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Duke Skins ASU, Sendek, 64-53

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Playing a Herb Sendek coached team means a couple of things, and primary among these realities is that you probably won't move very fast and you won't score a lot. Doesn't mean you won't win, but you may feel like you just left the dentist's office.

UConn Will Face Duke in the N.I.T. Final

For Duke and ACC fans, the basic game plan is familiar: spread the court, move the ball, balance things between the backdoor and the three point shot. That's a cartoon version, but there's a lot of truth in it.

Sendek has tweaked the formula somewhat by adding in a matchup zone, but otherwise, it's all familiar.

And truth be told, his ASU team runs it better than State ever did.

For almost 30 minutes, the game stayed tight as the Sun Devils, behind the leadership and play of Derek Glasser, executed their game plan with great efficiency. After Kyle Singler broke a 43-43 tie, things changed, though.

Duke began to attack, and as the attack intensified, ASU withered. This was most typified by Eric Boateng: if the former Duke player wanted to make a statement, he made one, but not the one he wanted. Here are some of his second half-contributions via ESPN's play-by-play feature:

  • 12:37 - missed a jumper
  • 11:55 - Foul on Boateng
  • 11:30: Boateng Turnover
  • 6:21: Boateng turnover
  • 5:43 Boateng turnover

Boateng ended up with nine turnovers, four points and four boards.

His point guard, Derek Glasser was impressive and showed a real instinct for making big plays. Rihards Kuksiks was an impressive shooter and both Trent Lockett and Jamelle McMillan were solid.

For Duke, Singler was frustrated early, but finished with 13 points, five boards and three assists. Nolan Smith got 14 and an assist, while backcourt mate Jon Scheyer got 14 points, six assists and his first two turnovers of the season.

Duke's size was a disadvantage for a good bit of the game before they went small. Brian Zoubek fouled out and Miles Plumlee finished with four fouls of his own.

The bright side of that is this: he had foul trouble and made it through anyway. Last season that wouldn't have happened.

Andre Dawkins came off the bench and scored eight points. Ryan Kelly played five minutes to little effect.

It wasn't a great game for Duke, but when crunch time arrived, they knew what to do.

For their troubles they get UConn in the title game, a team Duke has had trouble with of late. UConn had little trouble with LSU, dispatching the Tigers 81-55. Duke is currently rated higher, but UConn is going to be very tough.

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