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Duke Crushes Seton Hall 93-40

N&O | N-R |
| H-S | H-S
| Boxscore | Notes
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What a difference a couple of days makes: after what a lot of people perceived
as a poor performance against Boston University, Duke played a suffocating
defense and shot the ball extremely well, and pretty much crushed Seton Hall,
93-40. It wasn't really that close, either.

In the first half, Seton Hall went up 2-0, but after that, Duke scored 16
straight before Seton Hall could score again (on free throws), and then scored
another 11 in a row before Seton Hall could score again to make it 27-5.
The Pirates didn't hit double figures until 3:25 left in the half, and by that
time, any question of competing with Duke was basically over. Duke took a 44-13
lead into the locker room at the half, limiting Seton Hall to 12.9% from the
field, while shooting 59.3% themselves.

In the second half, Seton Hall scored more, but Duke went from 59.3% to
67.9%, and outrebounded Seton Hall 41-27.

And yet despite being completely outmatched, Seton Hall did some things very
well. They only had seventeen turnovers to Duke's fourteen, and they
showed poise under immense pressure. It must have been very difficult to
lose so completely, but we only saw one time where any of their players showed
frustration, and that was when a player bounced the ball hard after being called
for a foul late in the game.

Moreover, they kept working hard even though the margin kept growing, and
that's to the credit of coach Louis Orr, who is under a fair amount of pressure
this season.

For Duke, the experienced players did pretty much what one might hope.
J.J. Redick played a very smart game, and showed some nice passes. He
scored 18 on 6-11 shooting.

Shelden Williams, who is playing his way back into full condition after a
summer foot injury, showed us a few things. He has always been strong, a
tremendous rebounder and shotblocker. Now he has become much more
explosive. There were a couple of occasions where he startled us with his
ferocity. He seems much more powerful, and, we would imagine, more
intimidating. Williams ended up with 16 points and eight boards.

Josh McRoberts continues to adjust to the college game, and his stat lines
haven't been overwhelming, other than his 10 boards against B.U. But he
made a nifty drive to the basket and dropped a couple of beautiful passes inside
to Shelden Williams, and kicked a couple out very quickly as well.

Greg Paulus got the nod over DeMarcus Nelson, and got 26 minutes in his first
career start. Paulus broke even on assists and turnovers, with four of
each, but he scored 12 points on 4-4 from the floor and 2-2 from the line.
He had a couple of the passes he'll become known for as well. Most
impressively, he had five boards.

Nelson almost matched his stat line exactly, hitting two more shots (and also
not missing) and having exactly the same rebounding totals Paulus had. He
played a much smarter offensive game this time out.

Dockery had seven assists, four boards, and two steals for a solid game.

Lee Melchionni had a quiet game, relatively speaking, but in a lot of ways,
after about 15 minutes, it was clear that this game had become about getting the
freshmen some time.

All of them showed something.

Eric Boateng got 13 minutes and had six points and five boards. He's
going to improve rapidly - he's more naturally agile than Williams, and his
frame can carry a lot more weight. He had one particularly nifty reverse
layup which we didn't expect to see.

It was a bit of a theme, because Martynas Pocius had a bit of hocus-pocius as
well, with his own reverse layup on a fast break. We've seen him a bit now
and he really can get off the floor. Like Boateng, he needs to get
stronger, but also like Boateng, he has a lot of raw ability. He is also a
very clever passer, which we had not seen so much before.

Jamal Boykin got some minutes too, eight to be exact. He's got a ways
to go offensively, but defensively he is pretty good, and he really busts his
butt. He's quickly becoming a crowd favorite.

After the last game, we suggested a bit of a reality check, because while it
wasn't an awe-inspiring performance, the defense was really good. Tonight
the defense was even better - 12.9% from a half? Get real.

But it's worth pointing out that Seton Hall, though they have a stout heart,
are not exactly the beasts of the Big East, old or new. Their big men are
not very mobile or skilled, and their guards, while competent, don't inspire
much fear.

No matter how you look at it, though, the fact is that Duke took a Big East
team and completely dismantled it. It's not like they are playing in the
Big South. These guys are (or should be) used to playing at a high

So from here, Duke takes on Davidson in an NIT breather Saturday, then heads
for New York.