Quinn Cook‘s shots just weren’t failing. Whether it was his three-pointers, mid-range jumpers or shots around the basket, none went in. But whenever he passed the ball — particularly to Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly — Duke shot over 55% from both the floor and three-point line to help the Blue Devils to a 80-62 victory over Wake Forest.
Cook’s career-high 14 assists (to just one turnover) along with Kelly’s season-high 22 points and Curry’s 22 points carried Duke (14-0) in their first conference win of the season as they dominated a young Wake Forest (7-6) team beginning in the first half. The Deamon Deacons out-rebounded the Blue Devils, 37-29, but Duke forced 19 turnovers while committing just six themselves. The Blue Devils also assisted 22 of their 29 made shots and were a dismal 11-22 from the free-throw line.
Just one game after Cook dished out just two assists, he did a masterful job of setting up his teammates and displayed his terrific court vision and passing ability. Although he wasn’t able to score, Cook fed the hot hands and ran the offense well. He did force a few tough shots up but did had pretty good shot selection. With the shooters Duke has, it’s just a matter of getting them the ball and Cook did exactly that.
Kelly posted his season-high 22 points on just nine shots and in just 18 minutes of play. The officials proved to be the only ones who could stop the senior sharpshooter since he fouled out and Wake Forest left him wide open several times which allowed him to get into a rhythm. Kelly also showed the ability to put the ball onto the floor to create his own shot and had a 6-for-9 mark from the field, 5-for-7 mark from beyond the arc and 5-for-6 mark from the charity stripe.
Curry lit it up once again as he poured in 22 points, as well as five assists, off 8-for-15 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 shooting from three-point land. He curled off screens well and knocked down shots from all over the court. In just 29 minutes of action, he helped carry the scoring load and looked good after a poor showing against Davidson Wednesday.
Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon recorded his 12 points, three rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes of play. Mason Plumlee posted yet another double-double — his sixth in eight games — of 13 points and 12 rebounds. He was 5-for-8 from the field but shot just 3-for-9 from the charity stripe. Several players came off the bench to record minutes, including Marshall Plumlee who played in his third game and tallied a career-high seven minutes that featured one basket and one block.
The Blue Devils play their next game Tuesday as they take on Clemson (8-4) at 7pm on ESPNU at home. Duke fans should also note that Jabari Parker, the Blue Devils’ top recruit in this year’s high school senior class, is playing on ESPN2 tonight at 6pm as his Simeon (Ill) team takes on Montverde Academy (FL).