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Duke readies for McDermott, Creighton

Posted March 23, 2013

— Duke improved to 5-0 all-time in NCAA tournament games in Philadelphia, the home of fictional film icon Rocky Balboa.  The Devils now go from the Danes to another group of underdogs, the Creighton Bluejays, who field their own version of the Italian Stallion.

Doug McDermott has been throwing knockout punches as of late that would floor Ivan Drago, Clubber Lang, or Apollo Creed.

"McDermott is such a beautiful player, he's really one of the best offensive players I've seen in the last decade," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The unfortunate assignment of defending the 6-foot-8 gunner from Iowa falls to Ryan Kelly.  A matchup of former roommates, oddly enough.

"Got a chance to know him a lot this summer, went to the LeBron camp, got to room with him at one," said McDermott. "It was a cool experience. So it's kinda sweet saying we get to play each other now. Really clean, he's a good roommate. He's always reminding me what time we had to be downstairs to go to the gym. Really responsible."

"[McDermott's] a great guy but none of that matters when we step on the floor," said Kelly.

However, corralling the second leading scorer in the nation will be more of a team effort than a one-man-mission.

"It's going to be a fight to stay with them," said Kelly. "We have to be physical with them and five guys have to defend them."

"They screen so much and they do so much to get him open it'd be crazy to expect one guy to chase around those screens for 40-minutes," said Duke's Mason Plumlee.

McDermott scored 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and made all 11 free throws to help Creighton beat Cincinnati 67-63 on Friday. 

He ranks behind only Oscar Robinson (Cincinnati) and Larry Bird (Indiana State) on most Missouri Valley Conference single-season or career scoring records. McDermott averages 20.1 points, a team-best 7.7 rebounds and has NBA scouts at every game trying to figure out how he'll fit at the next level.

Now, comes the hardest part: the waiting. Drawing the last game of the night, the Blue Devils and Jays probably will not hear the final horn until after midnight on Sunday.

"It's fine because we like to take naps during the day, so we'll probably get like a four hour nap tomorrow so that'll be great," joked Duke's Quinn Cook.

"We got the last time slot I guess, that's fine, nobody on our team goes to bed at that time anyway," said Mason Plumlee.

When the game tips, it will be a full 60 hours after the Devils first tipped off the tournament against Albany.

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  • Hammerhead Mar 24, 2013

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    I think it's a loost cause.

  • StunGunn Mar 24, 2013

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    I agree with Creighton getting a taste of their own medicine. They asked one of the Creighton players about the hit on Henson last year, followed by the wink to his bench, and he smirked and said, "No comment".

  • StunGunn Mar 24, 2013

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    In Charlotte, unfortunately, one of their few good players:)

  • Stilllearnin Mar 24, 2013

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    I hope that as a loser, you will someday win something and change your ways!

  • hi_i_am_wade Mar 24, 2013

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    How in the world did you get that from me hating the way Creighton plays dirty? Creighton does this to every team. It wasn't what they did to UNC last year. It is what they CONTINUE to do. They did it against Cincinnati two days ago! Louisville does this "hack-a-Shaq" idea too, just not as physical as Creighton does. Creighton hacks enough to injure, Louisville just hacks a lot. The NCAA needs to stop teams doing what Creighton and Louisville do.

  • PacknoPride Mar 24, 2013

    Where's Henderson when you need him?

  • BattlingBishop 5 Mar 24, 2013

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    +1

  • BattlingBishop 5 Mar 24, 2013

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    Yep...I don't follow Creighton but they appear to be a very disciplined team. I doubt they're intimidated by Duke. Hope Duke brings their A game.

  • Hammerhead Mar 24, 2013

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    Hammer LOLed.

  • tlg0022 Mar 24, 2013

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    Not everything is about Carolina..

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