Posts Tagged 'Duke Blue Devils'

Halftime: Duke 33 – Butler 32

Wow what a first half from Indianapolis!

Here are some quick observations as we await the seconf half of tonight’s championship game:

-I’m very impressed with Butler’s ability to hang in there with Duke despite the fact that they started out REALLY cold. They have a 10 to 3 advantage on the offensive glass thus far.

-Avery Jukes, who averages 2.4 ppg, leads all scorers at the half with 10. I’m looking for Butler to try to get Gordon Hayward more involved. He has been efficient in grabbing 7 first half rebounds. But he averages 15.6 a game and he’s got to score some more points for Butler to have a shot. 

-Duke’s big three of Smith, Singler, and Scheyer looks comfortable and balanced. They have combined for 26 points. If Smith and Scheyer get hot from beyond the arc it could be the difference in the second half

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3/3/10: DUKE – MD Game Preview

Hello all. Wow it has been a while since I last posted! But thanks to a certain friend of mine your boy is BACK to preview Maryland’s most important regular season game in quite some time.

Let’s start with the facts. The fourth ranked Duke Blue Devils come to College Park this evening playing some excellent basketball. Their last defeat was to Georgetown at the end of January. Since that loss they have rattled off eight straight wins by an average margin of 13½ points.

The 22nd ranked Maryland Terrapins last loss was at the hands of Duke when they got clobbered by 21 on February 13 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. However things have changed for the Terps since that beatdown. They have won five straight, and have come from behind in four of those wins.

And so these two rivals meet again, but this time the stakes are a bit higher. Maryland is one game behind Duke in the ACC standings. Conventional wisdom would say “Look, Duke won 67-49 last time these two played each other, no chance the Terps win tonight.” That argument works if we are simulating this game on Accuscore with computer simulations. But we are certainly NOT.

Tonight is senior night for Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne. Emotions will be running high. The students at Maryland just loathe everything about Duke, you know they will be loud and crazy tonight.

But let’s step away from the emotion and environment of the game and look at the keys to victory for both the Devils and the Terps.

DUKE: KEY #1: Get off to a fast start. They are such a hard team to beat once they get a substantial lead on you. In the last meeting between these teams Duke had a 25-6 run in the first half and built up a lead they didn’t even come close to relinquishing.

KEY#2: The big 3 has to produce. Jon Scheyer (18.8 ppg), Nolan Smith (17.4 ppg), and Kyle Singler (17.1 ppg) do the bulk of the scoring for this team. Even if one of them has an off night, usually the other two are capable of playing well enough to pick up his slack. Also Duke’s defense acts a cushion in case the baskets aren’t coming for this trio. But if Maryland can force others such as Lance Thomas, the Plumlee brothers, and Brian Zoubek to take the big shots down the stretch, that will be big.

KEY#3: Take advantage of the middle. In the game on Feb. 13th, Zoubek had a career day scoring 16 points and grabbing 17 boards. The senior took advantage of Terps freshman Jordan Williams. I don’t know if it was the nerves of playing at Cameron for the first time, but until Williams proves he can hold his own against Duke’s big men, it would be wise for the Devils to go after him early and often.

MARYLAND: KEY #1: The Venezuelan Sensation. What a year it has been for Greivis Vasquez. He is second in the ACC in scoring (19½ ppg) and leads the conference in assists per game (6.4). He has been the unquestioned leader of this squad. He is shooting a career best 38% from beyond the arc and is quietly becoming on of the best players in school and conference history. However after beating Duke on the road in his freshman year, he has lost six straight to the Devils, including last year’s ACC tournament semi-final game. Whether it be smart distribution of the rock or putting the team on his back, Vasquez needs to bring his A-game tonight.

KEY #2: Who else will step up? In Maryland’s five game win streak, different players other than Vasquez have played crucial roles. On Feb 20th, Cliff Tucker hit an amazing buzzer beater to shock Georgia Tech. Eric Hayes and Sean Mosely were cool and confident in the closing moments of last Saturday’s instant classic at Virginia Tech, nailing their free throws in the second overtime. Freshman Jordan Williams was fantastic, scoring 19 and securing 11 rebounds at N.C. State. I am looking for Landon Milbourne to step up this evening in his final home game. He had a very good start to conference play but has put up average numbers in the past six games.

KEY #3: Take care of the ball. Maryland was able to come from behind and beat the Hokies last Saturday because they only turned the ball over twice in the 2nd half. The Terps gave themselves scoring chances nearly every time they had the ball. Vasquez had only two turnovers playing 48 of the 50 minutes. Eric Hayes had 10 assists and two turnovers in 40 minutes. Duke has been and always will be a good defensive team that feasts on turnovers. It will be interesting to see how many points off of turnovers the Devils accumulate and whether or not it will be the difference between a win or a loss.

Closing thoughts: Tonight’s game should be a classic. Enjoy the best that the ACC has to offer. Expect both teams to leave it all out there for this one. Although this is not a do or die game (both teams already have byes in the ACC Tourny and are secured sports in the Big Dance), it is a rivalry, and the top spot in the conference is on the line. Should be fun. And because I’m a homer through and through, and can’t go against my boys. Two straight Duke wins at Comcast is enough…MD 71-DUKE 67

ACC Tournament Semi-Final, Duke 67-Maryland 61

Mar. 14, 2009, 6:49 PM

Here are a few notes/observations following Duke’s six point victory over Maryland:

-Duke started out 0-3 from beyond the arc, but then made six of their next eight. That was huge for them. They finished the game 9-22 from downtown.

-Eric Hayes scored Maryland’s final 11 points. He hit four field goals and also nailed a three-pointer in the game’s final 80 seconds. He seemed like he was able to score at will. But it was too little, too late, as Duke was able to knock down their free throws and negate the comeback effort.

-Duke’s Jon Scheyer had a great game, scoring 22 points. Half of them came from his four three-pointers.

-One of the areas in which the Terps have struggled all year, especially in losses, has been getting to the foul line. Today Duke was able to get to the line 12 more time than Maryland. The Devils had 11 more points from the line than Maryland.

-Maryland should be encouraged with their effort on the boards. In their previous meeting with Duke on February 25th, they got out-rebounded 37-25.

-Duke moves on to play Florida State in tomorrow afternoon’s ACC Title Game.

Halftime: Duke 32-Maryland 30

Mar. 14, 2009, 5:15 PM

It has been a solid first half of basketball from Atlanta. The difference has been Duke’s ability to shoot the longball (6/12).

Duke’s Kyle Singler is the only player in double figures so far. He has 12.

And how bout Florida State in the early game! They knock off the number one team in the country, North Carolina, to advance to the ACC Championship Game for the first time in their history.

Week in Review: 2/23-2/26

Feb. 26, 2009, 10:33 PM

It’s time for another edition of the Week in Review.

~I have a few links regarding Wednesday night’s Duke-Maryland game. This first one is from Dan Steinberg’s blog on washingtonpost.com He goes into detail about how the Maryland students love to taunt Jon Scheyer and his facial expressions. There was even a Facebook group titled “Operation Scheyerface v2.0” to coordinate all of the fun. On the front page of the group, users can print out six different faces of Mr. Scheyer. They did that to the fullest extent the other night.

-In addition to the mass producing of Jon Scheyer’s face, some students got a hold of the phone numbers for the rooms that Duke players were in at the Greenbelt Marriott near College Park.

-And in case you missed it or just want to see it again, below is the clip of Dave Neal’s devastating screen on Nolan Smith.

-Tiger Woods made his return to golf after after a nine month absence on Wednesday, and there were two funny ads on the Golf Channel. There was a Nike one that I posted in my last entry. The other ad was from the PGA Tour, and you can watch it is below:

-Yesterday, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com made note of a little war of words between ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. The two were discussing who will be drafted number one in this year’s NFL Draft during an episode of Sportscenter.

-The NBA is concerned about some of it’s teams not being able to handle the effects of the economy, and they are reportedly set to borrow $175 million.

-Earlier this week at the NFL Combine, the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen ran his annual 40 yard dash. I believe this is the third year in a row he has done this. Notice the red Under Armour kicks haha.

-And on Monday we learned that the Philadelphia Phillies’ bullpen will be the subject of a reality show on the new MLB network this season. The show, called “The Pen”, will make it’s debut on June 1.

Maryland-Duke, Where have you gone?

Jan 23, 2009, 4:59 PM

I was looking at the start time for tomorrow afternoon’s Maryland-Duke game and noticed that it was scheduled for a noon tipoff. It got me thinking about how this “rivalry” has really dropped off a bit in the last few years. I say rivalry in quotes due to the fact that Duke doesn’t really dislike Maryland the way they hate Carolina.

Anyways I can remember back in the early part of this decade when seemed as if every Terps-Blue Devils game had that “big game” feel and would be the ESPN Wednesday or Saturday night game of the week. The games are still intense, don’t get me wrong, but it just seems that the games in the past few years have failed to live up to the ones that took place in 2000, ’01, ’02, ’03 and the ’04 ACC Championship Game…all of which were classics.

One of the reasons the rivalry has dipped has to be the fact that Maryland hasn’t held their end of the bargain. Duke is always high in the rankings. Maryland however didn’t receive a single vote in the latest AP and Coaches Polls. The games have added importance and the stakes are higher when you had two top 20, or top 10 teams battling it out. It doesn’t seem as special anymore when Duke is the easy favorite.

That being said, if and when the Terps do pull off the upset against Duke, it will be a bit more satisfying. But personally as a fan of the team I’d rather have Maryland have a high ranking each year, lose to Duke, and go deep in the NCAA Tourny. Rather than be unranked, occasionally upset a Duke or Carolina, lose to teams like Ohio, American, and Morgan State…AT HOME, and not make the Tourny at all. That last part is what the past few seasons have felt like being a Maryland fan. They play up to the Duke’s of the world but can’t win a BB&T Classic in their own backyard.

So enough of that. Tomorrow at Cameron Indoor Stadium, number two ranked Duke will host Maryland on ESPN. It should be a competitive game and as you can tell by my rant, I would love for it to be a classic.


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