Final Duke 74, Coastal Carolina 49: Things started very slowly for the Blue Devils offensively tonight. But, they were able to heat up a little bit in the second half, and Coastal Carolina never had a chance shooting just 28.6% from the field. Statistically, Kyle Singler was the standout with 23 points and 10 rebounds. John Scheyer, Andre Dawkins, and Miles Plumlee were all in double figures as well. While Dawkins definitely didn't shoot a high percentage tonight, if he can be a solid third or fourth scorer, this Duke team will be better off for it.
Tomorrow night should prove interesting as Nolan Smith will return to the lineup for a likely matchup with an athletic Charlotte squad.
2:55 Duke 67, Coastal Carolina 40: Olek Czyz got his second start of the season tonight and has looked very sporadic. But, there is no denying his raw athletic ability. He just had a big two-handed slam after a tough drive down the middle. The Cameron Crazies really seem to appreciate the way he elevated over 6'10'' Coastal Carolina center Jon Pack.
4:01 Duke 64, Coastal Carolina 40: Kyle Singler just stepped to the line and knocked down a pair of free throws after securing a rebound and getting fouled. He has 23 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Tonight's double-double is probably one of many to come this season.
6:36 Duke 59, Coastal Carolina 38: Perhaps the Blue Devils have been a little too aggressive with their hands on the defensive end this half, becuase Coastal is in the double bonus for the rest of the half. But, even if it is over-aggressiveness, it may not be a bad thing as the Chanticleers are shooting just 25.5% on the night.
9:38 Duke 55, Coastal Carolina 32: Andre Dawkins really has a lot of confidence. His jumper was streaky throughout much of the first half and he missed his first deep one of the second half. But, he has hit back-t0-back downtown bombs as Duke is starting to pull away a little bit. Dawkins has 11 on the game now. Singler and Scheyer are both in double-digits with 21 and 10 points respectively.
14:11 Duke 43, Coastal Carolina 25: Big ovation as Thomas hits the deck to force a held ball after Dawkins poked a ball loose on the perimeter. Good to see the crowd appreciating what is a really strong defensive effort to this point. Given that Duke is using just an eight-man rotation with two freshman, the communication has been great, and the legs still look fresh.
Timeout 15:58 Duke 38, Coastal Carolina 23: Coastal Carolina came out of the locker room with a mini spurt to close the gap to ten. But, Scheyer responded with a 3-pointer from the corner and then got to the line and hit a pair of free throws. On the last play before the timeout, Lance Thomas made a big defensive play sliding over to take a charge on a reckless drive by one of Coastal's guards.
Halftime Duke 33, Coastal Carolina 19: Very low scoring first half. Kyle Singler looks like he could have an Adam Morrison type year statistically. On the first half, he has 15 points and has been scoring in every way imaginable. On top of that, he is hitting the boards really hard and has pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
My guess is that the emphasis at halftime will be on getting more consistent movement on offense. So far, Duke has settled for a lot of jump shots. However, the coaching staff has to be pleaseed with the confidence that the freshman have been showing. Neither Dawkins or Kelly has shown any hesitation to let an open jump shot go.
2:20 Duke 30, Coastal Carolina 15: I'm beginning to wonder how much the Blue Devils miss Nolan Smith right now. As hard as Duke is playing on the defensive end, they are struggling on the offensive end (Singler is pretty much carrying the load right now with 12 points). Scheyer has had a pretty pedestrian first half and seems content to just play the role of distributor from the point guard spot. It will be interesting to see what capacity Coach K has Smith in when he returns tomorrow night from this two-game suspension.
TV Timeout 3:57 Duke 26, Coastal Carolina 12: The Chanticleers are in the midst of a six-plus minute scoring drought. Some credit has to be given to the Duke defense as the unit has been active with their hands, and Singler and freshman Ryan Kelly have two blocks a piece on the interior. But, some of the blame has to be put on Coastal Carolina as they are getting good looks but can't seem to knock anything down.
8:19 Duke 20, Coastal Carolina 12: Singler is certainly living up to his billing as a first-team All-American. He is showing that he can score the ball from the 3-point line, midrange, and has the confidence to put the ball on the wood and get all the way to the tin. He has 8 points and 3 boards early on. The Blue Devils are giving up too much penetration on the defensive end much to the dismay of the coaching staff.
11:40 Duke 14, Coastal Carolina 8: Andre Dawkins has come in off of the pine and is making a big impact. He hit his first three and then let two more fly. He misfired on the last two attempts but had a putback on the ensuing possession. Blue Devil fans have to love the confidence that this kid is showing in just his second game on such a big stage. Remember, he could be at prep school right now.
14:58 TV Timeout: Tied at 6. Neither team is having much success on the offensive end. A big offensive rebound and putback with the foul by Singler halted any momentum that the Chanticleers may have been building up. Both teams are already shaking things up on the defensive end. Coastal Carolina jumped into a box-and-one on Singler the last possession and Duke is playing an extended 3-2 zone with lengthy Lance Thomas playing the top.
18:00: Very sloppy start for Duke. Three turnovers and a missed dunk by Czyz later, the Blue Devils are down 6-0. The Coast Carolina contingent is really getting into it following a put-back dunk and a breakaway jam by Mario Edwards.
Tipoff: Not sure if it's just a late arriving crowd or if fans are waiting to come out for the potential final tomorrow night, but a handful of empty seats up top and definitely lots of room to be filled in on both sides of the lower bowl.
Duke starters: Olek Czyz, Miles Plumlee, Kyle Singler, John Scheyer, and Lance Thomas.
Again for the Devils it is almost as much about the players not in uniform as it is about those playing: Nolan Smith, Mason Plumlee, and Seth Curry are all in street clothes.
Remember, assuming Duke gets out of its Durham regional, matchups with Arizona State and then probably Connecticut loom in a week and a half at the Garden.
Pregame: We're just about ten minutes away from tipoff, and the Blue Devils are back on the court. Duke (1-0) faces Coastal Carolina (1-0) tonight in the NIT Season Tip-Off First Round Matchup. The winner of this contest will see the winner of the Charlotee/Elon game which tips off approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
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