I thought Gary Williams' team really played a solid game. Jones and Strawberry in particular really carried the team offensively.
And you really have to give credit to Duke as well. Just like they have done in each and every game this year, their kids left everything on the floor tonight. You could just see it in their floor leader, Josh McRoberts. I'm not talking about the 5 of 13 shooting in 39 minutes of play, or his three turnovers, or his three additional uncalled travels. I'm not talking about his mouthing off at the officials or his shoving Ibekwe after having his shot rejected. No -- I'm talking about the intensity he showed when he dove for that ball in front of his own bench. It just harkened me back to Greg Paulus' fearless dive through the media table in Madison Square Garden earlier this year. It's so easy to forget what a mentally tough kid Mr. McRoberts is when he cries into his towel as he tends to do, but believe you me, he is a true iron man!
Then you have to stand in awe, once again, at the incredible play of Duke's freshmen. Take Mr. Scheyer, for instance, the man who brings new meaning to the phrase "bringing your game face." His three for nine performance really kept the Dukies in the game. Like my buddy Mike Patrick said, this kid really has a shooter's mentality. We saw a classic case in point tonight. He shoots an airball from the perimeter, and what does he do? Does he drop back into a shell? Does he avoid shooting? No way, baby! The very next trip down the court, he launches a brick that bounds out to half-court and leads to a Maryland lay-up! That just shows such confidence and composure for a freshman! And I'll tell you something else my friends: it's that kind of shooting mentality that enabled Duke to pull off a scorching 41% field goal percentage for the game!
And how about his improved defensive play? Did you see what he did at the end of the first half, when he drew that third foul on Mr. Strawberry? Ah, what a sight it was - the way he crawled right up under the straw-man's feet and flopped to the floor as he was trying to dribble laterally! That's what you call taking away the horizontal penetration. And you can really tell that this kid is no stranger to receiving horizontal penetration.
And we saw another sensational performance by roll player David McClure. Sure, he was only 0 for 3 from the floor, but you just gotta love his intensity. Did you notice how strong he drove to the rack on that second half play? You know, the one where his shot was swatted all the way to half court? I mean, it was rejection city, baby, and it kicked off another Maryland fast break. But just like Mr. Scheyer, he did not let it rock his confidence one iota. You young players out there can really learn a lot from that!
Yes my friends, it was another awe-inspiring awesome performance by the Dukies. It's such a shame that they came away from this effort with a loss. But just realize none of this detracts from the absolutely amazing turnaround that Duke has accomplished. We're talking about a four game win streak after a four game losing streak. For those stats fans out there, that's four W's in the last nine outings!
So those are my thoughts on another night of awesome ACC action!Can someone get the audio?