The setting was perfect for Duke to get back on track after two losses. St John’s is a terrible team, and the Crazies were there to welcome back their Blue Devils after a tough road trip. However, the game started off like the last two. Duke looking passive in their offense and the other team being able to score at will. After a timeout by Coach K, and I am sure a violent exchange between him and his players Duke was off and running. Duke gained the lead and then never looked back. The only question was how much punishment would they inflict on the Red Storm. The final score 86-56 was proof that Duke was taking out some frustration on a bottom of the barrel team from the Big East.
Like most of the wins this year by the Blue Devils the scoring was spread all around the team. Five players were in double figures for Duke. Singler(16), Scheyer(12), Smith(13), Henderson(13), and Zoubek(11). With all the scoring going around one player stood above the rest. Brian Zoubek, who is the much maligned big man for Duke had the best game of his career posting a double-double. He had 13 rebounds to go along with 11 points. This is a big thing with Zoubek, and he could possibly be the missing link that Duke needs to get them over the hump. I am not saying that he can take over in the paint, but consistent numbers and smart play is all we need from him. This game is got to be huge for his confidence. I look forward to see how he follows up this performance.
-Duke shoot 46.5%FG and 40%3pt. This is the numbers we need to see from Duke every night.
-Saint John’s shoot 33.3%FG and 23.1%3pt. The defense definitely picked up the pace this game.
-9 players played 14 minutes or more for Duke. 6 players played between 20-30 minutes.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
He might have not had the best game of all the players, but after having a rough stretch in recent games he looked very solid in this game. We all know that Gerald has been playing with a bad wrist, but his shot looked on key today. He was the main reason Duke got on a run in the first half. His mid range game is so key to Duke’s success.
It is nice to get that bad taste out of your mouth after two tough losses. Even though Duke was playing an inferior team, they played like they have for the majority of the year. Hopefully they will be able to have continued success in the ACC, and keep those losses off their minds.
Next up: Duke will get back into ACC play hosting Georgia Tech on Wednesday. This will be the first home game since the emotional Maryland a couple weeks ago. They got the win they needed, now they need to take care of Georgia Tech and continue their push for the #1 seed in the East. They still control their own destiny.