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Devils Roll Over Tech By 25

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If anyone predicted the following three things, we'll give you 100 dollars,
but you have to document it.

  1. Alvin Jones would outscore Jason Collier
  2. Shane Battier would lose his temper and be ready to slug Jones
  3. 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.  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).   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.  Duke came out with a lot more
passion.  Carrawell did a lot of the little things, Battier started
hitting,  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.  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).  After the UVa game, you'll remember, Dunleavy
asked Coach K if every game was like that.  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.  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.  They had to separate them.  Seeing that level of
passion from Battier was very cool.  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.  We measure him now by his recent play. At the beginning of the
year we would have been thrilled with 10/7.  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.  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.  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.   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.  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. 
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.  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
offensive boards...