Game Notes: No. 2 Duke at Florida State
You make the call.
– Fifteen minutes prior to the tip-off, FSU seems to be engaged in a game of “shots” drill—basically they’re taking shots at a rapid rate. They are all attacking the basket with high intensity, while the Dukies are shooting free throws. The Dukies’ approach to warming up makes me wonder why they even took the floor.
– Duke’s Gerald Smith, Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer relax on the bench. Smith consumes several cups of water.
– The Seminoles continue to attack the goal while warming up. FSU star frosh Chris Singleton even brakes into a considerable sweat.
– The Donald A. Tucker Center is almost at capacity nine minutes before the game. No late arrivals to this one. The No. 2 team in the country, at home, on ESPN. Jay Bilas is here—of course, he’s a Dukie.
– The crowd is blistering with energy. It’s turned into a great atmosphere for a basketball game, seems almost like a football crowd here in Tallahassee.
– FSU wins the tip. Duke’s Nolan Smith opens up against FSU’s sensation guard Toney Douglass. This marks the second straight game Smith matched-up against one of the nation’s top guards. (Earlier in the week, he had his hands filled with Davidson’s Stephen Curry.)
– FSU opens to an early 4-0 lead.
– The energy in the crowd is great!
15:56 — The Nole Zone (FSU versions of the Cameron Crazies call for Greg Paulus) start chanting ”We want Paulus! We want Paulus!” Obviously, only Coach K can make that call.
15:16 — FSU big Soloman Alabi follows a missed shot with a thunder dunk.
13:42 — Duke’s Paulus enters the game. FSU’s Nole Zone applauds, then jeers the senior guard.
11:58 — FSU leads 10-5. Solomon Alabi is relentless on the boards and Douglass is having a great floor game. Douglass is also causing several problems for Duke’s offense with his defensive quickness and his strength.
– Coach K is all over the officials about what he thinks is illegal contact and offensive push-off (FSU guards extending their off hands on penetration). The officials are listening.
– The Seminoles are continuing to attack the glass, but their shooting is failing them.
– Henderson ties the score at 10-10 just prior to the 8:00 mark and the official TV time-out. During the time-out we were treated to the State Farm Shot-Clock Shootout. I often wonder why the worst players in the building are selected to participate in these types of competition. It always seems to be comic relief.
6:30 — Nolan Smith exits the game and Coach K and Associate Head Coach Chris Collins talk to the young guard about the physical play that the officials are “not calling.” Jon Scheyer moves to the point guard. Scheyer has more size than both Smith and Paulus.
– FSU is called for several fouls on Henderson and Scheyer during the latter stages of the half, and the duo converted 6-7 free throw attempts. The bigger backcourt is paying dividends for Coach K in this low scoring affair.
– Although low-scoring (Duke 19-FSU 14), the half was well-played as both teams got after it defensively.
– Douglas’ athleticism and speed is very impressive, Henderson’s stock is rising as several NBA scouts have been impressed with his range in the first half (2-3 3fg). FSU has out-rebounded the Blue Devils 26-16 (including 14 offensive boards).
19:46 — Shot clock problem. It is now a rule that we have a least one shot clock problem per televised game.
– FSU Douglass is called for extending the off hand—Coach K gets his call.
– Of the two Duke Associate Head Coaches, Chris Collins appears to be most in line with Coach K and the players. Look for Collins to be the next Duke assistant to secure a major head coaching job, following the likes of Dawkins (Stanford), Amaker (Harvard) and Brey (Notre Dame).
17:45 — Duke’s Smith has a steal and lay-in and is fouled giving the Duke a two-touchdown lead at 28-14.
– Smith, Scheyer and Singer key and impressive 12-5 run Duke leads grows to 40-19 with just under 13 minutes to play. Coach K continues to lobby for the pushing call.
– The crowd continues to support the Seminoles through its struggles. This is a good sign for the program as the Seminoles fans are known for their partiality to pigskin ball. Maybe the defense has them in tune.
– The Seminoles respond to the crowd and go on a 21-10 run lead by junior guard Derwin Kitchen and Douglass.
3:53 — During the TV time-out the Seminoles cheerleaders hurl t-shirts in the stand. Have you noticed that most of these t-shirts are always small or medium in size and often times left for the clean up crew?
0:58 — Duke Smith is called for traveling. Seminoles only down 63-58. Seconds later Douglass fouls out on—you guessed it—a pushing call. Coach K gets his call and the victory 66-58.
Coach K: “ I think this was a clean, well-played physical game. Florida State is a very good basketball team. I think their game plan was to beat us on the glass. Their board action was phenomenal. They had a tremendous pursuit of the ball. Defense won the game for us because we had a hard time scoring. It was tough to get shots off. I tried to get a lineup out there that could create some shot opportunities. Toney Douglass is a tremendous player. He is a great on-ball defender and needs to a candidate for National Defensive Player of the Year. He’s that good. I’d like to wrap him up and take him back with me. I think that we are the two best defensive teams in the league. This is a great win for us.”
Florida State Coach Leonard Hamilton: “Going in, we wanted to compete well on the boards, and I think we did that, but we also wanted to execute and hopefully get to the free throw line. We did not do a good job in the half court (offensively). Our energy in the opening minutes was good, but we could not make shots. Their defensive schemes put us on our heels (at) the start of the second half. This was a good lesson for our team. You can’t allow yourself to get down like that especially to a team like this. They are further along now then we are. We’ve got to keep winning while we continue to make the adjustments. We have the potential to be a great defensive team, but we have lapses (at times).”