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Duke Rolls Miami Like A Cheap Tampa Cigar

The Blue Devils looked like a Big Blue Machine in this one.

Duke v Miami
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 04: Vernon Carey Jr. #1 of the Duke Blue Devils dunks against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at the Watsco Center on January 04, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

So much for freshman nerves.

Duke easily avoided the upset bug that infected much of the college-basketball world Saturday night defeating Miami 95-62 in Coral Gables. Homecoming freshman Vernon Carey, Jr. led Duke with 24 points and 9 rebounds but it was classmate Cassius Stanley who jump-started the Blue Devils, scoring Duke’s first 7 points on the way to 20 points.

Sixteen of those points came in the first half.

Matthew Hurt added 13 points, Wendell Moore 6, giving Duke’s quartet of newcomers 63 of Duke’s points, with 24 rebounds, 10 assists, 5 steals and 3 blocks.

Miami hung tough early, taking its biggest lead at 12-9. It looked like a dogfight.

Until it didn’t.

Duke was up 28-25 with about 8 minutes left in the first half when they went on 15-7 run after which they never led by less than 9 points.

Duke did a little bit of everything during this run, forcing turnovers, getting the ball inside on offense and forcing the Hurricanes into a 3-for-11 shooting stretch.

“We played really good defense.” Mike Krzyzewski said. “I think it wore them out a little bit and it gave us an advantage. . . . . But how hard we’re playing defensively, it’s something we’ve worked on since September, so they keep getting better at it.”

And Duke just shredded Miami’s defense.

Hurt hit a 3-pointer right before the buzzer and Duke took a 50-36 lead into the locker room.

Krzyzewski praised Duke’s ability to share the ball.

“Our guys just played really hard and they shared the ball. With 23 assists, it was kind of nice to see.”

Carey agreed.

“Just our ball movement, really. They tried to compact in the zone, but I feel like our spacing was good and just our passing was really well, so it spaced out everything.”

It also helped that Duke was able to get into its transition offense and keep Miami on its heels.

“I think that was really big, especially early in the game,” Stanley said. “Tre and J Gold [Jordan Goldwire] did a great job of getting the ball out on outlets and the wings, we did really well running the floor and the bigs did really well running the floor too. Tre got the ball out early and I just started running the floor. I told Tre ‘I’m going to run with you,’ because he likes to push it, so every time he pushes it, [I told him], ‘I’m going to run with you and just look for me.’ We did that and I think that’s how I got going early.”

Jones picked up two quick fouls and sat out much of the first half.

Thanks to Goldwire Duke didn’t miss a beat.

“Jordan Goldwire was a key guy tonight,”Krzyzewski said. “When Tre got his second foul—I’ll play a guy with two fouls in the first half, but when I took him out, I’d thought I’d bring him back with about five minutes to go and Jordan was doing such a good job that we were able not to do that.”

A young team on the road might have expected to take its foot off the gas. But no such luck for Miami. They couldn’t even trade baskets with the visitors, Duke’s superior depth and athleticism essentially grinding them into the hard court. The lead reached 20 at 60-40 on a Jack White 3-pointer off a Jones steal and assist, 30 at 88-58 on a Jones layup. Miami never scored more than four consecutive points, that “run” in the game’s opening minutes.

“Our guys played well,” Krzyzewski summed up. “It’s tough to single out one of them when they all did a good job.”


The stats were about what you would expect from a 33-point beat-down. Duke hit a stunning 59.7 percent from the field (40-67), 6-14 for 14 on 3s, while holding Miami to under 40 percent from the field and 2-for-12 from beyond the arc. Carey was 11-for-14 from the field, Stanley 8-for-11. Duke clubbed Miami 41-24 on then boards, while forcing 15 turnovers, 6 on Kameron McGusty.

But two things stand out. Jones and Goldwire harassed Miami’s Chris Lykes into a 2-for-15 shooting nightmare. Any chance Miami had of springing the upset started with Lykes having a big game and he didn’t come close.

And don’t look now but Hurt is becoming more than just a scorer. He gave Duke 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks to go along with 6-for-8 shooting from the field. Hurt had trouble adjusting to the college game’s physicality early in the year but it looks like he’s put that in his rear-view mirror and is making it a distant memory.

Despite being held to 22 minutes due to foul trouble Jones gave Duke 9 points, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Duke played 11 players and all had at least 3 points and at least 1 rebound.

The 13-1 (3-0 ACC) Blue Devils continue on the road, a late 9 P.M. start Wednesday at a Georgia Tech team suddenly emboldened by an unexpected win in Chapel Hill.

At least there won’t be an NFL playoff game Wednesday night.


Player Of The Game vs. Miami

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Matthew Hurt
    (7 votes)
  • 48%
    Vernon Carey
    (300 votes)
  • 33%
    Cassius Stanley
    (209 votes)
  • 0%
    Alex O’ Connell
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Tre Jones
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Joey Baker
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Justin Robinson
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Javin DeLaurier
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Jack White
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Wendell Moore
    (5 votes)
  • 12%
    Jordan Goldwire
    (75 votes)
622 votes total Vote Now