RTC Live: Princeton @ #1 DukePosted by rtmsf on November 14th, 2010
Game #10. RTC Live is pleased to make our first trip into the hallowed halls of Cameron Indoor Stadium on the campus of Duke University this afternoon.
The Duke home opener is always a special day in Durham, but today’s game commands even more attention than usual. An extra banner hangs from the ceiling of Cameron Indoor Stadium, and this team enters with pressure its predecessor didn’t have: expectations of another national title. Questions do exist for Mike Krzyzewski’s team, though. Can Kyle Singler improve, or was last year his ceiling? How do Duke’s young guards fill in for Jon Scheyer? Will Seth Curry live up to the hype? How much playing time will Coach K give freshman Kyrie Irving? And was Brian Zoubek one of the most underrated players in college basketball in 2009-10? The preseason #1 Duke Blue Devils will have their first opportunity to answer those questions against the unranked Princeton Tigers. Princeton enters today’s game after an overtime win against Rutgers to open the season on Friday. The Tigers’ first win against a major conference opponent since 2004 was largely the work of senior Dan Mavraides, who had 26 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in 41 minutes of play. Princeton’s 6’11 center, Brendan Connolly, added 7 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists, and needs to replicate that performance if the Tigers hope to keep Duke’s big men in check. If you can’t be in Cameron for the game, join up here and let RTC Live be there for you.
Duke 97, Princeton 60. In the first game of their quest to repeat as national champions, the Duke Blue Devils handily defeated the Princeton Tigers in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Both teams looked out of sync at first, and Princeton cut the Duke lead to six with only a few minutes left in the first half, but the Blue Devils ran away from Tigers in the end, going ahead by a commanding 40 points at one moment in the second half. Upperclassmen Nolan Smith (22 points, 6 assists) and Kyle Singler (16 points) steadied Duke early, but the real story was the debut of freshman point guard Kyrie Irving. The McDonald’s All-American scored 17 while dishing nine assists and only making a single miscue. Irving drove the lane and shot from outside with equal parts ease, looking like the obvious heir apparent to the departed Jon Scheyer’s minutes. Ian Hummer (14 points, 7 rebounds) carried the Tigers early and Dan Mavraides (16 points) led the team in scoring, but Princeton’s 27 turnovers rendered the Tigers’ chances of upsetting the Devils impossible. Duke played in typical Blue Devil fashion, going 11 for 12 from the charity stripe and shooting 53% from behind the arc. Seth Curry didn’t disappoint in his Durham debut either, scoring 14 points, many of them late in the game. The only question mark for Duke on the evening was post play: between 6’10 Miles Plumlee, 6’10 Mason Plumlee, and 6’11 Ryan Kelly, the Blue Devils only got a total of 11 points and 10 rebounds. At the moment, those three seem to be the weakest link for this multi-talented Duke team, but watch out if they start producing? Hello back-to-back.