Everyone at Purdue was ready for Duke. The entire campus was ready to take down a national power and put their team on the map. But the actual basketball team forgot to read the memo. Duke frustrated Purdue in every aspect of the game. The better team came out ahead, and Duke walks away with a 10-0 record in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
There were so many positives in this game. You have to look at the first half star and the second half star for Duke. Jon Scheyer started out hot and got the Blue Devils up to a comfortable lead in the first. Kyle Singler who started off a little cold, heated up quickly and continued his unbelievable season. Singler would finish with 20 points and 12 rebounds, Scheyer with 20 points of his own. Singler seemed to be in every play down low. No one for Purdue could figure out how to box him out. He was looking strong the entire game and snatching up loose balls and creating opportunities for himself. And his defense on Robbie Hummel was solid. Hummel finished with 15, but he had to fight for every shot.
The entire Purdue line up really couldn’t figure out how to get good shots against Duke. They went a horrific 2-13 from 3pt. Duke’s defensive numbers weren’t spectacular, but they were able to really dominate the boards. They out rebounded the opposition 44-26.
The only annoyance was Duke running down the clock. They lost their momentum and let Purdue have a little bit of life. I understand the purpose of holding onto the ball, especially on the road. However, it is like the prevent defense in football. All it does is prevent you from winning. Duke made a few mistakes and forced some shots during this period and Purdue showed some life. Not until Kyle Singler drove past two defenders and dunked on another was the game over.
Even with a lead of 16, it could of been much worse for Purdue. Ironically, the game wasn’t even this close. Duke was on its game tonight and showed that it is an absolute top 10 team. I think that it is to early to see if they are a top five team, but they are well on their way. Michigan will be a nice road test on Saturday and should give another good test of Duke’s poise.