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Duke beats London & Brighton To Wrap Up BritishTour

Duke closed out the London Trip with two wins, beating the London Towers and the Brighton Bears. Here are some links, and Deslok's notes as well

H-S | London Towers
| Chron
| Chron | Katz | Katz

I wasn't able to see the early game vs Brighton due to work, but apparently it was quite a game, with Duke down 18 or so in the 3rd quarter before
rallying to win it. A couple of folks were most impressed by Daniel Ewing's performance in the game. One thing I'm not sure of (and hopefully Andy Katz
or someone will give a reason) but Shavlik and Nick both sat out the evening game. Neither looked like they had been injured significantly, as both were
walking comfortably around during warmups. But neither participated actively. But on to the game itself.

Without Nick or Shav, we started the twin towers today, Michael and Casey. And Michael made his presence felt in a hurry, scoring on a spectacular quick
alley oop from Dockery right off the get go. He wasn't done there, as he scored 7 of Duke's first 12 points on some post moves, feeds from the guards,
offensive rebounds, and a trip to the line. After the first 6 or so minutes, he had a fairly quiet, but solid game. That seemed to set the tone for how
Duke played tonight. It seemed each player had his 5 minutes in the spotlight, stepping up to hit big shots before settling back and letting someone
else take charge. I have no box score, but if I were to guess I'd say our lowest scorer(Lee) probably had 5 pts, and our highest scorer(no idea... Duhon
maybe?) had perhaps 15. It was a very balanced effort all around. After Michael's initial flurry, Dahntay picked up a pair of early fouls which gave
cause for concern for Duke. But Duhon stepped up with a couple of treys and a couple of nice passes as Duke established a 5-10 pt lead which it would
hold throughout the game. Dockery also contributed a couple of nice buckets - one aspect I really like of his game, the ability to drive and hit the
running shot from 5-8 feet out, before he runs either into big men to block it, or waiting defenders to take the charge. He also had another really nice
alley oop, this time to Sanders for a crowd raising slam.

The second half things got scrappier and a bit sloppier. Ewing was very effective slashing to the basket, and Duke started to stretch its lead a bit.
About halfway through the 3rd quarter though, the Duke offense seemed to stall a bit, and London got ideas about closing the gap. And then the Shelden
Williams show started. For 5 minutes or so, every ball was his. I won't say it was pretty, or a clinic on how to get the job done. But it was all
about intensity and effort. Getting the ball in the low blocks and forcing his way to the basket. If others took an open shot and missed, pouncing on
the offensive glass. If he could have finished a few more times, the results would have been spectacular(or, ahem, if his FT shooting improved a bit, as
he was I believe 4 of 8 from the line during that stretch). But during that stretch, the fans in attendance got a glimpse of what Shelden can be.
With both teams tiring, Duke played smart and hard to hold onto the lead, including using some interesting alignments on defense(during one stretch, Lee
Melchionni, perhaps 6'7" was guarding the opposing center Robbins, a 7 footer, but it worked). Timely shooting by Ewing, Duhon, and Redick kept the
Devils in front and the lead never got under 5. One final note, with the game in hand, and just under a minute remaining, Duke went into stall ball
offense. Only they held it a bit too long, and the ball came out to Redick well beyond the 3 pt line with only about 3 on the shot clock. Now he could
have dashed in and fired up a runner from 19 or so feet. Nah, that's not JJ... 30 feet away... nothing but net. The crowd went nuts, and even Chris
Collins gave JJ a big high 5 as the team went back on D.

It was a fun game to watch, even if at times it was definitely a labor for the players(part of the reason players seemed to go off for 5 minute stretches
may have been that's about all they could manage for big bursts of energy). With 6 freshmen, I don't expect it to be a smooth ride for Duke this year,
but it should be a fun one, and all of the players showed why Duke won't be playing 6 guys this year, but will be a very deep and talented team.