Final Score: Duke wins 84 – 81 (Duke down 40 – 34 at the half)
Positives: Emergence of Gerald Henderson in crunch time, Offense in the second half
Negatives: First half transition defense, Inability to stop Toney Douglas, Coming out flat (even with seniors starting), Poor rebounding, Disappearance of Henderson during most of the game, Nolan Smith with ear plugs in on the bench looking like an idiot
Four observations about this game:
1. Florida State is the exact kind of team you run into in the tournament. They had one guy who couldn’t be stopped and a few guys who were big inside. The way Duke played at home has to bring to light serious doubts about this team’s tournament future. As if their recent tournament past wasn’t reason to doubt enough.
2. Gerald Hendrson is a big time clutch performer (9 points in the final 1:37), but lets be reasonable, he was nowhere to be found until that point (yea, that’s right Cameron Crazies, I insulted your idol). A little more consistency from him and this isn’t that close of a game.
3. Lance Thomas was injured and I think its a problem because that means more time for Zoubek, who is horribly awkward. I’m going to take this opportunity to stump for more time for Plumlee because I actually think he’s athletic and can contribute.
4. The box score doesn’t quite show you how good Toney Douglas was. He hit every shot that mattered, with the exception of the last one. If Leonard Hamilton wasn’t such a terrible coach I would say that Florida State has a real shot in the tournament this year.
Prediction: Sweet 16 … just like every year.