Duke returned from a week-long break for final exams to defeat Cornell and Elon last week and improve to 11-0 for the 10th time under Coach K. The wins came on back-to-back nights as Duke thumped Cornell 88-47 and came back out 24 hours later to run away with a 76-54 win over Elon. Defense was key in both victories, as the Blue Devils forced a combined 43 turnovers in the two-game stretch while holding Cornell to 36.4 percent shooting from the floor and Elon to a .385 clip. As has been the trend all season, Duke cut off passing lanes and held Cornell to eight assists and Elon to 10, marking the seventh time in 11 games that the Blue Devils have surrendered 10 assists or fewer.
Mason Plumlee continued his dominance in the paint, scoring 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting against Cornell and 21 points with 15 rebounds against Elon. Plumlee has easily been the top big man in the ACC, if not the entire country, averaging 19.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Also contributing offensively for Duke were the usual suspects: Seth Curry scored 20 points against Cornell, Ryan Kelly hit three three-pointers on the way to 14 points against Elon and Rasheed Sulaimon scored in double figures in both contests. Point guard Quinn Cook carved up Cornell for a career-high 12 assists on Wednesday, and his fellow point guard Tyler Thornton got in on the action with five assists against Cornell and eight points with four helpers against Elon.
NON-CONFERENCE HOME WIN STREAK REACHES 100
The wins over Cornell and Elon pushed Duke's non-conference home win streak to 100 straight victories. The last time Duke lost to a non-conference opponent was on Feb. 26, 2000, an 83-82 loss to St. John's. Duke is 6-0 against ranked non-conference teams at home during that span, including this season's 73-68 win over No. 4 Ohio State. Since the streak began on November 25, 2001, eight Duke classes have come and gone without losing a home game to a non-conference opponent.
JASON KING PICKS MASON PLUMLEE AS WOODEN AWARD FRONTRUNNER
Yes, it's early in the season and there are still three - hopefully four - months of basketball left to play, but ESPN's Jason King has declared Mason Plumlee his favorite to win the Wooden National Player of the year Award. Plumlee topped King's list of 15 candidates, a spot - according to King - that "Plumlee has occupied for the entire season." To view King's entire list and comments about his candidates, follow the link below:
COOK NAMED TO COUSY AWARD WATCH LIST
Duke sophomore Quinn Cook was named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list on Wednesday, receiving a nod from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as one of the top point guards in the nation. Cook, who ranks among the top five in the ACC in assists per game (6.0), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4:1) and steals per game (1.8), has 25 assists and just four turnovers over his last 125 minutes of play. Four of the nine Cousy Award have gone to ACC players, although Cook would be the first Blue Devil to win.
HENDERSON'S DUNK MAKES SPORTSCENTER TOP 10
Former Duke star Gerald Henderson, now the core of a rebuilding Charlotte Bobcats team, threw down a plethora of highlight dunks during his days at Duke, but none as great as the how-did-he-do-that slam that he put down against the Lakers last Tuesday. Henderson jumps straight into the air from approximately the charge circle, gets shoved by Dwight Howard and still somehow completes the one-handed slam from above the rim. The play earned a top-five nod on SportsCenter's top 10 and is already in the discussion for dunk of the year. To watch the play, follow the link below:
Waiting for the
return of Grant Hill (LA Times)
Redick will adopt
Ric Flair's "Wooo!" after key baskets (Orlando Sentinel)
rebounding cue from Jason Kidd (Fayetteville Observer)
Duke, Notre Dame
showcase academics go with sport (USA Today)
Quinn Cook @QCook323
We stuck this stretch out and are headed into the break 11-0. Yessir. RiP DAD!
Marshall Plumlee @marshallplumlee
Colder than Hoth out here this morning on way to airport... Where's a tauntaun when u need it??
Kyrie Irving Sick Cross On Monta Ellis! http://hoopmixtape.com/2012/12/kyrie-irving-sick-cross-on-monta-ellis/
STAT OF THE WEEK
Quinn Cook is averaging 6.0 assists per game this season which would rank as the 11th highest single-season average in school history. In the 10 other seasons in which Duke had a player average at least 6.0 assists per game, the Blue Devils made the Final Four six times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2001, 2004), won three NCAA Championships (1991, 1992, 2001) and four ACC Championships (1992, 2000, 2001, 2003).