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"Escape" With A Blow Out Win?

That is what last nights game felt like.  For most of the game Duke played pathetic against NC State.  Even in the second half when Duke was putting some offense together, NC State would answer keeping the lead.  Then Duke added just enough defense to regain the lead and eventually storm to a huge margin of victory.

For Duke the 1st half and the 2nd half were exact opposites.  22 points, which is one of the lowest points totals of the season, was all Duke could muster.  They shot 29% from the field.  They were lucky to only be down by four.  In the second half they shot an unbelievable 20-26, 6-7 3pt.  The 17 point margin was not even close to telling how close this game was.  But NC State let Duke stay around, and one of their patented scoring runs came at the close of the game.  A nail biter turned into a blow out in just about ten minutes.

“I would like to welcome you all to the Gerald Henderson show”.  In his the three games before this one his point totals are 23, 19, and 25.  In this one he had 21 and was just as amazing.  He took over and this game quickly became about how many times could Gerald Henderson do something amazing.  Sportscenter congratulated him with the Ultimate Highlight.  Henderson is in so much of a zone, that he is now a feature of this offense.  He overshadowed everybody else on the court.  Singler’s 17 seem like an after thought.  Henderson is finally at the point we thought he would be when he came here.  It just took him awhile to realize it.  Now we are experience something great.

Enough can’t be said on the job David McClure did to help Duke get over the hump.  He always plays hard and is usually the unspoken hero.  In this game he provided great defense that finally slowed NC State down.  He only had 4 points and 3 rebounds.  But added 3 assists, 1 block, and 2 steals which seemed to come right when Duke needed it most.

It is finally becoming an issue.  Jon Scheyer is in a huge slump.  He was 1-6 with only 3 points and 3 turnovers.  This is his lowest point total of the season, and even though he was in double figures in the last two games it seems like Scheyer hasn’t been right since the Davidson game when he had 22 points.  I would rather him be in a slump now then a month from now, but this team really depends on Scheyer to be part of the “Big 3” (Singler, Henderson, Scheyer) and right now isn’t producing like he should.

For the third straight ACC game, Duke has looked a rough.  I guess it is not to bad considering that the margin of victory in those games has been 8, 14, 17.  However, these have been against the bottom of the ACC and the top teams in the conference are coming up.  Duke better pick it up, because it doesn’t get any easier.  This team is going to be tested in the next few weeks.  They are number 2 in the nation, and they need to start playing like it.