Well, Miami definitely had a gameplan.
And, had the Blue Devils obliged them by not ever running down to the defensive end of the court, it might have had a chance. The Redhawks attempted to slow down Duke’s transition game by essentially sending only one man to the offensive glass all night (as evidenced by their 5 offensive boards for the game) and hoped that a) they hit their jump shots and b) Duke would struggle in the half-court. And they were half right for half of a half or…something. Duke’s offense did take a while to adjust as they scored only 22 points in the first 14 minutes, but then got things in gear adding 16 in the final 6 minutes. The scoring was balanced, as 7 different players got onthe board with no single player hitting double figures. More importantly, the defense was positively smothering, holding the Hawks to 17 points on 7 of 23 shooting. This Miami team was amongst the lowest scoring teams in the NCAA last year and they certainly showed why.
The second half started with a fairly evenly played 4 minutes, but soon became a sit-back-eat-your-popcorn-and-guess-how-many-points-we’re-going-to-win-by affair, as our backcourt simply overwhelmed the Hawks, who were decidedly without any hap whatsoever. At one point , the Devils scored on 11 of 14 possessions, and it was an official fanny spanking.
To spare you the boring details of this early season rout, I will now shift to the lazy writer’s friend, the bullet point, to take it home.
- Ryan Kelly started in place of Miles Plumlee which should come as no surprise for those of you who have been paying attention. Kelly has been far more productive with his minutes in every game thus far and frankly is a better basketball player at this point. Ryan didn’t disappoint, once again outproducing Miles. There is going to be at least a 50/50 minutes split at the 4 for the rest of the year between the two of these guys, and will probably largely be determined by foul trouble.
- Seth Curry had a fantastic game, shooting 3 of 4 from behind the arc and leading the Devils with 17 points. This team will end the year having 5 different players as individual game scoring leaders.
- Kyle and Nolan were pretty quiet and non-assertive in the first half. Nolan ended up with a nice line ( 10 pts 7asts 5 rebs 2 blks 1 stl) , but Kyle never got on track, going only 3 - 11 from the floor. Coach K commented after the game that, as a team, Duke needs to involve him more in the offense so that he isn’t relegated to being a jump shooter. The upside to this , of course, is that we’ve completely blown away 2 opponents without either of our best players really asserting themselves. That oughta scare some folks.
- K was subbing players like he was Roy Williams. 10 players played at least 11 minutes and there must have been 7 or 8 different lineups on the floor. I willing to bet that that hasn’t happened often in the K era…
- After ripping the frontcourt last game, I have to give credit to Mason for really showing up tonight. He had 10 points and 14 boards in a really solid effort. Admittedly , a lot of those rebounds were uncontested due to the style of play that Miami was employing, but the improvement in post effort was definitely good to see. Mason and Miles coudl both use a little extra free throw work this week, though.