Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Duke preaches defense, rebounding

CHARLOTTE - Duke loses senior first-team All-ACC players Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler plus No. 1 NBA draft pick Kyrie Irving off the 2010-11 team.

So how are the Blue Devils going to win this season with just two returning starters? At the ACC’s Operation Basketball event today, junior co-captain Ryan Kelly said defense and rebounding will be Duke’s staples.

“At any time we can put five guys on the floor that can score the basketball,” Kelly said, “but our first and most important thing is going to be defense.”

Kelly said this season’s team will be built like the 2009-10 NCAA championship team, which used bruising big men Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas to dominate defensively and on the boards.

This season’s defense will be built from the inside out with Kelly, junior Mason Plumlee and senior co-captain Miles Plumlee.

“In our program, the big guys have been the backbone of the defense,” Miles Plumlee said, “and having experience there is going to be huge.”

Kelly said Miles Plumlee – who had six offensive rebounds in the Blue-White game Friday – has been a force on the boards in practice. But the team’s best defender, Kelly said, is sophomore guard Tyler Thornton, who has disruptive throughout preseason practice.

“He’s just a pest,” Kelly said, “on the ball and off of it.”

Ken Tysiac

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will be interesting to see if any of the loaded freshman class not named Rivers steps up big this year.

I can see Gbinije or Cook having some big games.

Anonymous said...

Preseason #6, 30 win squad. Will obviously win ACC trophy again, inevitably split with Heels, prob go out in Sweet 16.

Welcome to Duke's version of a rebuilding year.

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