Adam Gold

Rookies to the rescue

Posted January 26, 2013
Updated January 27, 2013

Following Duke's steamrolling at Miami, Mike Krzyzewski talked openly about needing his veterans to come up with the goods. He noted more than once that if Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and Quin Cook are only going to make 6-of-37 shots from the field, then it's going to be a long night.

In hindsight, there's no doubt that Coach K was correct. There were a lot of issues that caused the trio to shoot a combined 16 percent, but at the end of the day, those numbers explained a lot. So you knew that things were bound to change when Duke met Maryland at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday afternoon.

But, it wasn't necessarily the vets that engineered the turnaround.

Freshman guard Rasheed Sulaimon caught fire in the first half for Duke, knocking down all five of his 3-pointers en route to a career high 25-points. But, it was how he went about things that impressed his coach.

Upset about how Sulaimon was playing on the defensive end, having allowed Maryland's Dez Wells to score the Terps' first seven points, Krzyzewski was in the process of, well, let's just say explaining to the rookie what he was doing wrong, when Sulaimon said, 'I got it, coach, I'll be better.' Duke cruises past Maryland, 84-64 Slideshow: Duke cruises past Maryland, 84-64

And how!

After re-entering the game with 13:49 left in the first half, Suliamon went to work putting the Terrapins in Duke's rear view mirror. The Houston native scored the Devils' next 13 points, all on 3-pointers, in a span of 2:44, as Duke opened up a 9-point lead and never really were threatened after that as the Devils rolled to an 84-64 win.  Sulaimon added two assists and didn't commit a turnover in his 29-minute afternoon and at one point was a perfect 6-for-6 from beyond the 3-point line.

But, he wasn't the only youngster -- with apologies to Roy Williams -- to contribute Saturday. Amile Jefferson continued his development, filling in for the injured Ryan Kelly, with an 11-point, 9-rebound performance that showed awareness, aggression and a total lack of fear despite looking like a leprechaun compared with whomever he was matched up against. At times, Jefferson was charged with guarding future NBA lottery pick, Alex Len -- all 7-feet 1-inch and 255 pounds of him. Other times it was either of the Terrapins 6-foot-8, 265-pound defensive tackles, Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare. And, while it wasn't always pretty, Jefferson held his own, got to the free throw line and blocked three shots in 24 very impressive minutes.

In all, it was a complete bounce back from the Miami debacle for the Blue Devils. Mason Plumlee snapped out of whatever funk he'd been suffering from with 19 points on 12 shots from the field. Plumlee, especially over the last few games, looked like he was trying to force things on the offensive end of the court, but today, just allowed things to happen within the framework of Duke's offense. And, this offense is more effective when it flows through the 6-foot-11 senior. Today, that led to a far more efficient team as the Devils shot 52 percent from the floor and made half of their 22 shots from 3-point range.

Seth Curry also enjoyed a bit of a rebound performance, hitting a trio of his long-range attempts and Quin Cook was very steady in leading a Duke attack that combined for 18 assists with just four turnovers -- zero in the second half. It's amazing what happens, as Coach K offered after the game, "sometimes you just have to see the ball go in." Duke Logo More Duke Stories

It's important to remember, however, that Maryland isn't necessarily a great test right now for anyone. The Terrapins are among the worst teams in the league, offensively speaking. And, Mark Turgeon is shuffling through three point guards -- which is tantamount to having three starting quarterbacks -- which means that he doesn't really have ANYONE he really likes running his offense. But, Maryland didn't play terribly today. In spite of a much better defensive effort from the Blue Devils, the Terps only turned the ball over 14 times, and Maryland's work on the boards kept them in the game early. The Terrapins had a dozen 1st half offensive rebounds that led to 12 second chance points and used that to only trail by eight points at the break.

Was it the prettiest win of the season for Duke? Well, it's always going to look good when you shoot well, and the Blue Devils shot the ball well. But, in terms of effort, execution, attention to detail and focus, this is what Mike Krzyzewski needed to see from his group today.

Now, with five of their next seven games on the road, and the other two at home against the Wolfpack and Tar Heels, we'll see how much this afternoon means going forward. Just ask the guys at NC State, it only really matters if you can repeat the performance. Time will tell.

7 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Tizu Jan 28, 2013

    View quoted thread


    Really?

    Reading Comprehension 101.

  • VT1994Hokie Jan 27, 2013

    Great coaching can do this.

  • DUKE4EVER Jan 27, 2013

    Let's GO DUKE!!

    A Win is a Win--we have to take what we can get right now.

    Did not realize that Kelly was the real core of this team.

    They seem to be out of sync without him.

    GO DUKE!!

  • FE Jan 27, 2013

    So, exactly who is this "Suliamon" fellow the writer keeps mentioning ??

    At least the Maryland grad did luck out and get Krzyzewski correct....

  • elliottparker Jan 26, 2013

    But, he wasn't the only youngster -- with apologies to Roy Williams -- to contribute Saturday. Amile Jefferson continued his development, filling in for the injured Ryan Kelly
    Why would Amile apologies to Roy Williams? Get the right coach.

  • 321oohaw Jan 26, 2013

    cant' beat 'em

  • StunGunn Jan 26, 2013

    Duke looked like Duke today. Sulaimon had the hot hand for sure. Rookies did step up to the plate, but so did Plumlee and Curry. I think Duke got K's message loud and clear. K has a way of getting through to his team.

Listen & Watch
TV
  • Logan Zone

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: The Tour Championship

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Oakland @ Washington

    Friday at 8:30 pm on WRAL-TV

NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 21
LA Rams41Final
San Francisco39
Sunday, Sep. 24
Baltimore 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT21:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Jacksonville 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Buffalo 
New Orleans 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Carolina 
Pittsburgh 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Chicago 
Atlanta 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Detroit 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Indianapolis 
Tampa Bay 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Minnesota 
Houston 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
New England 
Miami 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
NY Jets 
NY Giants 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:�
Preview
Philadelphia 
Seattle 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:�
Preview
Tennessee 
Cincinnati 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
Green Bay 
Kansas City 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ETNaN:�
Preview
LA Chargers 
Oakland 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Washington 
Monday, Sep. 25
Dallas 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:�
Preview
Arizona 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Memphis 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET12:07 GMT
Durham 
TOUR Championship (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1P. Casey-1218
2tK. Kisner-1018
2tX. Schauffele-1018
4tB. Koepka-718
4tP. Reed-718
4tJ. Thomas-718
7tJ. Day-618
7tJ. Rahm-618
9tR. Henley-518
9tJ. Rose-518
View Full Leaderboard
 
Evian Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Nordqvist - z-9F
2B. Altomare - y-9F
3tM. Jutanugarn-8F
3tK. Kirk-8F
3tL. Ko-8F
6tS. Feng-7F
6tS. Kim-7F
8J. Song-6F
9M. Lee-5F
10tG. Hall-4F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Portugal Masters (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1L. Bjerregaard-1418
2G. Coetzee-1318
3tE. Pepperell-1218
3tM. Warren-1218
3tN. Bertasio-1218
6tC. Paisley-1118
6tA. Wu-1118
6tT. Detry-1118
6tN. Elvira-1118
6tG. Storm-1118
View Full Leaderboard
 
PURE Championship (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1B. Langer-1218
2K. Perry-1118
3S. Parel-1018
4J. Kelly-918
5tD. Frost-818
5tS. McCarron-818
7tO. Browne-718
7tB. Mayfair-718
7tJ. Durant-718
10tP. Price-618
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Saturday, Sep. 23
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(8) J. Struff3 5    
D. Dzumhur6 7    
(1) R. Bautista A6 67 65   
(3) F. Fognini2 79 77   
 
Moselle Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(5) M. Zverev3 0    
P. Gojowczyk6 1    
(7) B. Paire6 77    
N. Basilashvi1 65    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Saturday, Sep. 23
Guangzhou Women's Open (WTA)
Final
(2) S. Zhang6 3 6   
A. Krunic2 6 2   
 
Korea Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(1) J. Ostapenko3 6 6   
L. Kumkhum6 1 3   
R. Hogenkamp1 67    
B. Haddad Mai6 79    
 
Toray Pan Pacific Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(1) G. Muguruza2 0    
(3) C. Wozniacki6 6    
Final
(3) C. Wozniacki1     
A. Pavlyuchen0