How frustrating was that? Come back from thirteen down to lose like that, wow. Talk will focus on the #1 team losing again and whether this proves Duke is for real or not. Sorry ‘The Big Leas’, this game means little. In the grand scheme of things, its one defeat, on the road to a solid team. We predicted a long time ago that Duke will more than likely split their season series with both Wake Forest and North Carolina. If anything, this loss proves to me that Duke is a legit team.
I know, tough to write those last words after a defeat, but what I saw was a team who refused to give up in a hostile environment. They rallied from 13-down despite having only two players capable of making a basket (Henderson & Singler). Think about it, if Henderson doesn’t land on a pile of Demon Deacons and get called for traveling with 2-seconds on the clock, we go into overtime with ‘mo on Duke’s side. Having said all that, it still sucks and time to go yell at strangers in the street.
Jeff Teague - He’s for real. The numbers won’t jump out (11 points, 3 assists), but he controlled that offense. In fact, you could give the same props to Smith, who handed out four assists coming off the bench. In the end, it wasn’t Wake’s size that killed Duke, it was their ability to drive and dish, often handing easy baskets to Johnson and Aminu. If Teague wants to take his game to the next level though, he needs to try to score more, and more importantly get to the charity stripe. He’s too good of a free throw shooter to only take two all game.
INBOUND CALL - Great inbound play by Dino Gaudio. You have to hand it too him. To be able to get your best inside player the ball that close to the basket uncontested. Stunning. Give that guy a game ball.
TWO MAN TEAM - Great, Henderson and Singler prove again that they are two of the best in the nation. However, basketball is a five-man game. In the second half, the other players scored zero baskets. Let me repeat that, ZERO baskets. They did go 8-8 from the line, but come on. For the game, the dynamic due went 16-35, while the rest of the team shot 6-31.
SMITH DISAPPEARS - Outside of his four free throws at the end of the game, Nolan was a non-factor. He shot 1-6 from the floor and two free throws (one of which was the front end of a 1-1). We said before the game, his ability to hit his shots were critical and a key to the game. He couldn’t do it. Nolan wanted to be the starter this year, but these are the kind of games he needs to step up to justify it.
SCHEYER’S SLUMP - I guess it’s not over yet; 2-10 from the floor.
THE BIG’S – Struggle, baby. Zoubek, Thomas and Plumlee shot 1-6 from the floor and pulled in a pathetic four boards.
STOP THE DRIVE - Overall, Duke’s D was fine, but they struggled to control the penetration through long stretches of the game. Duke needed to force Wake to shoot three’s and they didn’t. Wake only took 10 three’s, missing eight. Duke was the one heaving them up all night, but they went cold, hitting 4-22.
NOTE TO HENDERSON – It’s hard to be critical of Henderson. He had a great game and nearly single handily put Duke in overtime with the made shot, followed by the block and rebound at the other end in the final seconds. Having said all that, Gerald cannot give up on his three-point shot so quickly. By the second half, Wake had backed off him, looking for his drive. He took only one three-point shot, which is not good enough for a guy hitting over 45% of them on the year.
STAT OF THE GAME - Blocks and lots of ‘em. Wake blocked nine shots.
QUESTION OF THE GAME - Hey Wake Forest fans, good job tonight. However, I have to ask. You’ve beaten us three straight times at home. You’re 17-1 on the year, and you’re currently ranked 4th (were #1 last week), at what point do you stop storming the court when you win a big game?
Congratulations to the Demon Deacons. We’ll see in a couple weeks in Cameron.