Terquavion Smith said that he was going to go right at Duke’s guards and, as they say, it ain’t bragging if you can do it. And he, and his unranked state teammates, took it to #16 Duke big time.
Duke’s first half against NC State was really bad. NC State was more intense, more confident and, really, better in every way. It was a nightmare all around, perhaps most of all for Jon Scheyer.
Mostly the Pack was much more aggressive, forcing 13 turnovers in the period while having just four themselves. Duke didn’t get on the scoreboard until the score was 15-0 and Mark Mitchell finally got a dunk with about 12:20 left.
At one point, the Pack had five straight attempts as State had 22 rebounds, nine of them offensive (more than that were probably offensive to the coaches). Duke had 18 and six were offensive.
The shorter Pack also blocked eight shots and hit a really big shot right before the half to extend the lead to 22.
The second half was more of the same, although Duke eventually began to do some good things, specifically Kyle Filipowski, who looked much more like the guy we saw earlier in the season.
In general, Duke showed more positives. Derek Lively jumped on a loose ball. Jaylen Blakes had a nice steal where he too hit the floor and got the ball out to Tyrese Proctor.
Unfortunately, Proctor charged and the ball went right back to State and another late run by the Pack kept the game firmly out of reach. Part of that run was fueled by a Casey Morsell block of a Proctor perimeter shot – really it was a big-time block – and then Proctor getting another turnover that went or another State bucket.
The night was epitomized by Christian Reeves and Jacob Grandison both going for a rebound of a missed State foul shot – and knocking it out of bounds.
Keep in mind that the State did this without Dusan Mahorcic, who is out with a knee injury, and Jack Clark, who also sat this one out with a core muscle injury.
It was just a bad night for Duke and also should be a good check because State basically punked the Blue Devils. How will they react?
Best advice: next play. Put it in the past.