DURHAM - Another sultry summer evening and BDN was on the scene checking out the action. In the evenings first game, Ryan Kelly showed off his newly formed body while scoring a team high 31 points which translated into a 66-59 win for his D-One team
Kelly scored on dunks, jump shots and nailed three shots from beyond the stripe and shot a very productive 13 of 18 from the field. We had him at 8 rebounds unofficially to go with a couple of blocks. Kelly spent most of the summer in Durham where he played with Miles Plumlee and he made a quantum leap in production from his first nights effort.
Andre Dawkins, who switched teams, made it to the game at the start of the second half and ended the game with 6 points going 2 for 6 from the field. Dawkins has yet to play in a full game during the tournament.
Miles Plumlee wowed the crowd with two early blocks but his team came up short in overtime where Johnny Thomas hit a three in overtime to steal the win. Miles finished the game with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and a steal. Plumlee was also sporting a thickening beard and seemed to be in great physical shape.
His teammate, Seth Curry, made his debut and after missing his first five three point shots settled in and lead a late charge after his team was down by 11. Curry ended the game with 11 points to go with two steals. Many of his shots were in and out and it is clear that he'll take the open shot when available. He played good on ball defense and had two steals and a near third. One steal and lay in late in the game cut what was a big lead to 2 and that helped his team get to the extra period.
Nolan Smith played in the night cap and due to the late start many of the fans had left. They missed a show for Nolan dropped in 36 points as he was clearly the best guard on the court. Smith found a variety of ways to score which included, three point shots, pull ups, runners and buzzer shots.
Smith, never one not to entertain, heaved a ball toward the rim where he thought it was a buzzer shot late in the first half. The shot missed badly which is not a big deal for a heave. The problem is there were 19 ticks left on the clock. Smith laughed it off and atoned for that with a true buzzer beating shot at the half.
Mason Plumlee let the game come to him and ended the game with 22 points and a bevy of rebounds. Plumlee looked comfortable on the court and was in good shape after working in Chicago for the past month. What was different? His range. Plumlee nailed a couple of three pointers and his outside stroke has improved. His dunks were effortless and he helped Smith garner a sweet comeback victory where for three quarters they were outplayed as a team. It was Mason's late slam dunk that gave his Dremworks team a 74-72 lead. The bucket gave Plumlee two successive dunks down the stretch.
But it was Nolan's night for after he cut the lead to 79-78, he was fouled and hit two free throws while trading a few good spirited barbs and that clinched the 81-78 comeback win over Team Navy. Smith's performance stole Kelly's thunder as the star of the night, but both players were impressive and that is a good thing for Duke fans.
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