Many people were disappointed with Duke’s first game. The one’s that felt that way the most were the players themselves. Everyone on the team knew that they hadn’t played up to their ability. Something must of happened, because Duke came out and gave a unbelievable performance against Georgia Southern. Besides a terrible night free throw shooting, everything was working for Duke. Duke began the explosion at the end of the first half, when strong defense started to lead to breakaway shots. To know how much fun Duke was having, you just had to see Nolan Smith jumping up and down yelling at the crowd to get on their feet. Cameron was rocking for the rest of the game. Duke was on a roll, that no one could have stopped.
Kyle Singler was the star of the game for the second straight game. His performance tonight was All-American material. Everywhere you looked Singler was in on the play. He scored 19 points in just 22 minutes of action. If not for him sitting for much of the second half, he would of most likely went well of 30. If he can keep up this consistent play we will be talking about him challenging Hansborough for ACC Player of the year.
For the second straight game, Duke’s expected go to guy was not the star. Gerald Henderson was a little passive early on, but started to breakout a little as the game wore on. He did end up scoring 11 in 20 minutes. I think that Henderson will have a natural progression to being that player we want him to be as the season roles on. He doesn’t have to be the best player every night. With so many great players, he will have to just let the game come to him. I still feel like he will be equal to Singler, as far as MVP of the team goes, by the end of the season.
Nolan Smith started out a little shaky, but quickly turned it around with solid defense. He shot the ball much better than he did in the first game. He wasn’t a prototypical point guard, as he finished with 0 assists. But he lead a great offensive performance. Paulus and him sharing the point seems to be working quite nice. Both were in double figures, and both did a great job running the offense.
This game was over long before the final buzzer blew. For the final ten minutes it was the freshmen and second strings time to shine. A lot of quality minutes for all the frosh, and for Marty and McClure. Elliot Williams has 11 rebounds. An unbelievable mark considering his height.
All in all this was a fun game to watch. Duke’s defense is just fantastic. It created a large number of points in this game, and field goal and three point shooting were much improved. Good progression from one game to the next, and if this keeps happening this will be a very good season. Duke learned what they did wrong in the first game and quickly fixed it for the second. The result is a satisfying victory.