Rasheed Sulaimon scored 27 points, Mason Plumlee finally returned to his Player of the Year candidate form, and the Duke Blue Devils cruised past the Boston College Eagles, 89-68.
I’m not sure if you can call this a revenge game, considering Duke didn’t lose the last time they played Boston College, but the Blue Devils certainly looked like they were out to crush BC after the Eagles nearly defeated them on February 24th.
I’m not sure if I would go as far to say that there was a chip on Duke’s shoulder heading into the game, but if there was, it sure as hell is gone now. The Blue Devils were like one of those angry, psychopath WWE wrestlers who catch an innocent bystander off-guard and knock the living crap out of them. I wasn’t prepared to make a WWE reference. In fact, I’m entirely certain I’ve never made one in the entirety of my writing career. Yet, here we are: it is one in the morning, I am trying to pump out this article, and a WWE reference seems like a good idea at this moment. Have I watched a single episode of WWE in the last five years? No, but it seems like a good idea so I’m going to leave it. Perhaps I’ll change it in the morning, but one-in-the-morning-Ethan thinks it is a brilliant freaking reference.
Alright, back to the game. The biggest news to come out of the game was the return of the Mason Plumlee that has been missing for the past few weeks. Plumlee, who finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds, tore the Eagles to pieces in the post. Defensively, he went back to playing with a high intensity, no nonsense, ‘this is my post and you aren’t allowed in it’ attitude. He grabbed every rebound he could get his hands on and he contested nearly every shot in the post, despite finishing with just one block. Offensively, he only shot 4-7 from the field, but he went an impressive 11-15 from the charity stripe. It was nowhere near his best offensive performance this season, but it was certainly a decent reminder that he has transformed himself into one of the better big men in the nation and…Is it even called the WWE anymore? (OKAY, I’M DROPPING IT, GOSH!)
Rasheed Sulaimon gets the game ball, easily. The freshman scored 27 points on 10-15 shooting, including 3-5 from beyond the arc and 4-4 from the free-throw line. It was the most impressive game ‘Sheed has put together in his time at Duke and it could be a sign of things to come. Remember, the key to Duke’s championship run back in the 2009-10 season was the sudden emergence and development of a key player, in this case it was C Brian Zoubek. Perhaps Sulaimon could fill this role. Now, Sulaimon’s success wouldn’t be as all-of-the-sudden as Zoubek’s, because we’ve seen the potential with Sulaimon all year and Zoubek was a senior who finally was able to get it together health-wise, but if he can emerge as a third upper-level offensive threat (to go along with Curry and Plumlee), he could certainly be the difference that gets Duke deep into the tournament. Mix the sudden breakout by Sulaimon, who has scored 60 points in his last three games, with the return of Kelly, and Duke could suddenly find themselves being the trendy pick to win the NCAA Tournament all over again.
Seth Curry (11), Quinn Cook (12), and Amile Jefferson (14) all scored in double figures as well for the Blue Devils, who trailed 5-3 before going on a 42-14 run to push the lead to 45-19 just before halftime. Duke would take a 51-27 lead into halftime before giving their starters a bit of a break in the second half.
Boston College was led by freshman star sophomore Ryan Anderson, who scored 23 points on 8-13 shooting in 32 minutes.
Box Score (from SI.com)
|Sulaimon *||33||3 (0/3)||3||10-15||4-4||3-5||2||0||2||0||27|
|Plumlee, M *||33||15 (2/13)||4||4-7||11-15||0-0||3||2||5||1||19|
|Cook *||30||3 (1/2)||3||3-9||4-4||2-4||4||2||1||0||12|
|Curry *||25||1 (0/1)||2||4-7||1-1||2-4||1||1||3||0||11|
|Hairston *||19||2 (2/0)||1||1-3||1-2||0-0||2||1||0||0||3|
|Plumlee, M||5||1 (1/0)||0||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Rahon *||35||6 (0/6)||4||1-5||4-7||0-2||2||0||3||0||6|
|Anderson *||32||3 (2/1)||1||8-13||7-10||0-0||2||0||2||0||23|
|Hanlan *||28||3 (2/1)||3||5-13||1-2||1-3||4||2||4||0||12|
|Heckmann *||23||4 (1/3)||1||5-7||3-3||2-3||1||4||2||1||15|
|Clifford *||12||1 (0/1)||0||0-0||0-0||0-0||2||0||0||0||0|
|Van Nest||10||4 (0/4)||0||2-2||0-0||0-0||5||1||1||0||4|
|Cain Carney||1||0 (0/0)||0||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0|