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Redick Leads Duke Past Hoosiers, 75-67

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If anyone else was wondering if Indiana's soft early schedule would leave
them unready to play a team like Duke, that was laid to rest Wednesday
night. Indiana is ready to play almost anyone, anywhere, and Marco
Killingsworth is a real load.

Duke had to choose between trying to attack Indiana's prolific three point
shooting or shutting down (or trying to shut down) Killingsworth inside, and
considering how well IU has shot the ball from outside, it was probably a wise
decision. And surely Duke figured that Shelden Williams could defend
Killingsworth better than he was defended.

If you didn't see it, he was sensational. Not only did he have his way
inside, Killingsworth also passed beautifully and even hit a three point jumper,
one of only two IU hit, his coming as a trailer on a fast break. He also
grabbed 10 boards. I was somewhat reminiscent of a few great performances
against Duke in the past - Len Bias and Sam Clancy spring to mind, and we think
Rodney Rogers had a game like that in Cameron one year.

He's agile and quick and very thick. If he was 6-10, he could be the
first player picked next year. He's a little short to be a power player in the
NBA, but he's tremendous.

Still, Duke made the right decision to not focus on him.

Indiana hit 28 threes in the previous two games, 14 in each, for 42

They hit 2 in this game for six.

Indiana is in an enviable situation overall if they can continue to get
threes, because that will make it impossible to double Killingsworth.

And Mike Davis was right, his team passes very well, even if they didn't get
so many assists this time out.

Duke started the game brilliantly, with an offensive explosion that was
beautiful to watch.

But IU, behind Killingsworth fought back into it.

Duke, as usual, relied heavily on J.J. Redick, who had a tremendous
game. He scored 29 points and also had a number of drives and assists and
all around smart plays. His shot will always be something people marvel
at, but the guy has made himself into a real ballplayer, one with multiple
skills. Every so often a guy comes through Duke and you wonder how they'll
ever be able to get along without him. Dawkins, Laettner, Hill, Brand,
Battier - it always seems those guys do too much to be replaced. Redick
has moved into that category now. He's willed himself into being a great
basketball player.

Shelden Williams looked outclassed by Killingsworth, and he was, but he still
ended up with a double-double and six blocked shots, and a number of key plays
down the stretch when Indiana seemed like they might just win after all,
including three baskets when the game was very tight and a key rebound.

Duke also got key contributions from Sean Dockery, Greg Paulus, and Lee

Melchionni grabbed three critical defensive rebounds, the first when Duke was
down 60-61, the second when Duke was up 62-61, and the third when Duke led
67-63. He shot well, too, going 5-8 from the floor.

Dockery got an important rebound and two steals in the last 1:26, although
one steal was a wash since he couldn't control it in time to call a time out.

And while Paulus is learning every game now how different, how more demanding
college basketball is, there's no questioning his passing eye, even when he has
too many turnovers. He also tried to take the ball to the hoop a lot more
than he has and to in general be more aggressive. Until he gets more
experience, turnovers will be the tradeoff.

Also on Wednesday, he was The Kid, and put on the spot, which in basketball
means on the line, to prove that he belonged. He missed his first free
throw attempt, but made his next four, all of which were critical.

Duke had far too many turnovers, with 19, but survived. This team is
getting pretty good at that. They seem to find a way to get over most

Next up for the Devils is Virginia Tech and Pennsylvania at home, and then
Texas in the Meadowlands in what will be a defining moment for one team or the
other. But there's lots between now and then!