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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Tony Romo

Duke Dominates Maui Invitational

November 24th 2011 16:00
Duke took down Kansas to win the Maui Invitational in a 68-61 win that was huge for them in many different ways. Duke showed that it doesn't need to be carried by stalwarts Austin Rivers and Seth Curry, as one of the Plumlees (Mason) had a huge game with 17 points and 12 boards. No. 6 Duke was able to overcome a great showing on the boards from No. 14 Kansas's star Thomas Robinson. The big man corralled 15 rebounds, although he did shoot just 6-15 (16 points).

The baffling stat-line award goes to Kansas star guard Tyshawn Taylor who had 11 turnovers and a team-high 17 points. Those 11 TOs were costly, and he had only one less turnover than Duke did the entire game. Taylor needs to be more consistent and had only four assists. The assists total is so low because of those putrid turnovers.

Tyler Thornton definitely had the clutch play of the game, as he hit a decisive three-pointer with about one minute left to put the game out of reach. It was a tough shot to say the least, and it seemed like Thornton could barely see the rim. However, that was the most clutch play of the game, and Thornton was valuable off the bench (21 minutes, 2-4 from the floor).

"It's a dream shot," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "People will say it's a lucky shot, but I'll say I'm lucky to have him on my team. Sometimes you're on a bus with a guy who deserves and for that moment we were on his bus. Thank goodness he knew how to drive it."

Ryan Kelly was tournament MVP, and he scored 17 points (but on 6-17 shooting). Duke won by seven points (their largest lead), but Kansas's largest lead was also seven points in a game that lived up to the hype. Although the scoreline doesn't look very close, the game really was.

Kansas shot better than Duke from the floor, but the difference maker was the fact that Duke was considerably better downtown. The shot from Thornton illustrated this, as Duke shot 44% from three-point land. Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, and Thornton all hit at least half of their threes in this contest.

Center Jeff Withey had a surprisingly strong game, as his double-double (14 points and ten rebounds) was crucial for the Jayhawks. Withey also hit all six of his free throws and went 4-7 from the floor with a team-high two blocks. The Blue Devils were out-rebounded 32-27, outshot, and lost the battle at the charity stripe (Kansas shot 85% from the line). However, they hit more threes and forced more turnovers (Tyshawn Taylor).

At 7-0, Duke is already a formidable foe and will continue to improve as Austin Rivers gains more experience. UNC is the best team in college basketball right now, but Duke is right in the thick of it and will be even better once Rivers becomes more inconsistent. I can't wait for the next matchup at Tobacco Road.

Kansas looks better than I thought at the beginning of the season, and give some credit to Bill Self for that. The Jayhawks can never be counted out, but I don't know if they'll be a top ten team at the end of the season due to a lack of talent and an awful bench. In this game, the three players on their bench played a combined 30 minutes. All they ever did was commit seven fouls (five from Justin Wesley), miss a three (guard Conner Teahan), and turn the ball over (Naadir Tharpe). If they want to go deep in the tourney or get a top ten ranking, their bench will need to step up big-time. Either that, or Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson have to put together seasons worthy of John Wooden Award discussion.
Led the way with a double-double
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1 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by nbageek

November 25th 2011 04:43
Wanted to watch that game, but couldn't. Great look at it here. Duke is looking good, thats for sure. Kansas has some talent, just need to put it together.

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