While it was a long way from a perfect game, Duke's performance against Princeton was a vast improvement over what we saw against Cal Poly Pomona.Â Take two statistical snapshots:Â first, Princeton had 27 turnovers.Â And second, Duke's backcourt reserves of Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry scored 27 points.
The starters, Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving, tossed in 22 and 17.Â So Duke's backcourt racked up 66 points. That's not too shabby.
Needless to say, Kyle Singler was productive, hitting 7-10 on his way to a 16 point night.
If there was a weak link, it was the performance of the Plumlees.Â Although Miles had a couple of nifty moves under the basket, he finished with just two points and two boards.Â For his part, although brother Mason had a short dominant stretch in the second half, he too was less than overwhelming, finishing with five points, four boards, four assists and two blocks.
Duke dominated the opening of the game, yet couldn't pull away.Â And during the first half, after initially completely losing their composure in the face of Duke's pressure, Princeton pulled back to within five.
At the half, Duke held a 14 point lead, but despite flashes, they clearly they weren't at the top of their game.Â They were closer in the second half.
Aside from an oppressive defense, Duke went from a first-half shooting performance of 45.7% to 66.7% in the second.Â In the first half, Duke was an impressive 40% from behind the line; in the second, that shot up to 72.7%, which is just ridiculous.
The worst three point shooter on the night was Nolan Smith, and he hit 40%.Â As Rick Pitino pointed out at the dawn of the htree point era, 33% is equal to 50% from two point range.Â If Duke keeps this up, they'll be impossible.
Some special acknowledgement should go to Dawkins, who played very well indeed.Â Last year at times he looked lost; against Princeton he was poised and tough.Â Very solid performance.Â Also, it was good to see Curry's first eruption.Â Fourteen points in 24 minutes was excellent.
And while Princeton's style occasionally made it tough for Irving to do the things he likes to do, he nonetheless disrupted their offense with two steals, some tipped and deflected balls, and one spectacular open-court block.Â And nine assists in your first outing is very impressive.
When we first got to our seats, the scoreboard showed almost every student with a Viking hat on.Â As it turned out, it was a fitting memorial for the late Drew Everson, who was a passionate fan.Â They also turned into a handy receptacle when the Candy Man, who sits opposite the scorer's table, began tossing candy to the Crazies.Â It was, all around, a nice touch, and touching as well. Nicely done, Crazies.
|Current DBR Auction!|
|The DBR App!|
|The Next Step For DBR|
|DBR Is On Twitter!(DBRTweetz)|