Somehow, that wasn’t as much fun as we hoped: Clemson came into Cameron a 12.5 underdog and came extremely close to pulling off the upset. Duke won 71-69, but, really, Clemson won too.
Because Duke had far more size and talent and the Tigers didn't care. In the first half, without question, Clemson played harder than Duke and, honestly, punked the Blue Devils.
There was never really a sense of the Duke team we’ve seen this year, with a burgeoning young big man who controls the paint, a talented 6-10 forward with guard skills who can punish you in so many ways, a fantastic senior in Wendell Moore who has matured into a superb all-round player.
We saw glimpses of that team, but not what we’ve become accustomed to. What we did see was Joey Baker and Bates Jones being called on, and answering. We saw Jeremy Roach stepping up and playing like a senior.
But only glimpses.
AJ Griffin was 1-7. Mark Williams only took three shots (he hit them all). And Trevor Keels is still not back from the leg injury he suffered at FSU.
Brad Brownell has come in for heavy criticism at times but the truth is, while he usually can’t get the players the better ACC programs get, he gets his guys to play hard as hell. Consequently, it’s never really fun to play the Tigers, but you can’t help but to admire the heart that program shows. Brownell is vastly underappreciated. He’s a heck of a coach.
So hats off the the Tigers. They showed they have the heart and soul to compete with anyone. As Duke fans, it was a scary game, but as ACC fans, we couldn’t be prouder of what Clemson showed in Cameron. We hope their fans are as proud of them as we are and not too disappointed. They played magnificently.
Jim will be along presently with his take from Cameron.
- TIGER KINGS: Duke men’s basketball fends off Clemson in nail-biting finish
- Five observations from Duke men’s basketball’s first half against Clemson
- Column: Let Griffin fly
- Duke basketball holds on to beat Clemson, 71-69. Bench comes up big for Blue Devils
Player Of The Game vs. Clemson
This poll is closed