What is the best way to get confidence back? Go out and have some fun. That is what Duke looked like they were doing against BC. The teams went back and forth for most of the first half. Then something happened. Duke started playing like Duke is supposed to play. They were driving to the basket, getting the shots to go in that are supposed to go in, and out hustling BC in every part of the game. The way they were playing when they went on their run was like watching the championship teams of old.
Duke started playing the clock with almost ten minutes left in the game, and looked like they were trying not to lose. This allowed BC to climb back in it. However, the lead was too much, and Duke made key baskets when it counted to hold them off. I have been vocal in the past about not liking when Duke goes into slow down mode. They played not to lose, instead of playing to win, which was what they were doing when they got up over twenty earlier. The bottom line is that Duke out-hustled BC, making BC look like they were a small-town high school team playing in a game they knew they couldnâ€™t win, and started feeling sorry for themselves. Duke forced them to turnover the ball, and Duke took advantage of every opportunity they had.
Josh McRoberts was stellar the entire game, and his 18 points and 11 rebounds were practically all in the first half. He was the reason Duke got a huge lead, and looked like he was the best player on the floor most of the game. Along with McRoberts the entire team played great basketball. In total, four Blue Devils were in double figures in points. Paulus had 15 points along with 7 assists. Nelson added 15 points with 6 boards. Nelsonâ€™s bright spot on the game was completely shutting down Jared Dudley. He took Dudley completely out of the game, and left Dudley yelling at the officials the entire game. Scheyer and Henderson played great and had 12 points and 8 points respectively.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
This was a team victory. Duke needed this one to get their confidence back. And they accomplished their goal will a message game. The message was â€œDuke will never die. Never count us out. We are never going awayâ€.
Celebrate for a little bit, and then get back to work. This was a game we were not supposed to win. But credit this young team with a quality win in a hostile environment. BC must not like playing Duke. Last year they played us three times. Duke won all three including an ACC tournament championship win. This year, when Duke is down and BC is up, Duke wins at home and then on the road.
The road to recovery continues with a home game against a Georgia Tech team that beat Duke at home. Duke needs to continue this quality basketball if they want to have a strong run to the ACC championship. Keep playing like a team, and keep having fun on the court; the Duke haters will go back into the hole the live in.
*On a side note, I am happy to be writing for Dukereport.com. This site is one of the best Duke basketball sites on the web. And it is my privilege to be apart of it. Nothing better than my first post being a review, of a big win by an underrated team.