Channeling 'Phoenix Suns,' Duke out-shoots Wake Forest, 101-91 | Sports
Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Channeling 'Phoenix Suns,' Duke out-shoots Wake Forest, 101-91

Posted by on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 2:00 AM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM - As Gerald Henderson and Jon Scheyer left the court in the final minute of No. 9 Duke's demonstrative victory over No. 8 Wake Forest, they received bear hugs from their coaches for having the offensive games of their careers. The two juniors combined for 65 points (Henderson had a career-high 35, Scheyer a career-high 30), propelling Duke past Wake Forest in an unusually high-scoring shootout at Cameron Indoor.

Wake, who shot 60 percent from the field, battled back from a 22-point deficit in a turnover-ridden first half, and were within two points when Scheyer leaned in and executed a pitch-perfect Reggie Miller flop behind the three point line, resulting in three free throws, and a Duke lead that Wake could never overcome.

It was a "huge play," Coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game, which he called the team's biggest at Cameron in three years.

"We just could not stop them, but they couldn't stop us either," he said. "It was just one of those old-fashioned ACC games."

Wake Forest Coach Dino Gaudio thought it was more NBA than ACC: "Looked like the Phoenix Suns," he said as he left the press room.

Though Duke was dominant in the first half, much of their offense resulted from forced turnovers--16 in that half alone. (In one astonishing stretch, freshman guard Elliot Williams--starting for a second night in a row--stole the ball three times in 40 seconds.) When Wake gained control of the ball, and their inside shots started dropping, in the second half, it seemed like a mere a matter of time before they caught up with Duke, who was limited to perimeter play in their half-court offense.

Yet, even though the Blue Devils played with no clear point guard--Scheyer brought the ball up, but called no plays--Scheyer and Henderson were able to create shots for themselves, and Duke shot 54 percent from the field, an unusually high figure for the jump-shooting team. Duke also did an excellent job of hanging onto the ball, and finished with 6 turnovers to Wake's 20. (Read Triangle Offense contributor Ryan Campbell's "Four Factor" preview of the game, which explains why Wake Forest needed the exact opposite to happen.)

It was an important victory for Duke--and, indeed, showed their ability to beat one of college basketball's toughest opponents, whom they lost to earlier in the season--but it also revealed several weaknesses. Ironically, this was a much stronger game for Duke's defense than it was their offense. Their 54 percent shooting--which came mostly from pull-up jump shots, to go with fast-break dunks and a few tip-ins--was an anomaly for Duke, who is averaging ten percentage points less this season. On off nights, the shots won't go in--and in the NCAA tournament, there is no room for an off night.

Meanwhile, Wake's point-guard Jeff Teague scored 28 points, on 10-for-16 shooting, much of it on inside drives. When it mattered, though, Williams shut down Teague late in the game, and early on he set a strong defensive tone. Though they allowed 91 points--and a 22-point gap to be nearly closed--Duke's defense forced 20 turnovers, which allowed its offense to get to the basket on fast breaks, something they were powerless to do in their half-court sets. (That said, Scheyer and Henderson managed to get to the free-throw line 25 times, accounting for a third of their combined point total.) Running their offense--which primarily consisted of setting screens behind the three-point line--Duke often looked tentative at best. Too often, a player would bail out the team with an effortless-looking buzzer-beater that won't always be there.

One final note: Former starting center Brian Zoubek sat all game. In our last post, we wondered if freshman Miles Plumlee would be getting more PT. He logged a paltry 3 minutes, behind Lance Thomas, but he was also the second center off the bench. Notably, Coach K prefered to keep the lineup small tonight, and in one stretch played with no center, a strategy he attributed to the game's fast pace. Perhaps Plumlee's numbers will expand as Duke plays games that aren't in the triple-digits.

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

what i gonna to do is to be my hero and be awesome, just like them, cannot change history and …

by heartnecklace on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

wwe is too violate, if some can fix it that will be okay.

by heartnecklace on Should North Carolina State try to suplex the WWE? (Sports)

I find myself not caring about any of this. Amazing how such a "strong, proud, powerful people" could lose the …

by 10yearwalk on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Gaffe-r is right...he f8cks up all the time. "A lot of success over the last 3 years"....less smoke blows out …

by DonGarbageBlows on Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks (Sports)

Comments

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

what i gonna to do is to be my hero and be awesome, just like them, cannot change history and …

by heartnecklace on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation