Going into Dukes first ACC matchup of the season Miami had to be one of the teams that had a legit chance of taking last years ACC champs down. Miami has had a history of playing Duke tough and for a few minutes in the first half it was nearly that way. Duke began the game shaky on offense with several turnovers but after an offensive foul was called on Nolan Smith, Smith took it personally. He exploded for 13 straight points doing it in typical @ndotsmitty fashion..layups, 3 pointers, dunks. Smith commanded the team to the tune of 28 points and 5 assists. Smith played all 40 minutes in the game along with Kyle Singler who added 14 points and 8 rebounds.
Duke got an added lift from Andre Dawkins who scored 16 points and played great defense to compliment Nolans. Defenses are having to account for dawkins as a third scorer just as they had to account for Smith, Scheyer and Singler last year. Dawkins is less of an x-factor and more of a legit threat to go off this year. He can get his points in a hurry and without much help needed.
Where Duke is lacking still is points in the paint, Mason Plumlee played 25 minutes in this game but had a hard time getting himself good looks at the rim, he was consistently abused by the emerging Reggie Johnson who despite being in foul trouble most of the game was able to drop 22 points and 9 rebounds in Cameron. Miles added 6 point but had a subpar shoring night going 2-7 and pulling down rebounds. THe bright spot in the paint was Ryan Kelly, who scored 8 points off of 4-5 shooting and has become Dukes most consistent big man despite being a bit more of a perimeter big. Kelly makes those hustle plays like rebounds, tip-ins and makes the correct pass when given the chance. If Duke can find a way to increase the point production by Miles and Mason this team can be dangerous. There are going to be times when that perimeter jumper just won’t fall, Duke will need a go-to big man for high percentage baskets. Mason and Miles have the skills to foot the bill, here’s hoping they realize that as well.
Duke still looks like the team to beat in the ACC, and with Andre Dawkins stepping up his game and Nolan showing a flare for taking over games, the lack of Kyrie Irving hasn’t been too much of a detriment. Miami has good guards and are probably middle tier ACC this year at best. Duke will benefit some from the league being in flux with new coaches and new talent, experience is at a premium and Duke has 2 seniors and a battle hardened sophomore in Andre Dawkins. On to the next test.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|DeQuan Jones, G-F||30||2-9||0-2||0-1||0||3||1||1||0||2||0||4|
|Erik Swoope, F||17||1-8||0-0||4-4||2||2||0||1||0||1||2||6|
|Reggie Johnson, C||23||9-10||0-0||4-6||5||9||0||1||2||1||4||22|
|Malcolm Grant, G||38||4-13||3-7||0-0||0||1||5||0||0||2||1||11|
|Durand Scott, G||35||4-13||0-2||2-2||2||5||2||1||1||2||2||10|
|Adrian Thomas, F||23||1-5||0-4||0-0||1||3||0||2||0||1||1||2|
|Julian Gamble, F-C||12||3-5||0-0||1-2||1||3||0||1||0||3||2||7|
|Garrius Adams, G||13||0-1||0-1||0-2||0||3||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Raphael Akpejiori, F||5||0-0||0-0||1-3||0||3||0||0||1||0||1||1|
|Rion Brown, G||4||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Duke Blue Devils|
|Kyle Singler, F||40||5-15||2-8||2-2||1||8||1||1||0||2||2||14|
|Miles Plumlee, F||23||2-7||0-0||2-3||4||6||1||0||1||2||3||6|
|Nolan Smith, G||40||9-15||4-7||6-6||2||5||5||1||0||2||2||28|
|Seth Curry, G||18||0-4||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||2||0||1||4||0|
|Ryan Kelly, F||25||4-5||0-1||0-0||2||6||1||0||3||1||3||8|
|Andre Dawkins, G||29||5-9||2-4||4-4||0||2||0||4||0||1||3||16|
|Mason Plumlee, F||25||1-5||0-0||0-0||2||10||1||0||4||4||2||2|