For the second time in the last three seasons, the Blue Devils are off to a 9-0 start following a dominant 90-67 win over Temple at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. In a theme that's been consistent all season, Duke had four double-figure scorers led by Seth Curry with 23 points, Mason Plumlee with 16, and Ryan Kelly and Quinn Cook with 14 apiece. An early 22-8 Duke run set the tone, as the Blue Devils turned a 13-10 lead to a 35-18 advantage with just over five minutes remaining in the first half.
A balanced offense has been Duke's calling card all season, as the Blue Devils have had four double-figure scorers in eight consecutive games. Plumlee and Kelly have scored in double figures in every one of those eight games, while Curry, Cook and freshman Rasheed Sulaimon have also averaged double figures.
Devils Get Game Break to Focus on Finals
Duke will have 11 days between games now as the Blue Devils step away from the court to focus on final exams. Duke returns to action Dec. 19th and 20th with home games against Cornell and Elon before heading off for Christmas break.
Trying to Join 900 Club
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, a longtime friend of Coach K, is two wins shy of join Krzyzewski and Bob Knight as the only coaches in NCAA Division I history to collect 900 career wins. Boeheim has been an assistant coach on Krzyzewski's USA Basketball staff since 2005.
to Duke's 9-0 Start
A few statistical keys to Duke's flawless start this season:
- Balanced scoring: The Blue Devils have a balanced offense with five players averaging in double figures At least four Blue Devils have scored 10 or more points in eight consecutive games.
- Free throws: Duke has made more free throws (170) than any other team in the ACC and is shooting at a .756 clip from the charity stripe. Four of Duke's five starters are shooting 73.1 percent or better from the line with the lone standout being senior Ryan Kelly (.684), who ranked ninth in the ACC with a .807 clip last season.
- Taking care of the basketball: Duke leads the ACC with a 1.4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio and has turned the ball over on just 14.5 percent of its offensive possessions. The Blue Devils average 16.0 assists and just 11.4 turnovers per game.
- Forcing turnovers: Duke has forced its opponent into 10 or more turnovers in all but one game (against No. 2 Ohio State) this season. Duke averages 17.6 points off turnovers per game this season.
- Cutting off passing lanes: Duke is allowing the 10th fewest assists per game in the NCAA, surrendering an average of 8.7 helpers. That works out to an assist on just 36.8 percent of opponent field goals, which is tied for the third-lowest percentage in the country.
Returns to Lineup against Temple
Duke welcomed Seth Curry back to the lineup after the senior guard missed the Delaware game with an ankle injury he suffered against Ohio State. It was the first game Curry had missed during his entire Duke career, but he wasted no time in showing he was over the injury by hitting his first jump shot of the game on the way to a team-leading 23 points. Curry went 5-of-9 from the three-point line, 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Shooting 40.0 percent from the three-point line this season, Curry ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring (16.1 points per game), second in free throw percentage (.897), eighth in three-point percentage (.400) and tied for fourth in made three-point field goals per game (2.3).
Owns the Meadowlands
The Meadowlands has been Duke's home away from home under Coach K. The Blue Devils are 20-1 all-time in the area and won their 12th straight Meadowlands game on Saturday. Duke is 10-0 in NCAA Tournament games and 10-1 in regular season games at the Meadowlands. The Blue Devils advanced to five Final Fours at the Meadowlands (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1999).
Duke Basketball Radio Show on Tuesday
The Duke Basketball Radio Show with Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski returns for its third edition of the season this Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club on the campus of Duke University. The show airs live from the Bull Durham Bar on WDNC 620 The Buzz, and fans are invited to join the coaches on location at the Washington Duke Inn. Fans may submit questions for the show here: http://www.goduke.com//quest/Questionaire.dbml?\QID=73996&DB_OEM_ID=4200.
the Most Underrated Blue Devils
Dantzler Smith, a contributing writer for BleacherReport.com, posted a list of his 15 most underrated players in Duke basketball history. The list is entirely subjective, but as always, makes for a good discussion. Smith's top five are below, as well as a link to the entire list.
4. Tate Armstrong
3. Jack Marin
1. Mike Lewis
What do you think about the list? Send your thoughts to @Duke_MBB on Twitter.
Sulaimon Earn ACC Weekly Honors
Mason Plumlee and Rasheed Sulaimon were honored by the ACC as Co-Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively, on Monday after helping Duke top No. 2 Ohio State and Delaware. Plumlee turned in back-to-back double-doubles with 21 points and 17 rebounds against the Buckeyes and 18 points and 11 boards against Delaware. Sulaimon, meanwhile, scored 17 points against Ohio State - all in the second half - and another 14 points against Delaware. It was the first ACC Player of the Week citation this season for Plumlee and the second Rookie of the Week award for Sulaimon.
of the Week
For as much success Duke has had shooting from the three-point line this season - and for as much of a reputation as a three-point shooting team that Duke garners - the Blue Devils have scored just 28.3 percent of their points from threes this season. That ranks as the 155th highest percentage in the country and Duke's lowest mark since the 2008-09 season. Last year, Duke scored 31.3 percent of its points on three-pointers.
of the Week
Duke Radio @DukeRadio
Curry said he felt much fresher today after not playing a game since Ohio St. Great @Duke_MBB stat: 19 assists vs only 6 turnovers.
Devil Network @BlueDevil_NTWRK
@Duke_MBB now 9-0 with a great win against Temple! We'll have highlights in the next #GoDukeWeekly!
Had a sick time at the Duke Temple Game. Hope @steve_wojo @coach_collins @masonplumlee @RyanKelly34 @sdotcurry + the boys enjoyed dpuffz!!
More from the set of Parks & Rec with @Hoya2aPacer & @MilesPlumlee13 - http://twitpic.com/bisyd8- courtesy @MattKryger & @indystar.
Did Coach K join the Roc? pic.twitter.com/P1Tpo0Qz
Duke made a very good team look ordinary today. They haven't ducked anybody. Scheduling tough prepares u 4 conference play & March.
Duke's 98 straight weeks in the Top 10 is 50 weeks longer than any other team. #dukefacts
Temple loses to Duke team with legitimate title goals (Philadelphia Inquirer)
fitting in with Orlando (ESPN.com)
Zafirovski, former walk-on, relishes his first bucket (Raleigh News &
funny man of Duke basketball (Duke Chronicle)
of the Week
"They're good guys-like, they hang together. They laugh at each other's jokes. I don't laugh at most of them. I don't get most of them. The bottom line is they're good guys and they like one another."
-Head coach Mike Krzyzewski on his team's chemistry