ACC Basketball

Duke Crushes Wake

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America

WHAT JUST HAPPENED
Clearly the Blue Devils watched their rival North Carolina crush Georgia Tech Tuesday night and said, “anything you can do, I can do better.”

Duke opened the game up on a 12-0 run and never looked back. It was team effort as six different players scored in the game’s first six minutes, while the Demon Deacons kept giving up possessions like they were profiting from it. Led by Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen, the Blue Devils went on a 19-0 run early in the first half to open up a 31-5 lead just 10 minutes in and eventually ended the period with a Tyus Jones four-point play. With 20 minutes to go, the Demon Deacons were down 51-15. Yes, a 36 points deficit.

The second half was just a formality. At one point Wake got it back down to 29, but the Blue Devils were just trying to get through the game without every single player twisting an ankle (with mild success). When it was thankfully over, Duke was the winner, 94-51.

DEEP THOUGHTS

  • Grayson Allen had himself a ball game. Coming off the bench, the kid has never been afraid to shoot, but as he continues to get playing time as the ball is starting to go in more and more. Against Wake, he was lights out, leading the team with 27 points. He had just 33 points in ACC play for the year prior to this game. He did hit 4-for-5 from deep, but he did so much more as he’s a superb athlete. He grabbed five rebounds and was solid attacking the paint, going 9-for-11 from the field, getting to the FT line six times. I’m curious to see how many minutes he gets in North Carolina. He only played four in their first meeting.
  • Who would have thought Wake Forest would be the first team to stop Duke’s Jahlil Okafor from scoring in double digits? Of course to accomplish the feat, they had to let everyone else have their way with them and lose by 43, but Okafor only took two shots (making both of them), scoring six points.
  • Gotta love how Justise Winslow always seems to come out in attack mode early in a game, intent on setting the tone. The fact is, when he gets rolling towards that rim, he’s unstoppable. He hit 6-for-8, scoring 13. Ten of those points came in the game’s first nine minutes.
  • Wake Forest’s Codi Miller-McIntyre finished with a team high 20 points, but let’s keep it in perspective. He had just three buckets in the game’s first 27 minutes and heated up when the Blue Devils took their foot off the Demon Deacons’ necks.
  • Because the Blue Devils were forcing Wake’s guards out of their comfort zone, Devin Thomas was never able to get going, going 0-2 from the floor. This is the second time the junior has been held without a basket in the last three weeks. This is pathetic. He’s talented, but when Wake’s offense stalls, he disappears. Yet, no adjustment was made. No set plays were run for him and this team can’t run any kind of effective pick-and-roll, so Thomas is left sitting in the paint picking his nose.

NOT SO DEEP THOUGHTS

  • Tyus Jones needs to play better when attacking the basket. Over the last three games, he’s not beating his man, yet that doesn’t prevent him from putting up a bad shot. It’s like he got a little too cocky after he couldn’t be stopped at the end of the North Carolina game.
  • At halftime, Grayson Allen was beating Wake Forest, 19-15. Yet, Wake was beating Jahlil Okafor 15-4, so they got that going for them.
  • Wake Forest had 16 turnovers in the first half (42% of their total possessions) and finished the game with 19.
  • Freshman Mitchell Wilbekin was 4-for-4 from deep.
  • Wake was 2-9 from the free throw line, starting the game 0-4.
  • Duke hit 57.6% from the floor, the fifth straight game that they have shot over 50% from the floor.
  • Quinn Cook played a very Quinn Cook game in his last game in Cameron. He hit three 3’s, grabbed five rebounds and allowing the hotter teammates to take control. Of course, what I mean by a very Quinn Cook game is, he played a solid game, yet I almost forgot to write about him because I’m sort of use to him. It’s tough being a senior.

MOVING FORWARD
Wake Forest falls to 13-18, 5-13 on the ACC and then head up to Boston to face the Eagles in their final game in the regular season. Duke improves to 26-3 on the year, 13-3 in the ACC, holding onto that second spot in the conference. If they beat UNC in Chapel Hill Saturday night, I believe they clinch a 1-seed. If they lose, they’ll need to win the ACC Tournament to keep a 1-seed.

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