The Hurricanes blew through Durham in posting a 90-74 win Tuesday, scoring 56 points on 67 percent shooting from the field in a second half that had coach Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski speaking about as bluntly as you will hear him.
“I just have felt since Christmas that there’s something missing with our group, and I’ve said it,” Krzyzewski said. “I’ve said it to the press, I’ve said it to my team. And when you’re still winning, you don’t necessarily believe it completely. But I’ve felt it since Christmas, and I haven’t been able to figure that out, figure out how to change it.
“We’re all on the same page now, after two losses and after getting our butt beat. We didn’t just lose tonight. We got our butts beat tonight.”
Duke shot 44 percent from the field and was just 6-of-21 from three-point range. Miami was 10-of-20 on the night from behind the arc and got to the foul line more often, hitting 22-of-30 from the stripe, while Duke was 10-of-20.
Angel Rodriquez had 24 points, five assists, five steals and just two turnovers, outclassing Duke freshman point guard Tyus Jones, who had six points on 2-of-9 shooting with two assists and two turnovers in 27 minutes.
Duke freshman forward Justise Winslow had a worse night, scoring just two points on 1-of-6 shooting to go with two rebounds in 27 minutes.
Jahlil Okafor had 13 points and 15 rebounds, but was just 6-of-13 from the floor.
On the other end, how ‘bout them ‘Canes?
“We were talking from the moment we started preparing to play Duke … about the way they play defense and the way we like to play offense,” Rodriguez said. “We felt like it was a great matchup and they were going to allow us kind of to do what we wanted to do.”
Syracuse wins another tight one Give Syracuse some credit. The Orange are 4-0 in the ACC. Beating Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Wake Forest, the latest victim, in an 86-83 overtime final Tuesday in the Carrier Dome, may not be worth writing home about, but wins are wins.
“When we were down by nine, we made some unbelievable plays,” ‘Cuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “It was a great effort, playing Sunday night at 8 (p.m.) and then coming back tonight. It’s difficult, very difficult.”
Wake, for its part, suffered another tight loss to a top ACC team. The Deacons, under first-year coach Danny Manning, had earlier given Top 10 teams Louisville and Duke all they could handle before ultimately succumbing.
“I’m not happy. We lost,” Manning said.
Not one for moral victories, apparently.
– Column by Chris Graham