Friday, March 5, 2010

Finger injury won't stop Zoubek

DURHAM - A finger injury suffered Wednesday at Maryland won't stop Duke senior center Brian Zoubek from playing in Saturday's 9 p.m. regular-season finale against North Carolina, coach Mike Krzyzewski said Friday.

Zoubek went to the locker room with his left index finger bent grotesquely. But he returned to the game, and Krzyzewski said he will play with the finger taped against the Tar Heels.

Krzyzewski said that he doesn't expect the struggles of North Carolina (16-14, 5-10 ACC) to take away from the excitement at Cameron Indoor Stadium. He expects it to be the same kind of atmosphere as it's been when the Tar Heels are highly rated.

"I think it will be," Krzyzewski said. "They've won their last couple, and they're very talented."

The game will be a chance for fourth-ranked Duke (25-5, 12-3) to clinch at least a share of the ACC regular-season championship. The Blue Devils also can clinch the No. 1 seed for next week's ACC Tournament with a win.

Duke had a chance to clinch first place outright with a win Wednesday at Maryland, but fell 79-72 on the Terrapins' senior night.

"There is a little bit of frustration," said senior guard Jon Scheyer. "We watned to win it Wednesday night. We were pretty angry. And coach told us to use that anger [for motivation]."

Scheyer, Zoubek, forward Lance Thomas and walk-on Jordan Davidson will be honored Saturday on senior night. Last night they had the traditional dinner with Krzyzewski and his family that all Duke players have before their senior night.

They talked about how far they have come since they were freshmen and Duke finished 22-11 with a first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Virginia Commonwealth in 2007.

Today, Scheyer recalled the 74-47 loss at Clemson last season. He watched film of the game and was thorougly disappointed at how he looked, and it motivated him not to repeat the performance.

"Those are moments you need to have to get better," Scheyer said.

Thanks to those moments, they have a chance to gain at least a share of an ACC regular-season title for the first time in their careers.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Never thought I'd say this, but ZOUBEK might be the difference between a Sweet Sixteen exit and a Final Four for Duke.