Well, the margin was close to what I predicted, but not how we got there, and honestly the more I think about it the more frustrated I get. I'm still not going to call it a failure completely, I'm not going to say it was worse than last year and I'm still going to maintain some phases of the game were genuinely well done by the Deacs.
However, there's plenty to discuss here. Wake showed some things this game, for better and for worse, and yes, for the disenfranchised, there was plenty of the latter, and I'll be discussing a lot of that too. Duke was up double digits for what seemed like wire to wire, and yet for much of the game it seemed like Wake was not playing particularly badly except for on one player especially in each half: Andre Dawkins in the first and Austin Rivers in the second.
Of course other Duke players played well, heck, Ryan Kelly had 20 points, but Dawkins and Rivers in each half were the guys that really felt to me like they dominated in each half. Seth Curry was 7-9 shooting, but none of those were threes, which would probably have been a small victory if Andre Dawkins hadn't made enough threes for an entire team in the first half. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.
After the jump, I talk Duke, BC, some good among the not so good, and who on the team I feel is getting slighted by Coach Bzdelik...So, a little about Duke, first off.
- As stated, Andre Dawkins put on a show. 7 threes for him in the first half. Of course some of it had to do with defensive woes (What's rotations, precious?) but man, to anybody who didn't see the game, take my word, some of the shots were absolute circus shots. Same went for Austin Rivers in the second, wherein Rivers made a shot so genuinely absurd that it caused his dad, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, to show an emotion other than "kind of looking like he's got indigestion" and/or "really mad".
- Surprisingly, Wake was only down 13 at the break despite Duke making 7 threes and Wake making none. With a disparity in shooting like that, I'd really think the margin would be larger.
- Wake did a bang-up job getting to the line, and a pretty strong job converting when they got there (24 makes on 35 attempts).
- C.J. Harris is absurdly efficient. 6-8, 2-3, 6-6 for 20 points. TAKE MORE SHOTS C.J., THANKS IN ADVANCE. He caused 5 of Wake's 14 turnovers, which isn't so good, but he still has my love. Travis McKie also put in work. 16 points 10 rebounds on 6-12, 0-3, 4-8. Yay for double doubles. However, Travis had 4 turnovers in his own right.
- On the other side of the coin, TAKE FEWER SHOTS NIKITA AND TONY, THANKS IN ADVANCE. Nikita Mescheriakov actually didn't have a bad game, so don't get that twisted. 12 points on 8 shots. However, it's a larger problem with our favorite Belarusian (is that the term?). This game wasn't so bad, but every game Nikita goes 4-11 shooting or similar, he's taking shots away from C.J. and Travis, which is bad. Tony Chennault, similarly, scored a nice amount (13 points), only turned the ball over once, and had 2 assists and 3 steals. The problem is, Tony took 15 shots. Now, when he was in transition this game, TC was actually pleasantly effective. But as soon as he set and tried to shoot, it was nothing but sorrow.
- Chase Fischer didn't fill it up like I predicted, but he did make the first of Wake's three three-pointers (on 16 attempts, noooo).
- Ty Walker still is playing like he's on a mission defensively. 4 blocks this game, probably more altered shots, and just a real change in attitude, Props to Ty.
So I think that about sums up the story on Duke for the most part. There's more to talk about though. First, I want to talk a little bit about playing time. I'm really starting to get mad about Anthony Fields not getting minutes. This isn't just because I championed him so much early; honestly my enthusiasm has cooled rather substantially. But he deserves time. Tony Chennault isn't playing terribly all the time, but he's not playing so well that he doesn't deserve to sit on the bench for a little while. Coach Bzdelik supposedly recruited Ant, so why isn't he at least letting the kid play more and seeing if he's got something to offer? I honestly think it's not fair to him, and is honestly frustrating to me to even watch. Hang in there, Ant. Maybe I'll start a #FreeAnt campaign on Twitter...
On to BC. Frankly, I think we've got them. They're getting better, admittedly, but they only beat Virginia Tech without Erick Green by one at home. I know transitive property doesn't work and all that, but Wake managed to beat Tech when Green was not only playing, but on fire. I'm gonna say despite a big game by BC standout Patrick Heckmann, C.J. Harris scores 20 and Travis scores 15, helping bring Wake to a 61-54 victory.
As always, comments/suggestions appreciated. Yes, even disparaging ones. Thanks for reading y'all, and as always, Go Deacs.