Duke takes down BC by 10

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I predicted that Duke would overrun Boston College at the 10-minute mark. I was right…sort of. I thought it would be the 10-minute mark in the first half, not the second half.
I predicted that Duke would overrun Boston College at the 10-minute mark. I was right…sort of. I thought it would be the 10-minute mark in the first half, not the second half. /

Duke overcame an early 8-pt deficit, thanks to a solid 17-2 run in the second half, to win their 11th straight game, thus handing BC it’s sixth straight defeat.

QUICK THOUGHTS:

The team came out flat, which was expected. They couldn’t stop BC (especially Rice) and the shots just weren’t falling. I started to get worried about the 13 minute mark in the second half, but then Duke finally pulled away.

Kyle Singler was the star, not only on the offensive end (24 points), but his rebounding was the key. For the second straight game, Kyle pulled down 10 rebounds.

Brian Zoubek played, but only for two minutes in the first half. He looked sluggish and managed only one foul. Look for coach to keep giving him a handful of minutes per game.

Tyrese Rice was the man. Forget the loss, I thought Duke would be able to shut him down. I figured he’d still score a lot, but he’d take a ton of bad shots in doing it. I was wrong. He set the tone for the Eagles early on. In fact, when he went down and out early in the second half, Duke outscored BC, 5-0.

Lance Thomas, not bad. Remember, we want more points and rebounds than personal fouls. Stat line: 6 points, five rebounds (all offensive), two fouls.

By the way, Singler, don’t talk smack (after Henderson’s foul). Stupid.

Where was the first half defense? BC shot over 60% in the first half, and finished at 55%. This won’t work against great teams.

The free throw shooting is getting worse. The only reason we won this game was because Duke took 20 more free throw attempts. For the game, the Devils missed 13 free throws, starting 0-5 and 2-10. Nelson himself started 0-5 (making his first early in the second half). People often want to predict Duke’s demise in the tournament because of their lack of size. They’re wrong. Duke has proven you don’t need size if you have the ball handlers we have. What will end Duke’s season prematurely will be missed free throws.

In the end, it was Duke’s dept that wore down BC (seriously, when was the last time you’ve seen that sentence written about a Duke team). Although it was just Boston College (losers of six straight), this new dimension of Duke basketball is what has been the problem with Duke basketball over the years.

Like most fans, it has been getting frustrating to watch Duke be the best regular season team in the league (usually earning the #1 seed), only the see it end with a team running on its last leg in the tournament. There’s no guarantee that Duke will make a National Title run, but if they do lose, it won’t be because the team has no more legs.

I often read how surprised people are at how good Gerald Henderson is this year. It always takes me a minute to realize that unlike me, not everyone on this planet watches every Duke game. However, any Duke fan who watched the tough ’06-07 campaign, isn’t surprised.

Often times last year, Henderson was clearly the best athlete on the floor, the problem was keeping him on the floor. He was unable to sustain any long minutes, thus, he was diagnosed with asthma. However, this off-season they just realized he was out of shape. Now he’s in shape, he’s nailing down 25 minutes a game, and of all the Duke players, he looks the most like a future NBA’er.

Stat that would make Jesus blush: Duke, 16 offensive rebounds.

Player of the game: Kyle Singler, 24 and 10. He may be sitting on the small size, but he’s winning under the boards.
Props go to: Tyrese Rice…He scored 28 on 10-16 shooting, but more importantly, he got going early, which seemed to spark an undermanned BC team.

***Photos from MSNBC (above) and ESPN