Duke Falls at No. 5 Kansas in Champions Classic In a clash between two of the four winningest programs in college basketball history, No. 4 Duke took on No. 5 Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic Tuesday at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. The showdown went down as billed with the two heavyweights trading blows throughout the entire game until Kansas pulled away from a 77-77 tie with a 17-6 run over the final 3:50 on the way to a 94-83 victory over the Blue Devils. Freshman Jabari Parker was a bright spot for Duke, leading all players with 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the floor and 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Amile Jefferson also chipped in 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Kansas duo of Perry Ellis and Andrew Wiggins who combined for 46 points, including 30 in the second half. Despite the loss, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was not disappointed in his team’s effort.
“We didn't play a bad game tonight; we played well,” Krzyzewski said. “We didn't play well on the defensive end in the second half, and in big moments, we weren't able to get a stop. Part of that is they're good. They're really good.”
Duke Rebounds to Rout Florida Atlantic Tuesday’s loss to Kansas had a lasting effect on Duke redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood, who scored just 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting against the Jayhawks. The 11 points were a significant drop in scoring from his season debut against Davidson when he scored 22 in a 111-77 rout of Davidson, and he cited his lack of aggressiveness against Kansas for the dip in production.
“I’ve got to be more assertive,” Hood said. “I can’t let the game come to me and just hope for opportunities. I’ve got to go take them and be more aggressive. It’s a learning period for me, too, being at the head of the team.”
Those comments weren’t just lip service for the Mississippi State transfer, who went out and scored a career-high 28 points in Duke’s next outing, a 97-64 win over Florida Atlantic in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Hood hit 8-of-11 shots from the field and 12-of-13 from the free throw line to lead the dominant victory.
Welcome Back, Andre It seems fitting that just one day after Sports Illustrated released the most telling account of Andre Dawkins’ personal journey through emotional hardship stemming from the Dec. 5, 2009, death of his sister, Lacey, Dawkins would have his best basketball game in nearly two years. The 6-5 guard, who sat out the 2012-13 season while dealing with and recovering from the personal effects of that tragedy, went off for 17 points and five 3-pointers in Duke’s win over Florida Atlantic Friday in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Dawkins was hot from the start, hitting his first shot of the season which was, of course, a 3-pointer.
Dawkins went on to finish 5-of-8 from 3-point range and even flashed a new wrinkle to his game, putting the ball on the floor and cutting to the basket for an easy layup and two kickout passes that resulted in Duke buckets. More importantly, Dawkins may have flashed more smiles in his 19 minutes of action than he did during the entire 2011-12 season, and when the Cameron Crazies broke out the “Dre All Day” chant, he looked right at home.
Said Dawkins after the game, “It’s nice. I’ve been missing that for a year.”
Parker Named ACC Rookie of the Week Freshman Jabari Parker received his first ACC Rookie of the Week award this past Monday after opening his collegiate career with 22 points, six rebounds and three 3-pointers in the win over Davidson. The award should be the first of many for Parker, who leads Duke in points (70), rebounds (25), steals (4), blocks (3), made field goals (24), field goal attempts (41), made three-point field goals (11) and three-point field goal attempts (16) through the first three games. Parker has scored at least 20 points in each of those outings, becoming only the second player under Coach K to start a season with three consecutive 20-point games (Johnny Dawkins did so in 1983-84).
Mason Plumlee Nears 20-Point Game With Brooklyn Nets forward Brooke Lopez and Kevin Garnett out with injuries, former Duke standout Mason Plumlee made the most of his opportunity and totaled 19 points, six rebounds, one steal and one block in a 110-103 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday night. Plumlee hit 7-of-10 shots from the field and hauled in four offensive rebounds. The near-20-point game came on the heels of a 3-for-3, seven-point performance against his brother Miles’ Phoenix Suns in which the two matched up several times in the post.
On the year, Mason is averaging 7.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 17-of-26 (.654) from the floor. He has hit a field goal in every game he’s played with at least three rebounds in five straight games.
The Dark Knight Returns NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving suffered a broken nose earlier this week, but it won’t keep him off the court. The 2011 No. 1 pick will once again don the “Dark Knight” moniker as he plans to play the rest of the season with a similar face mask he wore in 2012, which prompted his teammates to call the point guard The Dark Knight. The 2012 injury was a broken upper jaw, while this year’s is a “minimally displaced right nasal fracture” that so far hasn’t hampered his production in the slightest. Irving exploded for 41 points against Washington Saturday and is averaging 21.3 points per game this season in addition to a career-high 7.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and a 3.5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Quote of the Week “When you position a guy, you look at their strengths and weaknesses…When you don't position guys, you mostly look at their strengths. I'd rather do that. What do you do well? Do what you do well. Don't try to do what you don't do well. And let's try to figure that out." – Head coach Mike Krzyzewski on setting his lineup this season without being constrained to traditional position labels. Stat of the Week Former Duke star J.J. Redick ranks fourth in the NBA in first-quarter scoring, averaging 8.3 points in the opening period. He trails only Kevin Love (9.1 points), Kevin Martin (9.0) and Gordon Hayward (8.4) in that category.