Duke can’t avoid Maryland sweep

It is never easy getting beat by Maryland. It definitely isn’t easy getting swept by Maryland, but this is a year when Blue Devil fans have had to accept certain things. If one thing is clearly then any other, it is that Duke doesn’t have someone who can lead this team, and take over a game. Duke needed that guy last night against Maryland. The entire second half, Duke was playing catch up and a few times looked like they were going to take over the game. However, their defense couldn’t contain the experienced players for the Terps, and Duke ended up on the losing end.
Duke’s lack of experienced go-to players and Maryland’s experienced starters was a huge reason that Duke could never seem to get over on the Terps. Both teams came into this game playing great, but unfortunately Maryland seems to be the hotter team, and continued their recent success against Duke.
Greg Paulus was by all accounts terrific in his game. Not one turnover for the Duke point guard, along with 20 points. However, Paulus wasn’t able to help the rest of his teammates play at a high level. Paulus is playing with great confidence, and almost brought Duke this victory with his late shooting. However, Paulus needs to be able to make everyone around him better before he steps up to another level. But you can’t ask for more from the much-maligned Paulus.
Gerald Henderson was a huge reason Duke was in it late. He had some big shots, and once again showed those flashed of brilliance. He is going to be a great player, and is already showing that he can be special. He finished with 15 points, and will be a valuable player come tourney time.
DeMarcus Nelson had another productive night. He finished with 17 points, and 7 rebounds. The thing about Nelson is that he should try to be the guy who leads this team to victory, but he hasn’t shown that ability.
Jon Scheyer and Josh McRoberts were the other double-digit scorers for Duke. Their problem in this game was their poor shooting. McRoberts needs to have a softer touch when he is around the basket. He always seems to throw it up after making a great move. Scheyer, as usual couldn’t find his touch. More consistency is the only way he can be a powerful weapon.
Defense is usually the strong suit for the Blue Devils. Against Maryland however, they were never able to stop the athleticism that the Maryland starters possess. Maryland has been playing great basketball against Duke over the years, and for some reason a usual crappy team gets up when they play the Blue Devils. Every dog has their day, and right now Maryland is probably the better team. But that will not last forever. The fact of the matter is that Duke is having their worse season in a long time. Maryland on the other hand is enjoying their best season since their championship year. Maryland fans better enjoy it, because eventually Duke will return to reclaim their crown, and Maryland will fall back to earth.
One game left in the regular season, and of course it is one of the biggest. Duke will travel to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina on Saturday. Obviously a game in which the Devils will be the underdogs, but there is no question that this team can beat UNC. Hopefully a good few days of practice can get them ready for what is going to be a great game.

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