H-S | Notes
Duke defeated UNCG by 30, but not without a scare: Shelden Williams
rolled an ankle near the end of the first half and was in obvious pain.
Fortunately, he came out for the second half and continued to play, so we're
assuming it wasn't serious.
Particularly in the first half, Duke (12-0) played an aggressive game,
pressing the Spartans intensely. For part of the first half, they at times
seemed panicked, and there were several near-turnovers that Duke almost had.
Duke didn't fully take advantage of it, though, missing a few opportunities
to put the game out of reach in the opening minutes, but it ultimately didn't
matter. There was just too much Duke, and too much talent, for UNCG to keep up,
although they played hard and hung in there until J.J. Redick basically shot
them out of the Coliseum in the second half.
It was another tremendous performance from Redick (35 points on 10-16
shooting), and another double-double from Shelden Williams 21/12 with six steals
), who really is a rock for Duke. One of the unfortunate things about J.J.
Redick being on your team is that he tends to overshadow teammates
somewhat. But there should be no illusions: Williams is just as
critical to Duke, if not more so, than Redick. He rebounds, he defends, he
scores - for whatever reason, it's almost as if he's taken for granted at
times. It's ludicrous, but he's probably under appreciated.
For Duke, it was encouraging to see Josh McRoberts playing so well. He
scored at will, and he also moved fluidly within the offense. He still has
a lot of work to do offensively - his scoring is mostly still either dunks or
jump hooks - but his athleticism is coming to the fore. He ended up with 15 on
6-8 shooting and 3-3 from the line, with six boards.
It's striking to see him when he is confident and aggressive, and how easily
some parts of the game come to him. You don't see 6-11 guys running that
well very often, and certainly you don't see them handling the ball on the break
very much. But clearly he can do it.
Martynas Pocius also had a solid offensive game, adding 10 points in 20
minute, both career highs.
Greg Paulus had a bit of a wash offensively with four assists and four
Sean Dockery had a quiet game offensively, but he put tremendous ball pressure
on the Spartans and was directly or indirectly responsible for a number of
For Greensboro, Ricky Hickman was pretty impressive. He scored 15 of
UNCG's last 19 first half points and ended up with 18 in the half. He
finished with 23.
For the most part, it was a solid game for Duke. There are areas to
work on - intensity flagged at times, Duke made some poor decisions at points in
the game and gave up too many points to an inferior team - but for a
post-Christmas game, games which are often ragged affairs, the Devils did pretty
well, all things considered, and they saw more zone than they've seen so far
this year, and handled it very well. Needless to say, Redick is likely
happy to see a zone defense after the WWF holds he sees in most games.
Duke let Greensboro shoot 46.3%, which is probably going to be discussed
between now and Bucknell.
If McRoberts and Pocius can step up, and Dockery can continue his recent fine
play, Duke will have that much more to throw at people offensively.
Now on to Bucknell, a team which has come to define dangerous recently.
A team on Duke's level can afford to play somewhat lackadaisically against UNCG.
Try it against Bucknell, with the student body at less than full strength, and
you're playing with fire.