Since some people can't access directories named games from their work accounts, we are crossposting game reports on the main page. This is the same story (including Hit Man's excellent account) as posted in the Games Past section.
| N&R |
| K Quotes | Cremins
If anyone predicted the following three things, we'll give you 100 dollars,
but you have to document it.
- Alvin Jones would outscore Jason Collier
- Shane Battier would lose his temper and be ready to get slugged
- Jesse Helms would get his hair mussed by the Blue Devil
Seems like a safe bet, and the odd trio is indicative of a somewhat odd
In the first half, Tech did a great job of forcing their advantage, i.e.,
height.Â There were stretches where Collier and Jones had an easy time of
it, frankly, and any time Alvin Jones goes off offensively, you know that there
are problems. They did a great job of that early on, and Duke didn't respond on
defense very effectively for a time - and also shot poorly for the first half
and a good bit of the second as well (.438 for the game).Â Â It was a
bit of a surprise that the Devils had a 5 point lead in some ways, because Tech
played, we thought, a very fine first half.
The second half was a different story.Â Duke came out with a lot more
passion.Â Carrawell did a lot of the little things, Battier started
hitting,Â James started scrambling, Williams upped his game, if not his
shooting, Dunleavy came off the bench and played superbly - as we said a very
different story. Duke pushed the lead out to double figures, then to 20 points,
then to 25.Â Tech was long since done.
To us this was a key game, because it would have been easy for a young team
to rest on their laurels, to be complacent after two major road victories
(Virginia and Maryland).Â After the UVa game, you'll remember, Dunleavy
asked Coach K if every game was like that.Â Coach K basically told him to
get used to it, but it would have been easy to see this team slack off a bit,
figuring they had accomplished something already, which, of course, they really
haven't.Â But they are 3-0, and no one else is, though in a bit of a shock,
FSU is in second place. Huh? Wow, you have to love the ACC!
Let's look at the players a bit.
We had to say, we liked seeing Shane get mad. You would too if Alvin Jones
rolled on your head.Â They had to separate them.Â Seeing that level of
passion from Battier was very cool.Â Though he started cold, he got hot in
the second half, and aggressive, and did a creditable job guarding guys who were
4-5 inches taller and much heavier as well.
Carrawell didn't have a flashy game tonight, and like most everyone else,
shot poorly, but he did have 12 points, 8 boards, an assist and a block. Not his
best night, but he got key boards at key times and was, as he often is, a big
part of the team's backbone.
James had solid stats,shooting 5-8, getting 13 points, 3 boards, and 2
steals. He also put a couple of moves on Tech's big guys which were fun to see.
Boozer had solid, if unexceptional numbers, hitting 4-7 for 10 points and 7
boards.Â We measure him now by his recent play. At the beginning of the
year we would have been thrilled with 10/7.Â Actually, considering the size
of the opposition, we still are. And he hit his first outside shot today (from
around the foul line).
Williams. Jason had a rough shooting night. Big whoop. He had a 4-1 A/TO
ration (8 assists and 2 turnovers). He had 10 points and 3 boards. More
importantly, particularly in the second half, he got his groove back and started
playing with the excitement of a kid who has only fairly recently figured out he
could be really good.Â He put on some serious ball pressure, and put a move
on Ford in the lane that no doubt infuriated the big man (he had him up in the
air and then passed the ball out - Jones looked pretty silly).
Dunleavy.Â Mike had another one of those games where his influence on
the game was pretty significant, more so than his stats would indicate, and
those weren't bad: 13 points, 7 boards, 2 steals.Â Â What blows us away
is how he can be on one end and make just the right pass, go down, get the ball
back, come back up and put it where it needs to be.Â He had that game
against USC which we thought was just huge, then was solid in his first two ACC
debuts, particularly UVa, and follows up with this. Next fall everyone will be
saying Duke can't replace Carrawell, and in one sense that is very true.Â
But in another sense, Carrawell's replacement is ready to go.
Next up for Duke - a trip to Tally to take on #2 FSU. Sounds easy, but a) FSU
is very well coached, b) like everyone else, they want to pay us back for last
season, and c) it's the ACC.Â Who knows?
Notes - Watching Battier get angry was a strange experience...scratch Shaolin,
can we rent Rambo? ...though it was erratic this time, the passing on this team
continues to impress....this was Duke's 43 straight home win and the ACC streak
continues as well...Maryland, Tech and Clemson have yet to win in
conference...everyone who saw Jesse Helms commented on his health, so for those
of you who don't like him, have no fear, he can't possibly run again...he is a
frail old man in every meaningful sense...the Devils got walloped on the
The first half of tonight's game was a bit lackluster, from many
perspectives. The game seesawed back and forth, without any real impressive
runs or plays by either team. The crowd too, while packed to the brim (all
1200 bracelets were given out for tonight's game) was a bit on the quiet
side. By Cameron standards, that is. They did greet Jason Collier with
thousands of paper snakes and hisses during introductions, playing off of
his admitted fear of snakes. Casey Sanders was put into the game around the
midpoint of the half, and promptly cost us two defensive rebounds, at which
point he was pulled from the game. He did not get any more action until
garbage time, which is too bad, because you can see the excitement in his
eyes when he is on the floor. His shortcomings are certainly not due to a
lack of effort, and I am looking forward to seeing him play more in the
future. We shot a bit too many three pointers again in the first half, and
at times Alvin Jones had a clear advantage over Boozer on the inside. To
his credit, Boozer did not pick up too many fouls (only two in the first
half), but he was simply overmatched for most of the half - only six points
from our center.
The second half, however, was an entirely different story. It was as
if we brought out a completely new team from the locker room. Duke quickly
extended the lead to seven, and following a short run by Georgia Tech, they
really took the game over. The dominance began with the play of Nate James,
diving over the scorer's table to chase a loose ball. As he got up, he
pumped his fists in the air, and the crowd responded raucously. This was
then followed by a strong block by Battier, and you could feel the momentum
building. A few plays later, Battier was absolutely assaulted by Alvin
Jones on the defensive end, as he kind of jump-tackled him from behind. The
look that Battier shot Jones on the way up was one of pure anger. I've
never seen such a look of disdain and ire on his face before, but it really
fired up the crowd and the team, and Shane played like a man possessed for
the rest of the game. A few minutes later he had a huge two-handed
put-back dunk. Alvin Jones forgot to block him out on this play, and
Battier really let him know about it on the way down, screaming with his
mouth wide open. Later in the half Shane would hit back-to-back threes from
the top of the key. The second put us up by twenty, and was the nail in the
coffin for Georgia Tech. Even Coach K showed some genuine excitement,
jumping off the bench and cheering during the ensuing time-out.
I also have to mention the play of Mike Dunleavy, who took over the game
for a few minutes in the second half, beginning with a beautiful drive
through the lane for a lay-up. He then found himself guarding Alvin Jones
in the post, and instead of trying to block the big man, he smartly waited
for him to bring the ball down low and slapped it right out of his hands.
He followed up with a three pointer on the other end, really an excellent
sequence of basketball. He was also extremely solid from the line tonight.
Jason Williams played a much smarter second half as well, driving strong
when the lane was open, and doing a great job of protecting the basketball.
In fact, the team as a whole did a much better job of taking care of the
ball than we did against Maryland.
With about three minutes left, Georgia Tech all but gave up, and we
ended the game with a twenty-five point lead. As the clock dwindled down,
the crowd ended with a strong chorus of "Our House", "Our House". And it
was, for the forty-third time in a row.