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Duke Takes Out Wake, Goes To 18-1

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Wake started this game playing like they believed they could win, despite
missing Josh Howard with the flu, and in fact
jumped out to a 7-2 lead before Duke really counterpunched. Showing superb ball
movement early, and solid marksmanship inside and out, Wake gave Duke the
willies for a good bit of the first half.  During this stretch, our
impression was they were controlling the boards and playing defense pretty much
as well as Duke was.

As a matter of fact, they really did a number on Boozer, holding him to 4
points on 8 shots - not the type of numbers he typically puts up. They did a
nice job of controlling the inside, and in the beginning, Duke wasn't really
hitting much from outside. Then they started to. And the defense picked up

For part of this game, Williams put on ball pressure as well as we can
remember seeing it.  Of course Hurley is the standard for that at Duke, and
we'd say Williams is getting to that level, and quickly. At one point, he was so
close to Hicks you'd swear he would bump into him and they'd both fall
down.  But he shadowed him without touching, and put enormous pressure on
the ball.  And every time Wake closed, Jason slammed the door shut on the
other end.

Hicks, we should say, had an excellent game. One of those kids you pull for,
he is an excellent student and a good ballplayer. He had a rough freshman year
at Wake, so we're pleased to see him coming along so well.

As we said, Duke started kind of roughly. Dunleavy was erratic early, and
after the game he admitted that lately he had been playing passively. He
addressed that today, putting a lot of pressure on the defense, shooting,
passing, driving, rebounding.  He had one play where he almost stole the
ball, it got away from him, and then he stole it back again.  He had a pass
to Matt Christensen for a running slam that will be on Matt's senior
video.  All in all, after a slow start, a super game for Dunleavy.

Nate James though continues to struggle.  He had a Moses Malone line - 4
rebounds, 4 points, four fouls. Four, four, four, as Moses said of the playoffs
one year (he was almost right)

Well, not quite up to Moses standards, but not up to Nate's, either.

Battier continued to concentrate on the drive, adding that to his
repertoire.  It's not a natural skill for him, but he's obviously been
diligent about refining it, and lately has been much more willing to take it to
the hole.  As always, he played solid defense, stripping one Wake player
right under the basket - from about two feet away.

Williams continues to shine, despite a sprained foot which was reported on
the internet as a stress fracture somehow.  He had a little more trouble
going up the middle, perhaps because of his foot, but not much, and his outside
shooting was excellent.

We have to say, we were impressed with Wake. They reminded us to an extent of
B.C., in that they are physical and tenacious, but not as small as B.C.  As
we said, the ball movement at times was brilliant, and Shoemaker has improved

Nonetheless, with this Wake team, confidence seems to be the key, and it's
probably slipping somewhat now.  Duke hit them with a couple of good runs,
and they stiffened but never came fully back.  They probably could have,
particularly with such solid passing and outside shooting, but you could see
that three or four times, Duke just staggered them and they fought back, but not
all the way back.

Nonetheless, this is a quality team, and the rematch in Winston is going to
be a monster - and needless to say, Josh Howard will almost certainly play.

Notes - what happened to the points of emphasis? in recent days, the
physicality has increased rather than decreased....either use it or junk the first half, the crowd singled out O' Kelley and seemed to get to
him with that O! cheer.  He seemed rattled, ran into a crowd, and missed
free throws....what happened to him? he was going to be the next star at
Wake....Bob Harris was back on the radio...welcome back, Bob! ...Dave Odom got a
T and just absolutely exploded....we were positive he was going to get a second
one....nope....Reggie Love had another cool dunk at the end of the game, which
showed his tremendous athletic talent....perhaps the play of the game, aside
from the Christensen dunk, was the alley-oop between Duhon and Williams...we
were behind Duhon and saw the angle develop and knew he was going to go for
it...what a pass...also in this game there were more players knocked down after
shots, and no fouls called, than we can ever remember....