“After Sleeping on It …” Duke Pulls One Out for Coach K’s 1000th Against St. John’s

 SDBB - Duke ZZZ's

Today’s Article is By Bermuda Bob

The stage was set. Madison Square Garden, aka “Cameron North” was packed. Thankfully, Duke wore their blue uniforms. Then, the Tip Off.

Duke worked it’s way to an 11 Point lead by the 12:29 minute mark, then the unthinkable. They were soundly outplayed. Overrun might be more exact. Duke fans were witnessing the unthinkable.

How could St. John’s ruin such a perfectly staged event ???

St. John’s did it by causing 16 Duke TurnOvers, logging 10 Steals, and blocking 4 Shots. They shot 43% and 27% from outside the Arc.

To add insult to injury, Duke was burdened by some of the worst Officiating of the year. The type that makes them look like “Homers” !!!   If you are curious of my contention, just watch the replay of the last shot of the Half at the Buzzer by D’Angelo Harrison. Every SportsCaster in America watching the game saw what every Duke fan saw. The shot was soundly AFTER the Shot Clock.  The Officials simply trotted into their Locker Room, relying on a technicality that they were not required to review the Shot.

The trend would continue. Soon Duke found themselves behind the “Eight Ball,” as if it were all a bad dream.

The bad dream would continue into the 2nd Half.  Bad Fouls, bad calls, overall bad play.

Then, the unthinkable. Marshall Plumlee was inserted and the team took on a completely different look. St. John’s continued to double-team “Oaks” and ignore “Plums,” even after he made his presence he scored with an Assist by Tyus.  This was the turning point !!!

“Plums” would go on to pull down 5 Rebounds, as the deficit began to dwindle with every St. John’s missed shot, and “Plums” pulling down the Rebound.  Momentum changed and Duke used it to their advantage.

Soon, St. John’s would begin to take “Plums” seriously. That took the pressure off of “Oaks” and the rest of the squad.  They began to score and St. John’s suddenly looked spent. The tide had turned and momentum was on Duke’s side.

At the same time, Matt Jones was on the floor for Rasheed.  While the Box Score won’t show it, his pulling down 6 Rebounds, creating 2 Assists, and a Steal made a significant contribution.

Duke would get big scores from Tyus and Quinn, and the game would end in Duke’s favour, 77-68.

This was one of the first times that Duke kept their poise, maintained their focus, and looked like a maturing team.  They are not close to being where they need to be in March, but they have the whole month of February to work on it.  This week will feel like a gauntlet, but it’s also an opportunity get better.

–         Justise needs to get healthy so he can keep the Defenses honest.

–         “Oaks” needs to dribble less.

–         Amile needs to try shooting from that Foul Line Post to keep defenses honest.  Right now his not shooting allows defenses to back down closer to “Oaks.”

–         Tyus needs to continue to do what he’s doing so well, but maybe be a little more selective with his shots for fear of getting hurt like Justise.

–         Quinn needs to continue to lead.

–         Rasheed needs to continue in his very important role coming off the bench.

–         Coach K needs to get “Plums” and Grayson more floor time. I believe that both have plenty to contribute, but need the chance to do so like “Plums” did in this game.

Duke is at Notre Dame on Wednesday and Virginia on Saturday night. They will both present an even tougher challenge, but it’s time to “bring it” if they want to slay the demons of past performances.

Thanks for Reading …

Please don’t be a stranger and tell us what you think !!!

In the meantime …

Rock On !!!


4 thoughts on ““After Sleeping on It …” Duke Pulls One Out for Coach K’s 1000th Against St. John’s

  1. Tired of Coach K not playing Allen and Plums and his bench. They both need the time to settle in during the game. They are capable of contributing but get yanked for a mistake unlike the starters he just leaves them in. For goodness sakes, Coach K needs to be teaching the team to pass to a wide open Plumlee when he is in the game, its like they are taught he is only in there to rebound and set screens at half court. I like the double post player concept.


    • Hi Rommie !!!
      I’d like to see “Plums” because he’s obviously staying and Grayson, so he doesn’t become the next guy to leave because he’s tired of pulling splinters !!!
      I am not in favour of relying on “Plums” for handling the ball outside of the Paint. I do not like those goofy Picks he set so far away from the Paint that usually are ineffective since he is not a Pick-&-Roll candidate …
      Thanks for contributing … We welcome your comments always !!! Tell you friends and join the fun !!!
      Rock On !!!


  2. Duke played their toughest defense this year against Wisconsin. Since then they have been up and down. However, I have to give Coach K accolades for the zone defense in the last 10 minutes of the St John’s game. It was almost unbeatable when he had Plumlee and Okafor in the game at the same time. 14 ft plus of wingspan is difficult to penetrate for anyone. That same combination has not been used since even through the UVA game. How can you logically only play Plumlee for 5 minutes in the UVA game. Or do we not know something – is he hurt?


    • Hi Bill !!!
      You’re asking the same question Ro and I have been asking for quite some time. Granted, “Plums” doesn’t have the best hands, and his feet/legs get tangled up often, but he plays defense. Very often “Oaks” looks like he’s playing not to foul, which is no defense at all !!! I hope, going forward, that Coach K uses all the bullets in his clip !!!

      Go Duke !!!


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