It was hard not to notice Andre Dawkins Thursday night who, as the Blue Devils cruised to a 86-67 victory over Georgia Tech, sat on the bench waiting to come into the game. He never got the chance.
Admittedly, I'm no expert in deciphering the facial expressions of athletes. But as I looked across the court at Dawkins, he certainly didn't look "happy". As Kyle Singler nailed shots from deep and Duke completely overwhelmed a team that had beaten it earlier this season, Dawkins' teammates sprung off the bench in celebration. Perhaps it's simply his personality, the freshman's quiet demeanor, that kept him sitting quietly clapping on the bench. That didn't stop the Cameron Crazies sitting in the student section behind me from wondering why every scholarship player and a handful of walk-ons got into the game before the Blue Devils' young 3-point threat.
Following the game, in the postgame press conference, head coach Mike Krzyzewski dismissed the idea that Dawkins' lack of playing time had any significance behind it such as the freshman falling out of the rotation.
"No, no, he's just not...this wasn't the type of thing to play tonight," Krzyzewski said.
But Dawkins' time on the floor has certainly dropped off in recent games. After playing 20 or more minutes in seven of the Blue Devils' first 12 games, Dawkins hasn't played 20 minutes in 10 straight contests and has since averaged just over eight points. And after hitting 26 shots from deep in those first 12 games—which all took place in 2009—Dawkins has just two 3-pointers in the new year.
Midway through the first half of last night's contest, when many onlookers may have expected to see Dawkins come into the game to give Jon Scheyer or Nolan Smith a break (both played 39 minutes in the contest), walk-on Jordan Davidson entered the game. Even if Dawkins simply didn't play because the situation didn't quite fit him, it was sure something that didn't go unnoticed.