Duke vs. Carolina Feb. 6

Paulus

Random thoughts from the night that was the first Duke-Carolina game of the year. 

It might be the best rivalry in sports, not just college sports. Duke-Carolina in the Dean Dome Wednesday night was testament to that.

Taking in the atmosphere of the first ten minutes is spellbinding, that and my lack of wireless connection for the time being. Singler and Paulus hit consecutive threes. I’m beginning to believe some of these dookies can create their own shot.

How does coach K go out west and get Singler from Oregon and King from Cali? Carolina needs a ball-handler. Without Ty Lawson they don’t look like they know what they’re doing. Players who don’t normally have to make extra passes are forcing them. Quinten Thomas has played admirably, he’s no Lawson but he’s serviceable.

This game may as well be Paulus vs Hansbrough, the two are on fire. Gerald Henderson is an athlete. Maybe the best pure athlete at Duke since … somebody help me finish that sentence, this kid is a freak. Carolina can’t seem to close the gap. This Duke team isn’t amazing but they’re excellent at what they do. Coach K has coached them up. Imagine how good they’d be if Josh McRoberts had stuck around. 

Jon Scheyer can get his own shot? I did not know that. If he can do that consistently he’ll have a bigger affect than JJ Reddick did. That’s where Reddick came up short in his time at Duke and he still managed to garner national praise.

Carolina’s scorer on the other hand, Wayne Ellington, needs to step up big time if they’re going to win this game. Singler pushes the lead to 9 with a 3-ball. He reminds me of a better rebounding Mike Dunleavy. Strangely, both of those two are from Oregon and found their way to Duke. Damn you Coach K, leave the northwest alone. 

Singler

With under 5 to go and Carolina down by 8, it’s hard to foresee the Heels winning this one. Every time they pickup some momentum Duke hits a seemingly impossible shot. And it’s usually Paulus, he’s a gamer. He will win a national championship before his time is done at Duke. Carolina can’t win this game without Lawson. They have no answer for Paulus who has been far and away the most effective player on the floor.

It’s great to hear Dick Vitale back on the air. Chances are you’ve heard his story, if not check out the New York Times article and audio slideshow. College basketball isn’t the same without hearing about the “diaper dandies” and “PTP’ers” in the way only Dickie V can. As a Carolina fan, it’s disappointing to see a loss, especially to Duke at home but running the table in the ACC isn’t the goal. Getting a number one seed and making final four arrangements is. The ACC won’t be overly difficult but getting through this stretch without Lawson will be. If Thomas can’t be a stabilizing force for the offense it will continue to flounder.  

Tonight just wasn’t to be. Duke had six players in double figures, including Scheyer, who came off the bench to lead the team in minutes played. Hansbrough had a monster stat line of 28 pts and 18 boards but he couldn’t do it on his own. Ellington finished with a paltry 8 points, half of his average. 

Another Duke-Carolina match-up is in the books. I can’t wait for March 8 to see a healthy Ty Lawson battle Paulus and company.

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One Response

  1. As usual, I turned on the UNC radio broadcast to avoid Dook Vitale swooning over the Dooookies. Considering the alternatives (Billy Packer, who never saw anyone as good as he was , and Dan Bonner, the Mitt Romney of basketball broadcasting) the sound may be off more often . Although there is that wonderful time=warp thing where the shot goes up, hits the rim, comes off, and then you hear it hit the rim on the radio. It’s like you’re sitting in the top row and can see the play, then you hear it.

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