New Rivalry Starts With A Bang
They don’t get much better than this. Despite the result, No. 2 Syracuse’s narrow 91-89 overtime win against No. 17 Duke Saturday in the Carrier Dome may not only go down as the best college basketball games this season, but one of the best ever. The first ACC clash between the two storied programs, coached by the two winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history, came down to the wire twice, as Rasheed Sulaimon tied the game with a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of regulation, and Rodney Hood nearly threw down what could have been the game-winning dunk with six seconds left in overtime. Unfortunately for Duke, Hood’s dunk attempt bounced off the back of the rim following an in air collision with a Syracuse player and Orange held on for the win, which came in front of a Carrier Dome-record 35,446 fans.
The game featured two of the country’s top teams playing at an incredibly high level and trading blows by the minute. The only thing that could stop either team was the final buzzer, which, unfortunately for Duke, came at the end of overtime with the ball in Syracuse’s hands. While the final score went in favor of the Orange, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim – both good friends on and off the court – had nothing but praise for either team.
“Geez. I can't ask my team to play any harder than they did tonight,” Krzyzewski said. “It was a great game. Both teams were deserving of winning. Both teams played with so much heart.”
“It was just a great game," Boeheim said. "I don't think I've ever been involved in a better game in here where both teams played at such a high level. Both teams just went after it. We've had a lot of games that have been here that are great. There's never been one as good as this one.”
Duke On Historic Pace from Three-Point Range
Much has been made of the effectiveness of Syracuse’s zone defense this season – and for nearly two decades prior – but the Blue Devils weathered the 2-3 onslaught Saturday by hitting 15-of-36 (.417) three-pointers. Both the 15 made threes and the 36 attempts tied for the ninth-most in a single game in the Duke record books and added to a season-long three-point shooting performance that is among the best in school history. Thanks to sharpshooters Andre Dawkins (.472 – 51-of-108), Rodney Hood (.447 – 46-of-103), Rasheed Sulaimon (.479 – 23-of-48) and even Tyler Thornton (.567 – 17-of-30), Duke is shooting .414 from three-point range which ranks third on the school’s single-season list. That is elite company, considering that No. 1 on the list was the 1991-92 NCAA Championship team (.434 – 171-of-394) that featured Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley, and No. 2 was the 1982-83 team (.426 – 98-of-230) that played with a three-point line for the first time in ACC history and did so only in conference games.
Duke Grad Adam Silver Takes Over as NBA Commissioner
As if 15 former players as well as several executives, coaches and scouts on NBA payrolls wasn’t enough to give Duke a sound presence in the NBA, Duke alumnus Adam Silver was named the league’s fifth commissioner Saturday. Silver, who received his undergraduate degree from Duke in 1984 and his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1988, has been the NBA’s deputy commissioner since 2006. He joined the league as now-retired commission David Stern’s assistant in 1992 and, following Stern’s 2012 announcement of his impending retirement, was a unanimous selection by the league’s owners to follow in Sterns’ footsteps.
“It is a source of great satisfaction to me that the NBA will now be led by Commissioner Adam Silver, for whom I have tremendous admiration, respect and expectations as he and his experienced and dedicated team take the NBA to successes that were unimaginable even a short while ago,” Stern wrote Friday in a thank you email to media members.
Like Stern, Silver left the legal field to join the NBA. Originally Stern’s special assistant, he went on to become NBA Chief of Staff before running NBA Entertainment for about a decade before replacing Russ Granik as deputy commissioner in 2006.
Duke Basketball Radio Show Monday
Associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski dons the headset again tonight, Monday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m., for the Duke Basketball Radio Show broadcast live at the Washington-Duke Inn. The program, which airs on WDNC 620 AM, features in-depth analysis of Duke basketball and commentary on the college basketball landscape and other related topics by Wojo and co-host Art Chase, Assistant Director of Athletics/External Relations at Duke University. Tune in or visit the Washington-Duke Inn to watch the show live.
Banks Named ACC Tournament Legend
Former Duke All-American Gene Banks has seen his name tossed about regularly in the Duke game notes this season, but always in the context of his many freshman school records being broken by Jabari Parker. This past week, however, Banks got the spotlight to himself when the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that he would be one of 15 former players named to the 2014 ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Class. Banks, a member of the Blue Devils’ 1978 Final Four team and one of the most versatile players in league history, closed his Duke career with 2,079 points and 985 rebounds. He had 37 double-doubles over his four seasons in Durham along with 107 double-figure scoring games. The Philadelphia, Pa., native was a four-time All-ACC honoree and also nabbed All-America honors in 1981.
For more information about Banks' inclusion in the ACC Legends Class, check out the release:
Mason Plumlee Picked For Rising Stars Challenge, Miles Snubbed
Brooklyn Nets rookie Mason Plumlee will participate in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge, a game composed of the NBA’s rookies and sophomores as selected by the league’s assistant coaches. The game takes place Friday of NBA All-Star Weekend and is the same event that Cavaliers forward Kyrie Irving earned MVP honors in in 2012. Notably absent from this year’s Rising Stars Challenge, however, is Mason’s older brothers Miles, who in his second season has become a key starter for the Phoenix Suns averaging 9.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Despite the snub, Plumlee kept his focus on the big picture, saying, ““I personally thought I would have been in it. It’s just one steppingstone. There are bigger things out there to accomplish.”
Does the selection committee give Duke credit for being Duke? No. (The Post-Standard)
Hood serves up plate of patience (ESPN.com)
Singler helpful at turning tide (The Detroit News)
Duke, Syracuse start a new rivalry for the ages (ESPN.com)
Stat of the Week
Andre Dawkins scored 20 points in just 15 minutes of action in Duke's road win over Pittsburgh to become the first Blue Devils to average at least 1.3 points per minute played ( minimum 15 minutes played) in ACC play. It also marked the seventh time in school history a player has averaged 1.3 points per minute or better in a game.
Tweet of the Week
Seth Davis @SethDavisHoops
SB48's job today? Try to be half as entertaining as Duke-Syracuse. Good luck with that.
Quote of the Week
"Rivalry doesn't have to be hatred. A great rivalry is built on respect. A great rivalry is built on the respect of excellence of your opponent.” – Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski following Saturday’s 91-89 overtime loss at Syracuse