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Duke 105, Western Washington 87—final analysis: Even though he was quiet in the second half, the story of this game remained Rasheed Sulaimon, who gave the Cameron Crazies a taste of his potential with an uber-efficient 18-point first half in which he knocked down 6-of-8 field goals, including 2-of-3 from deep.
And, as he should’ve against a Western Washington frontcourt whose tallest player is 6-foot-9, Mason Plumlee reigned supreme in the paint with 22 points and 11 boards, both team-high tallies. His 6-foot-11 frontcourt classmate Ryan Kelly added 22 points and five rebounds.
Quinn Cook finished the game with 13 points and four boards. Running the offense, he did some things very well but also showed some room to improve. The sophomore point guard ran the offense fluidly and dictated the pace of play for a Duke unit that was insistent on moving the ball in transition, particularly in the first half. But he also made a few too many turnovers, picking up six in his 32 minutes of action.
Duke 87, Western Washington 69 (7:10, second half): Perhaps the most amusing moment of the half came with about 10 minutes left when Duke was charged with its first foul of the half, leading to a loud and sarcastic cheer from the Western Washington fans. Meanwhile, Viking forward Austin Bragg fouled out and the Blue Devils are already in the double bonus. There have been no notably controversial calls—many of the Western Washington fouls have been from getting beaten on the offensive end and getting to their spots late.
Sulaimon and Kelly lead Duke with 20 points apiece.
Duke 76, Western Washington 61 (11:20, second half): Western Washington was making some noise after Paul Jones hit two straight buckets, but a Quinn Cook 3-pointer quieted that threat of momentum down. And then Cameron Indoor Stadium really got loud when Thornton made a nifty steal led to a Kelly trey.
Cook and Thornton have spent a decent amount of time sharing the court together, something that may go down once Curry is back and Duke isn’t so thin in the backcourt.
Duke 65, Western Washington 52 (15:23 second half): The Vikings are showing a bit of life so far in the second half, gaining a bit of ground. The small section of Western Washington supporters got particularly loud after they got an easy fastbreak and slam after a loose break. The same starting five from the first half began the second 20 minutes on the floor for Duke.
Duke 54, Western Washington 39—1st half analysis: Hello, Rasheed Sulaimon. Taking over for an injured Seth Curry in the starting lineup, the freshman finished the half with 18 points, three rebounds and two assists. He has shown a versatility in his offensive game, converting from deep and beating Viking defenders off the dribble in the lane. He hit 6-of-8 shots from the field and 2-of-3 from deep.
Mason Plumlee has added a quiet 11 points and eight rebounds, well on his way to a double-double. Ryan Kelly has 10 to give Duke three double-digit scorers in the first half.
But the other key to the offense has been Quinn Cook, who has just three points but has dictated the pace of the play for the Blue Devils. The offense has been high-paced, with a number of buckets in transition. He had no assists, but that doesn’t do justice to what he did for giving this offense a sense of urgency.
Cook had the offense for the first five minutes, but Tyler Thornton eventually subbed in and immediately rewarded Krzyzewski with a hustle play to keep a Duke possession alive. Moments later Josh Hairston and Amile Jefferson were the next two subs in. Jefferson contributed four points and three boards in his first half of college basketball, while Hairston pumped up the fans with an exciting sequence in which he took a charge then swished a jumper.
Duke 37, Western Washington 26 (7:46 in the 1st half): The Cameron Crazies got their first “more than double” and “crazy towel guy” chants in of the season, and they have continued to chant for top recruit Jabari Parker, who is making his official visit to campus this weekend and is itting behind the Duke bench. What’s been so interesting from this first half is how Duke keeps on pushing the ball on offense—it will be curious to see if this is a result of playing a Division II team or if this squad might be run-and-gun all season. The Blue Devils had two beautiful transition plays in a row. On the first, Sulaimon made a half-court pass to Murphy for a lay-in and on the next, a Mason Plumlee (yes, Mason Plumlee) spin move opeend the way to move the ball down court, with Cook eventually getting fouled on the layup attempt.
Duke 26, Western Washington 13 (11:59 in the first half): After five minutes of play, Mike Krzyzewski finally turned to the bench, giving Tyler Thornton his first action. Thornton immediately showed why he’s a favorite of the coach, saving a Duke possession after diving for a ball. Amile Jefferson and Josh Hairston checked in together a minute later for Alex Murphy and Ryan Kelly. In his two-and-a-half minutes of actino so far, Jefferson has snatched three rebounds, including one on the offensive end to give him his first two points.
Duke 19, Western Washington 10 (15:35 in the first half): The Viking initially kept pace early with the game tied 7-7, but Rasheed Sulaimon and Ryan Kelly have taken over, each hitting from long range. But credit Quinn Cook in the early going—he has pushed the ball on offense and the rock is moving fluidly. Kelly leads the team with eight points, Sulaimon has seven.
Western Washington: G Paul Jones, G Richard Woodworth, G John Allen, F Austin Bragg, C Chris Mitchell
Duke: G Quinn Cook, G Rasheed Sulaimon, F Alex Murphy, F Ryan Kelly, F Mason Plumlee