The stars came out on Wednesday night in Miami and the Duke men’s basketball team impressed on the road for the very first time in 2014. The Blue Devils avenged their thrashing in Miami last season with a 67-46 victory. It was their first ACC road win of the season.
Former Blue Devil Ryan Kelly was seated behind the bench, while Shane Battier was also there. Those two were not the ones that drew all the attention though. These three did: Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Dwayne Wade. The LA Lakers play the Miami Heat on Thursday night. D-Wade thrilled the crowd with one-handed half-court shots at halftime (though he missed them all).
Back to the game.
The Hurricanes are not the same team that dominated the ACC last season. Gone are their top seven players (they have just one back from a season ago). Meaning, no more up-and-down play. They are a much slower, methodical team this season. They even played a 1-2-2 zone against Duke. It worked, because the game was slow and somewhat boring, but Duke still found a way to score. You knew something had to give: Duke leads the ACC in scoring, while Miami is last.
Duke’s offensive rebounding dominance did not hurt. Shocking I know, but Duke DOMINATED on the glass. They won the rebounding battle 42-28 and 15-9 on the offensive glass. They even blocked seven shots. This all came from a relatively small team.
Duke took over the game towards the end of the first half, when they went to halftime leading 33-21, courtesy of a 14-4 run to end the half. Coach K once again had massive line changes, going with a fresh four or five.
Jabari Parker led the way with a double-double: 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. He also blocked three shots. Earlier in the day, Parker and Rodney Hood (12 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals) were named to the Wooden Award Midseason List (which includes 25 players). They are one of four schools with at least two players on the list (Arizona, Michigan State, and fellow ACC school Syracuse). For the complete list, click HERE.
Amile Jefferson also blocked three shots, while scoring eight points and bringing in six rebounds.
Rion Brown, who leads the Hurricanes in scoring and is their only player who averages double-figures, did not score. Donnavan Kirk had a solid game, scoring 13 points.
The Blue Devils look to win their fourth in a row when they return home to host Florida State on Saturday at noon on ESPN.