Roundball Notebook - February 4, 2013
DUKE WINS TWICE ON
While the 2011-12 Blue Devils were only the 13th team in ACC history to go undefeated on the road in league play, entering last week, this year's edition of the Blue Devils had yet to earn their first ACC road win. Duke had two opportunities to correct that anomaly and did so handily, defeating Wake Forest 75-70 and Florida State 79-60 on the road to improve to 6-2 in league play and 19-2 overall.
The Wake Forest game was a nail-biter with the score tied at 66-66 with under four minutes remaining, but Seth Curry locked up the narrow victory with some clutch shooting down the stretch. Despite missing his first five three-point attempts of the game, Curry came through when it counted by hitting a three-pointer with 3:01 remaining to put Duke ahead 69-66. The Blue Devils would never relinquish the lead. Mason Plumlee was nothing short of dominant in the win, scoring a career-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting while also chipping in nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals against a hungry Wake Forest team that had defeated No. 14 N.C. State at home just eight days prior to hosting Duke.
The Blue Devils carried that momentum into the Florida State game and jumped out to an early 18-2 lead thanks to the hot hands of Curry, Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon who combined for 30 first-half points and 12-of-21 (.571) shooting from the floor. Curry poured in 13 in the first half by himself, sinking three three-pointers on the way to 21 points and five three-pointers for the game. Duke would go on to shoot 11-of-18 (.611) from three-point range with Curry (5-of-7), Cook (4-of-6) and Sulaimon (2-of-4) all shooting 50.0 percent or better.
DUKE WINS CLOSE
While the win over Wake Forest, winning close games is becoming a habit for Duke this season. In games that are within one possession (three points) in the final three minutes of play, the Blue Devils are 4-0 on the year. In addition to Wake Forest, Duke has taken No. 2 Louisville, No. 3 Kentucky and No. 4 Ohio State to the wire this season and pulled out victories. Three of those four victories came on the road.
PLUMLEE HAVE BIG WEEK
Few teams in the country would have had an answer for Duke's inside-outside duo of Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee last week, as the senior tandem combined to average 41.0 points per game and led Duke to back-to-back road wins over Wake Forest and Florida State. Curry scored 21 points in both contests while Plumlee exploded for a career-high 32 points against Wake Forest. Plumlee absolutely controlled the paint against the Demon Deacons, finishing 12-of-15 from the field with nine rebounds and a pair of blocks. Curry responded with his own sharp-shooting against Florida State, finishing 5-of-7 from three-point range and 7-of-11 from the field. On the season, Curry and Plumlee combine to average 33.9 points per game which is the second highest scoring average by two ACC players this season. Only Virginia Tech's Erick Green and Jarrell Eddie, who combine to average 39.4 points per game, are more productive on the offensive end of the floor.
PLUMLEE UP FOR
OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY
Mason Plumlee's case for national player of the year honors got a bit stronger when the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association (USBWA) selected him as one of 12 players on the Oscar Robertson Trophy National Player of the Year Midseason Watch List last Thursday. The announcement came one day after Plumlee exploded for 32 points at Wake Forest although his season resume stacks up with anyone in the country. Seven Duke players have won the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the most recent of which was J.J. Redick who shared the award with former Gonzaga standout Adam Morrison in 2006.
ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT III FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
For the second straight year, senior Mason Plumlee was named to the Capital One Academic All-District III Team. Plumlee, who received Academic All-America first team honors last season, owns a 3.36 grade point average as a psychology major while also receiving national player of the year consideration from several major outlets, including the Wooden Award and Oscar Robertson Trophy. Plumlee is only the fourth Duke player to receive Academic All-America first team honors and is now eligible to become the first Blue Devil since Shane Battier in 2000 and 2001 to earn that distinction twice.
REMATCH WITH N.C.
STATE ON THE HORIZON
A rematch between the ACC's two preseason favorites is slated for this Thursday as Duke hosts N.C. State in Cameron Indoor Stadium at 9 p.m. The Blue Devils will get a shot to avenge the 84-76 loss the Wolfpack handed them on Jan. 12 at PNC Arena when Duke - playing without Ryan Kelly for the first time all season - allowed N.C. State five double-figure scorers. Duke will still be without Kelly, though freshman Amile Jefferson has emerged in his absence with three double-figure scoring games in Duke's last four outings. The ACC Network will air the game on select stations across the country. Check your local listings for providers.
LANGDON AN ACC
ne of the greatest shooters in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Trajan Langdon, will be honored by the ACC at this year's conference tournament as one of 13 members of the 2013 ACC Men's Basketball Legends Class. Langdon, one of six Duke players to earn first team All-ACC honors three times, closed his career with 1,974 points, 342 three-point field goals and a .862 free throw percentage. He garnered All-America honors in 1998 and 1999 while guiding Duke to a 69-6 record (31-1 in ACC regular season) in those two seasons. The Legends will be honored at this year's ACC's Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., March 14-17. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March 16, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, and, later that day, will be introduced to the Greensboro Coliseum crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC website at theACC.com.
Blue Devils show
support for Eagles (Durham Herald-Sun)
commissioner reflects on time at Duke (GoDuke.com)
Duke misses Ryan
Kelly's defense most (ESPN.com)
'first option' for Duke (Durham Herald-Sun)
penning success story in NBA (ProjectSpurs.com)
When Grant Hill and FILA ruled the world (KicksOnFire.com
STAT OF THE WEEK
The NBA's top four scorers in the fourth quarter this season are Kevin Durant (8.8 points in 9.7 minutes), Kobe Bryant (8.0 points in 8.7 minutes), Carmelo Anthony (7.3 points in 9.3 minutes) and Kyrie Irving (6.8 points in 7.3 minutes).
-Credit Zach Harper, CBSSports.com
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
Duke's win was largest by an ACC team on road this season #dukefacts
Big win for @CoachPDuke and @Duke_WBB today!! Loved seeing the 3s raining down! Congrats!!
"The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem." Captain Jack Sparrow
Matthew Crisp @derae14lynn
no better way to spend a snow day in KY than to build a Duke snowman pic.twitter.com/gA5qcU47
grant hill @realgranthill33
Watch Wheel of Fortune this week if you want to see me having fun on set with Pat and Vanna! #WheelNBA. pic.twitter.com/dLFvDSCE
Great day at the White House to honor the Champs. What do you think, Battier 2032? http://yfrog.com/ockcykij