The Duke Blue Devils shot the living hell out of the ball in an 88-56 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies.
One of the things you can count on when you’re Duke is that each and every team you play, specifically the teams of the ACC, is going to give you their very best shot, especially when you’re playing in the other team’s house. Duke knows this is true because they’re fresh off taking Maryland’s best shot and Wake Forest’s best shot and Boston College’s best shot and Miami’s best shot and North Carolina State’s best shot and Florida State’s best…okay, Florida State sort of rolled over and died.
My point is that ACC play can be quite a grind, so the occasional blowout victory is welcomed with open arms by the Blue Devils.
Duke received one of these gifts on Thursday night in the form of the last place Virginia Tech Hokies, shooting 70.6% from beyond the arc while committing just five turnovers en route to an 88-56 victory.
The two teams couldn’t have performed any more different. While Duke connected on twelve of their seventeen 3-pointers, Virginia Tech managed to make just one of their sixteen attempts (good enough for 6%). While Duke protected the ball all night, the Hokies acted like someone told them the ball had cooties. While the Blue Devils dominated on the glass, the Hokies looked more like that cheap, knock-off, Windex wannabe you see at the 99-cent store.
The win was a refreshing one to watch. Seth Curry, who dropped five three-pointers and twenty-two points, was the clear cut player of the game. Curry set the tone early and often in the contest, scoring nineteen points in the first half in the very same arena his father, Dell Curry, used to dominate in. Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon also played a pivotal role, scoring 17 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. It was fun, watching the senior shooting guard and the freshman shooting guard team up to take down the Hokies.
Mason Plumlee’s string of inconsistent play continued. His 12 rebounds and 13 points looks fine on paper, but he looked uninvolved most of the game and his energy level lacked at times. This could be a result of the game-plan, which revolved around perimeter play, causing him to take a backseat in the offense. Regardless, I am not worried about Plumlee. While I do hope to see an unabridged, dominant performance sooner rather than later, I fully expect him to return to his dominating self when Ryan Kelly returns, which should occur sooner rather than later.
With the win, Duke improves to 23-3 on the season, 10-3 in ACC play, while Virginia Tech dropped to a miserable 11-15 overall and 2-11 in ACC play. The lone bright spot for the Hokies this season has been senior forward Erick Green, who is averaging 25.3 points per game while sporting a 32.3 PER. Green scored 22 points for the Hokies in the loss.
Duke returns to action on Sunday, February 24th, at home against Boston College. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, plays host to 14-12 Florida State on Sunday.