Seattle is a city that has produced the likes of Brandon Roy, Jason Terry, Aaron Brooks, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson and many other NBA guards but none had the hype out of high school of Wroten. Before blowing out his knee before his junior year, he was ranked the #1 overall player in America, because of the knee injury he fell into the teens.
BDN: Terrence Ross is an outstanding talent, perhaps Washington's best player, what are his top skill sets and where does he still need improvement?
Dick Fain: Terrence Ross is an interesting story. He was the "other" Terrence that the Huskies got from the Portland area. The Terrence they really wanted (and had) was Terrence Jones who is now at Kentucky. Jones held a televised press conference, put on a Washington hat and then came on my show 10 minutes later to tell me how happy he was that the recruiting process was over and how excited he was to be a Dawg. 10 minutes after that he had a phone conversation with John Calipari and I'm sure you Duke fans are savvy enough to figure out what happened next.
Back to Ross, he has been a very pleasant surprise since he wasn't nearly as highly regarded as the All-American Jones. He is a tremendous scorer both on the perimeter and on the drive. He has shown the ability to hit the big shot as his three pointer from the corner in the waning seconds of regulation sent last year’s Pac 10 championship game to overtime allowing for Isaiah Thomas' buzzer beating heroics in a win over Arizona. He has the potential and athleticism to be a defensive stopper but is not there yet. As I mentioned before, the Lottery is waiting for Ross, the only question is whether it will be the 2012 or 2013 Lottery.
BDN: Speaking of freshmen, how special is Tony Wroten?
Dick Fain: I talked about Wroten's pedigree, now I'll talk about his game. Wroten has the best vision of any point guard I've ever seen at Washington. He will throw no look passes through 4 defenders and it will find its mark. The rest of his game is good but not great at this point. He is an adequate shooter and can attack the rim. His biggest area to work on is maturity as at times he will wear his frustration on his sleeve. The sky is the limit for him and the Lottery should be in his future especially if he buys in to LoRo's system and stays at least 3 years.
BDN: Can you expound on Coach Lorenzo Romar and his philosophy for playing the game of basketball?
Dick Fain: Lorenzo Romar is maybe the most underrated coach in the nation. While he is a household name on the west coast, I doubt he is well known in ACC country but he should be. Romar took program that had one trip to the NCAA tournament over the prior 15 years and takes them to the dance nearly every season including three sweet 16's and a #1 seed in 2005. The Huskies have won the Pac 10 tournament title the last two years and won the outright regular season title the year prior. The only thing eluding his resume is a final four appearance and while this isn't the year that will happen, next year could be. Duke fans would love Romar because he is a quality human being who does things the right way just like Coach K. In this era of rampant cheating in college basketball, Duke and Washington both steer clear of such shenanigans.
BDN: I've heard Abdul Gaddy, in interviews on Seattle Sports Radio KJRAM950, discuss how much he grew last year, observing the game from the bench, after his season ending injury. How important is Gaddy's leadership to this year's team?
Dick Fain: I absolutely love Abdul Gaddy's game. He is a local product from Tacoma who torn his knee up in December of last year (his sophomore year). His freshman year was a learning process with quite a few bumps in the road, but by last year he had earned the starting point guard spot and was running the show until the injury forced Isaiah Thomas out of position to the one spot. During his recovery, he has gotten stronger and has become an adept shooter from behind the arc. His lack of great athleticism will likely keep him out of the lottery but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he was a first rounder in 2013.
BDN: Okay, it is time to put you on the spot. What is your prediction for the outcome of the game?
Dick Fain: Prediction time! Duke is one of the few teams that have a better backcourt that UW but the margin isn't great. Where this game is a mismatch is in the interior. The Plumlees and Ryan Kelly should have there way with the Husky bigs and beat Washington on the boards. The Dawgs are one year away from being an elite top 10 team, Duke is there right now. UW makes it a game for 35 minutes but Duke wins 81-72.
Blue Devil Nation offers a big thank you to Dick for agreeing to assist us with the game preview and we encourage all Duke fans to give Dick Fain’s "Live @ 5" show a listen on the iheartradio app or on SportsradioKJR.com from 8a-9a ET Monday thru Friday and you can follow him on twitter @dickfain.
I listen to Dick every morning during my morning commute to work and can ensure everyone, while his radio show is Seattle sports centric, he is also on the cutting edge for covering national sports events and breaking news.