Well there’s no way to sugar coat it: the Duke/Georgetown game was an old fashioned whuppin. With the Clemson game now being the only abberation, Duke continued its trend this season of leaving their Dr Jekyl efficiency at home and transforming into an especially ugly Mr Hyde on the road.
In his post-game wrap up Coach K unsurprisingly did not hold back: We had “no poise”. We were not “emotionally there”. We “did not play as one”. Or perhaps he best summed it up Duke’s effort with: “A perfect example of how not to play.”
Now to be fair, Georgetown was playing a bit out of their minds. Perhaps inspired by the presence of the President, they decided to do their best ‘85 Villanova championship game impression by going 17-22 in the first half for a cool 77% from the field. Duke’s FG’s: 33%. No way those trends would continue in the second half, right? Well the corrective swing was pretty mild. For the game Georgetown finished 72% from the field; Duke 37% including an especially ugly 3-15 from 3 pt range for most of the second half. (Duke did hit a couple of garbage 3’s to end the half 5-19)
The first ten minutes of the game both teams seemed a little overly amped up. A few fouls here, a couple turnovers there, and G-town managed to miss four shots. But then for an 11 minute stretch they didn’t. Duke had a 17-16 lead in the game at the 9:52 mark. They held it for all of 25 seconds. Aided by 1)poor transition defense, 2)a couple of bad open floor turnovers (that Coach K acurately described as “boneheaded”) and 3)a complete inability to handle the strength of the Hoya’s backcourt, Georgetown surged out to a 13 point lead at halftime.
In the second half Duke managed to cut the lead to seven points a couple of times but could never get over the hump to make it competitive. They also could not defend without fouling, managing to squeeze in an astonishing 17 fouls in 14 minutes - including putting the Hoyas in the bonus at the 11:15 mark. Duke missed a lot of open shots, and they had no answer for Greg Monroe, who stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, 5 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals while playing all 40 minutes. Devil fans surely must be left shaking their heads thinking about what could have been if the 6’11” big man with a guard-like handle was at the center of our current doughnut lineup.
- Zoubek did his best freshman year impression getting 2 fouls in 33 seconds. He never got back into the game. Perhaps K was upset? Perhaps he rightly knew Monroe would likely continue to abuse him.
- It’s puzzling why Duke is not utilizing its ‘Orange’ zone defense more. The Florida State game had a big turnaround with several consecutive stops while playing zone. Duke had several good defensive possessions playing zone in the first half, but never went back to it. Wouldn’t playing zone against an offense predicated on back door cuts be more effective than our normal overplay man-to-man? It also may not have contained Greg Monroe, but no Blue Devil (except Lance Thomas occasionally) had an iota of success against him one on one.
- Duke’s big three finished the game 15-43 (8-24 from 3). Georgetown’s big 3 of Monroe, Freeman and Wright was 23-31 and played all but 2 minutes of the game. Those stats really sum up the game properly.