Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Duke faces familiar foes in New York

Duke will face a familiar foe in the NIT Season Tipoff semifinals on Nov. 25 in New York - and it's not just Herb Sendek.

With a 52-49 defeat of Texas Christian on Tuesday that ended long after midnight on the East Coast, Arizona State advanced to the meeting with Duke. Sendek, the former N.C. State coach, credited an ex-Duke player with carrying Arizona State against TCU.

Center Eric Boateng, a former McDonald's All-American who played just one season with the Blue Devils before transferring to Arizona State, posted career highs with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Arizona State wasn't nearly as dominating in its second-round game as Duke was in a 101-59 thrashing of Charlotte. But Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said the 49ers might have been more competitive if he'd had some practice time to prepare them to adjust their uptempo pace and play at a slower tempo.

As N.C. State fans know (for better or for worse), Sendek is a master at playing at a slow tempo. And he has time to prepare, plus a big man in Boateng who will be eager to prove himself to his former teammates in New York.

Ken Tysiac