Sometimes you have those great games. When everything goes right for you, and nothing goes right for your opponent. This is the exact description of the game Saturday between Duke and Maryland. Usually a tight contest between two rivals who have no love lose, this version was an absolute domination of which is hardly seen in the ACC. The final score 85-44, was the largest against Maryland ever by Duke. Even more impressive of a stat, all the starters played no more than 24 minutes apiece.
The biggest reason Duke was able to destroy Maryland is simply an astonishing defensive effort. Much was made about Greivis Vasquez, and his comments about Cameron being his house. Not only does he like to talk, but he plays very well against Duke. This game he was shutdown. He was 2-10 with only 4 points. Duke had 11 steals, 12 blocks, and forced 17 turnovers. Everyone put out an unbelievable effort on the defensive end.
The two headed monster of Henderson and Singler was big again in this one. Henderson kept up his extraordinary play of late, with 17 points in only 23 minutes. His shooting is off the charts. 7-8 from the field, 2-2 from beyond the arc. Singler wasn’t as sharp but still finished with 11 points and 7 boards.
Another frustrating shooting performance from Jon Scheyer. He was 4-13 from the field, and most of this was around the net. He couldn’t find away to make the easy one’s go. He did finish with 12 points, but he still looks to be in a slump. He still has time but really needs to pick it up for Wake Forest on Wednesday.
The bench saw a lot of quality minutes in this game. Everyone but Czyz and Steve Johnson had double figure minutes. While the offense wasn’t as smooth while they were in, they still managed to keep that score above 40 thanks to a great step back three by Elliot Williams with time winding down. Miles Plumlee was the most frustrating player I watched for Duke. He looked really out of sync out there, like he had never even played this season. He was a pitiful 0-5 around the rim. Most of his shots were very makeable baskets. His only bright spot, was his defense with 3 great blocks.
It was a hell of a statement by Duke against a conference opponent. They simply looked unstoppable, and will now have a huge test coming up Wednesday. Wake Forest, who will most likely lose the number 1 spot to Duke this week, will welcome them to Winston-Salem for a show down of the top teams in the ACC.