Tag: Matt Jones

Grayson Allen, Jake Allsmiller
Associated Press

Freshman Ingram leads No. 7 Duke past Georgia Southern 99-65

Leave a comment

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Freshman Brandon Ingram had season highs of 26 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 7 Duke beat Georgia Southern 99-65 on Tuesday night.

Grayson Allen added 18 points, Matt Jones had 16 and Derryck Thornton finished with 15 for the Blue Devils (9-1) in their first game without high-energy forward Amile Jefferson. He averages a double-double but is out indefinitely with a right foot injury.

Playing for the first time in 10 days due to final exams, Duke wasn’t always crisp but still had little trouble pulling away for its seventh straight win. The Blue Devils shot 57.6 percent in the second half and held a 55-29 rebounding advantage.

Tookie Brown scored 20 points and Mike Hughes added 14 for Georgia Southern (3-5), which has lost two straight and five of seven.

For Duke, the priority in this one was figuring out the best way to play without Jefferson, who started the first nine games and averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds – including an ACC-best 4.8 on the offensive end.

The easy answer was to lean hard on Ingram and Marshall Plumlee, who finished with a career-best 11 rebounds.

Jefferson watched from the bench in sweats with a hard cast on his foot, and Duke replaced him in the starting lineup with Luke Kennard – a freshman making his first start – and shifted Ingram from small forward to Jefferson’s power forward spot.

The Blue Devils led for all but about 30 seconds and began to pull away during the final minute of the first half. Jones hit a free throw with 32.2 seconds left before Chase Jeter grabbed his miss and Thornton hit a 3 from the corner just before the buzzer to put Duke up 47-32 at halftime.

Plumlee opened the second half with a stickback dunk, and Ingram followed with a steal and a fast-break dunk through contact. After Ingram swished a 3 two possessions later to make it a 20-point game, Duke was well on its way to another easy win.

TIP-INS

Georgia Southern: The Eagles were playing a ranked team for the first time since 2008, when then-No. 8 Duke beat them 97-54.

Duke: The trickle-down of Jefferson’s absence led to more significant playing time for Jeter, a 6-foot-10 freshman who occupied the last spot in the seven-man rotation. He had two points while playing a season-high 17 minutes.

UP NEXT

Georgia Southern plays host to Winthrop on Saturday.

Duke plays Utah on Saturday in New York.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

Jones, Allen lead No. 5 Duke past Bryant, 113-75

Matt Jones, Dan Garvin
Associated Press
Leave a comment

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) No. 5 Duke got together for a team meeting to talk about the flaws in its lopsided season-opening victory.

Then the Blue Devils came out for Game 2 and managed an even bigger rout.

Grayson Allen had a career-high 28 points, Matt Jones scored all of his career-best 19 in the first half, and Duke beat Bryant 113-75 on Saturday night in the 2K Classic.

“We still have to learn from winning,” Allen said, “so we don’t have to lose just to learn.”

Freshman Brandon Ingram had 21 points to help the Blue Devils (2-0) earn their second lopsided win in as many nights.

Amile Jefferson had 11 points and 11 rebounds in his second straight double-double, and freshman Luke Kennard added 11 points for the reigning national champions.

They never trailed, shot 53 percent, hit 13 3-pointers, forced 19 turnovers and turned them into 24 points.

Things almost certainly won’t be this easy next time for Duke: the Blue Devils play No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic in Chicago.

They picked up easy wins against Siena and Bryant on consecutive nights to start the season, trailing for a total of 10 seconds so far. But Duke admitted it wasn’t at its best against the Saints, and coach Mike Krzyzewski said the team “had a tough feedback tape for about an hour” earlier Saturday morning.

“Our freshmen, I thought, played with much better enthusiasm and more decisiveness than they did” against Siena, Krzyzewski said.

He’ll need even more from them next week: After facing Kentucky, Duke will play Virginia Commonwealth and either No. 17 Wisconsin or Georgetown next weekend in Madison Square Garden.

Jones finished 7 of 9 from the field, hit five of Duke’s eight 3-pointers in the first half, had his career high by the break and only played 3 minutes in the second half as a precaution, Krzyzewski said.

Jones dealt with a groin injury in the preseason. His previous high of 17 points was set against Wake Forest last March in the home finale.

A role player on the team that captured the program’s fifth national title last spring, Jones has become a key scoring threat on a new-look Duke team that lost three freshmen to the first round of the NBA draft and needs its perimeter to provide the scoring punch.

This one certainly didn’t require much effort.

Three players – Jones, Allen and Ingram – cracked double figures by halftime. The Blue Devils scored on 14 of 15 possessions midway through the half to push the lead into double figures to stay, then took a 20-point lead on Allen’s free throw with 2:09 left in the half.

Hunter Ware scored a career-high 24 points to lead Bryant (0-1).

“To be able to score 75 points against a team the caliber of Duke is a good sign for us,” coach Tim O’Shea said.

BOUNCING BACK

Ingram, the biggest name in Duke’s freshman class, finished 7 of 11 from the field and hit four 3-pointers. A night earlier, he shot just 5 of 16 and was 1 of 9 from beyond the arc. “I don’t fault him for (Friday) night,” Krzyzewski said. “You’ve got to learn. A shot fake is a good thing.”

STREAKING

The Blue Devils pushed their winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium against nonconference opponents to 118. They have also won 110 in a row at home against unranked non-ACC opponents.

TIP-INS:

Bryant: The Bulldogs are 1-9 against Atlantic Coast Conference schools with their only win coming against Boston College in 2012-13. They did play Pittsburgh tough in a 72-67 loss on Feb. 2.

Duke: Allen reached 20 points for the second straight night. He had 26 against Siena, and his previous best of 27 – set against Wake Forest last year – was his only other 20-point game.

UP NEXT:

Bryant: Hosts Emerson on Wednesday.

Duke: Plays No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday in Chicago.

Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary

AP college basketball site: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

Duke doesn’t need Rasheed Sulaimon if they have three guys that fit into a role

Rasheed Sulaimon benched
2 Comments

source:

DURHAM, N.C. — The story of No. 10 Duke’s 79-69 win over No. 22 Michigan on Tuesday night was some combination of the Blue Devils’ defensive prowess and the Wolverine’s offensive struggles.

Whether you believe that Michigan’s horrendous night, which saw them score 50 points and shoot 39.1% from the floor in the first 38 minutes, was evidence that the Blue Devils have turned a corner on the defensive end or is proof-positive that the Wolverines aren’t going to be a factor in the Big Ten title race probably depends on what shade of blue you’re wearing.

But what’s inarguable is that Duke put a thorough whooping on Michigan.

It was the best game that Duke has played this season.

“Definitely,” Rodney Hood said after the game. “Especially defensively.”

Which is interesting when you consider the fact that Rasheed Sulaimon took the dreaded DNP-CD: Did Not Play-Coach’s Decision. Remember, we’re talking about a guy that averaged 11.6 points as a freshman, a guy that many expected to be an explosive No. 3 scoring option for the Blue Devils this season. He was supposed to be another weapon is what is a lethal offensive attack for Mike Krzyzewski.

Except he hasn’t been.

Sulaimon scored 33 points in his first two games this season, but has been a non-factor over the course of the six games leading into Monday night. He was 6-for-28 (21.4%) from the floor during that stretch, hitting just 1-for-9 from three and averaging just 4.0 points. “He has to play better than the guys who played tonight,” Krzyzewski in his press conference last night.

“As a man, he has to step up and accept what he needs to do,” Tyler Thornton said to Laura Keeley of the Raleigh News & Observer. “We need him. That’s all I can really say about that.”

“He knows what he needs to do, I don’t really want to speak on that. He has a week and a half until our next game. We have a lot of practice time. Hopefully we can get what we need out of him in that span.”

“It’s basketball,” senior guard Andre Dawkins said. “Everybody who plays shooting guard has had a DNP already this year. It’s what happens when you have this deep of a team, sometimes guys just aren’t going to play. It doesn’t mean we don’t need him to be good or to help us out.”

Dawkins’ answer is interesting.

He’s had his own trials and tribulations as a member of the Blue Devils. He was essentially told to take last season off by the Duke staff as he dealt with the grief of losing his sister. He returned this season, posting some big numbers in games against teams like UNC-Asheville, Vermont and Florida Atlantic. But he didn’t play against Kansas. He managed all of 12 minutes in two games at the Garden last week. He’s been pushed way down the bench this season, but he also stepped up and made the two biggest shots of the game last night.

Michigan had chipped the lead all the way down to 46-40 and had the momentum midway through the second half. You could feel it in the building; the Wolverines were going to make this a game. And then, BOOM, Dawkins comes in cold off the bench and buries a three on his first touch. On the next possession, BOOM, he drills another three to put Duke up 12. He added a running layup a minute later, which all but sealed Michigan’s fate.

Those were the two biggest shots of the game.

Without question.

Duke’s other two off-guards, Thornton and freshman Matt Jones, finished with just eight points in 38 combined minutes, but they were just as valuable as Dawkins. Duke’s game-plan defensively was to take away Nik Stauskas first and foremost, worrying about the rest of Michigan’s roster after they ran the Canadian gun-slinger off the three-point line and limited his driving lanes at the rim.

Thornton and Jones drew that assignment. Stauskas played 34 minutes and finished 0-for-2 from the floor.

Coach K can’t ask for much more out of his off-guards, and that’s a massive problem for Sulaimon.

The bottom-line is that Duke’s offensive is going to run through Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood. That’s not changing. Quinn Cook has proven that he’s more than capable of being a third-option offensively. Don’t believe? Last night, with Parker and Hood struggling, Cook exploded for 24 points and nine assists, doing most of his damage after halftime.

Quite frankly, Duke doesn’t need Sulaimon to be “Rasheed Sulaimon”. They need an off-guard willing to guy into a role. They need a lockdown defender that can knock down threes. If Sulaimon is unwilling to buy into that role, the three-headed monster of Thornton, Jones and Dawkins have proven themselves to be more than capable.

If he doesn’t want to play that role, then he doesn’t want to play.

Duke looks like they’ll be just fine.