After the heartbreaking lose to Wake Forest, for now #1 Duke needed a little pick me up. A home game against one of the worse teams in the ACC did the trick. In the first half, Duke’s infamous defense provided many scoring opportunities for Duke. Causing an unbelievable 17 turnovers, the young Virginia team could only watch as Gerald Henderson and Duke stormed out to a 20+ lead. All it took was a solid effort by the Duke bench and Duke goes on to win by 25.
The usual star, Henderson was quiet in the second, perhaps letting others find their game. The two players that Duke has been needing to step up had great games. Nolan Smith, who has been struggling at the PG spot, had a terrific shooting game scoring 15 on 7-10 from the field. Most of his shots were 15 foot jumpers or slashes through the lane. He looked like the point guard Coach K and the rest of the fan base want him to be. And Jon Scheyer, who has been in his biggest slump in a long time, looked very solid. 11 points on 4-9 shooting and 7 rebounds. Quality play from two players Duke needs to step up as the season goes on.
The highlight on the game, after in was pretty much in the books, was the unbelievable alley-oop from two freshmen. Elliot Williams, who was practically at half court throwing in the ball, effortlessly threw it up for Miles Plumlee. Plumlee was in perfect position as was the ball, and he threw it down. If you can watch the replay, focus on Williams who looks to barely throw the ball in the air. It was a thing of beauty.
Now that the Wake game, and the inevitable loss of the #1 ranking is past, it is time for Duke to focus on another elite team in the ACC. They go on the road to play a Clemson team, that has given Duke problems in the past. Particularly in the semi finals of last years ACC tournament.