| H-S | H-S
| Fox | Austin
| Washington Daily News
Sometimes in life you get a glimpse of things which are far beyond what you
can reasonably expect them to be. For us, once, it was a Junior Brown
concert, where we heard a guy do things to guitars that aren't supposed to be
possible, that are likely illegal in Alabama, Mississippi, and certain remote
parts of Montana. But they happen sometimes, and when they do, you should
be happy you are alive to see them. Take Duke's, and J.J. Redick's, performance
against Texas for instance.
What can you possibly say about what J.J. Redick did to Texas? Awesome. Okay.
Stunning? Sure. Phenomenal? Why not.
But a star turn like that goes beyond words, really. In the Duke pantheon, it
goes down beside some incredible performances. Off the tops of our heads,
we can think of Danny Ferry's 58 point game against Miami, Christian Laettner's
game-for-the-ages against Kentucky, Fred Lind's legendary game against UNC,
Shane Battier's performance in the 2001 title game, Jason Williams' almost
singlehandly lifting Duke past Maryland when they were 10 down and with less
than a minute to go.
Coach K said after the game that it was as good a performance as anyone has
ever had at Duke, and while we haven't seen them all, we're guessing that's
But it's not like it was a one-man show. If you take Redick's points
out of the total, Texas would still only have won by 10.
Of course, that's out of the "what-if-Eleanor-Roosevelt-could-fly"
school of thought.
But Duke certainly held its own with a great rebounding team, getting 29 to
26 for Texas, and grabbing 10 steals and getting 16 turnovers
Shelden Williams had a magnificent game, which was overshadowed by Redick's
brilliant performance, with 23 points, six boards, six blocks, and going 7-12
from the floor and 9-10 from the line. He played hardball against a very
physical front line, and at times looked as if he could shake the whole team off
to get the ball. He was even more powerful than usual.
In some ways, no one had a better game than Sean Dockery, who had seven
points, seven boards, two steals, and who also played sensational defense on
And the freshmen, Greg Paulus, Josh McRoberts, and Martynas Pocius, all
Paulus had a very steady game, and as he has several times this season, made
some remarkable passes for easy baskets. Shelden Williams must love having
him on the ball.
Josh McRoberts did some very impressive things too. Everyone will
remember the dunks, but what we noticed was rebounding and passing. There
were three in the first half that really impressed us.
The first was at the 17:50 mark, where he couldn't quite control the rebound,
so he just stuck his hand out and batted it over to (we think) Dockery.
At the 16:44 mark, he made a great outlet pass.
And at the15:33 mark, he rebounded and started the fast break himself.
He also defended well, though LaMarcus Aldridge got his. He is a really
talented player, though, and he will usually get his. But it wasn't like
he completely dominated the game.
At the end of the game, Billy Packer said the story of the game was that
Texas didn't play up to its potential, and he was no doubt thinking of P.J.
Tucker, who despite being a power player and physically superior to any of
Duke's defenders, didn't spend enough time down low to satisfy Packer. He was
also probably thinking of Daniel Gibson, who was hounded all afternoon by
Dockery and who didn't have a particularly explosive performance.
But the bottom line is Duke played harder. Duke worked harder on
defense, on rebounding, on screening for Redick, on chasing loose balls - pretty
much Duke outhustled Texas across the board.
Redick's performance was for the ages, and Williams was a rock, and Dockery
was relentless. But the story at the end of the day is that Duke played
extraordinarily hard, and with great passion and unity.