Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blue Devils missing an inside game

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. - Duke guard Nolan Smith sounded the alarm Wednesday night after a tenacious Florida State defense frustrated the No. 1-ranked Blue Devils in a 66-61 win at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

"Teams are going to watch this tape and see, 'This is how to get them.' " Smith said.

Duke (15-1, 2-1 ACC) saw its 25-game winning streak dating back to last season broken because it shot a season-low 31.1 percent from the field and recorded a season-low point total.

You didn't even have to see the game to know what's wrong. The box score tells the tale.

The Blue Devils attempted 35 3-pointers, making 11. They tried just 26 two-point shots, connecting on just eight.

"We couldn't help off any of the shooters, because they're awesome shooters," said Florida State forward Chris Singleton.

So Duke needs to develop some kind of offense in the lane to force the defense to collapse. Smith, who was 3-for-10 on two-pointers Wednesday, said he needs to be more patient in the lane. He wants to use more shot fakes and draw more fouls.

And the Blue Devils need some kind of a low-post scoring presence from their big guys. In 53 total minutes, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Miles Plumlee combined for five points. They shot a combined 2-for-8 from the field.

Although the players were disappointed Wednesday, coach Mike Krzyzewski took a more patient, longer view. He said Duke now has a chance to be a good team, when it had a shot to be a great team with freshman point guard Kyrie Irving out indefinitely with an injury to his right big toe.

"You just learn from the experience," Krzyzewski said. "We have a long way to go, and we have to keep getting better from these experiences."

Other teams will watch tape to see how to stop Duke. And Krzyzewski and his staff will try to come up with counter moves. It's part of the ebb and flow that could make this an interesting season over the long haul for the Blue Devils.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

NEWS FLASH!!! This just in, Duke hasnt had a post game since Carlos Boozer!!! Some nights the shots just dont fall and it usually accounts for 3-4 losses a year for Duke. The loss of Irving is what really hurts this team. His ability to drive into the lane and break down defenses opened up the floor for everyone else. Coach K will work his magic and make the necessary adjustments to get this team where it needs to be.