Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Top 25 Roundup: Duke not pleased with 80-49 win


— Only at Duke could there be so much dissatisfaction with a 30-point victory.

The eighth-ranked Blue Devils opened a season of high expectations Monday night with an 80-49 rout of Presbyterian in the 2K Sports Classic, but there weren't many people from Duke who were content with it.

Not Kyle Singler, who scored 12 of his 19 points during the decisive first half but uncharacteristically missed seven shots. Not Nolan Smith, who scored 15 points but admitted the Blue Devils "were just off."

And certainly not Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, who improved to 27-2 in home openers at the school despite his team's 21 turnovers. During last season's 28-6 finish, only twice did they turn it over more often.

"It's almost like we're trying a little bit too hard on the offensive end at times," Krzyzewski said.

Still, the Blue Devils (1-0) did enough to win in the first half by overwhelming the cold-shooting Blue Hose with two dominating spurts, then cruised to their 60th straight nonconference win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Lance Thomas and Jon Scheyer added 12 points apiece for Duke. The Blue Devils will face Georgia Southern - which beat Houston 65-63 - tonight with a semifinal berth at Madison Square Garden on the line.

"Tonight, (it) just wasn't there. That's on us," Singler said. "Our standards weren't met tonight, and we've just got to come back tomorrow with a different attitude, a different mind-set. I know we will."

After rolling to two exhibition victories against Division II schools by an average of 58.5 points, the Blue Devils were met with only slightly more resistance from a Presbyterian program entering its second season in Div. I.

Duke - which hasn't lost the first game at its notoriously noisy arena since 1982, and won its ninth straight season opener overall - denied the Blue Hose (0-1) their first road victory in 24 tries at this level.

"Some people thought it was crazy for even wanting to play Duke in your opening game," Presbyterian coach Gregg Nibert said. "But it's a dream for our program ... They're awesome. (Krzyzewski is) awesome. Their players are awesome."

Still, Coach K saw plenty of room for improvement, even as Duke controlled both ends of the court. The Blue Devils held the Blue Hose to 1-of-11 shooting during one early stretch before reeling off 19 straight points - coming away with points on seven straight trips downcourt - to take a 20-point lead. At one point late in the half, the Blue Hose had more than twice as many turnovers (11) as field goals (five), and they finished with 28 giveaways and shot 30 percent.

"I would say (Krzyzewski) was happy with our defense," Singler said. "But that might be it."


speedy 11 years, 6 months ago

why is duke being on here? the title said around the big 12. duke overratted andover hyped every year.

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