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Duke 82 Pacific 69

The first half of the Duke-Pacific game proved to be somewhat tougher than
expected, as Pacific came out full of fire and confidence, and led Duke for a
good bit of the half.

Just a guess, but it looks to us like Duke is still trying to sort out roles
and develop leaders. Duhon is vastly improved as a leader, and Redick seems
ready to step up, but the next logical leaders are Deng and Ewing. Ewing
has always been a lead-by-example kind of guy, and Deng is a freshman and is
just establishing himself. He has gotten a lot of hype - and he's a great
player - but he's not a fully-formed leader after two games.

on the photo for the larger version, which is very, very cool

Inside, Deng has often been Duke's best player, which is good and bad.
Good because he's effective; bad because he' s so versatile and when Williams
and Randolph are effective, Deng's dramatically more useful.

So how did Pacific play so effectively? Surprisingly, it wasn't a European
style of play - they have a lot of foreign players - but it was solid defense,
rebounding, and inside basketball. Most intenational teams love the 3, but
Pacific didn't hit one until quite late in the first half. And they might
have had a slight advantage with the lane since they are accustomed to the
trapezoid lane which is being used in some tournaments

Duke started to play better when they asserted themselves. In a running game,
they have a real advantage.

In the second half, the Devils came out with a lot more intensity and started
to pull away from Pacific, building as much as a 22 point lead. However, Pacific
battled back with a 23-9 run that must have dismayed Coach K. They
actually got within 8 before two key threes, one by Ewing and one by Deng, put
the game basically out of reach.

Though the main concern will likley be Duke's letting Pacific back in the
game, there were some significant positives. First of all, the
dramatically improved play of Shavlik Randolph. Randolph played excellent
defense, and was pretty powerful on offense as well. At times, he looked
as if he could fit on any Duke feam from 1986 onward. He is improving by
leaps and bounds.

Secondly, despite playing a highly physical opponent, Duke didn't back
down. And third, even though losing the lead was distinctly not positive,
after a timeout, Duke played lockdown defense and recovered from the loss of
intensity which resulted in Pacific's comeback.

Duke was led by Daniel Ewing and Luol Deng, both with 20, and Deng added 10

Next up - Liberty.