This is me after the first 3:19 of the game -- BC 13, Duke 7:
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BC was hitting everything. They started the game 5 for 5 from the field, but then it got ugly. They proceeded to miss their next 12 shots. This was me for the rest of the game:
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Eagles Leaders: Points: Anderson, 21; Rebounds: Anderson, 8; Assists: Humphrey, Daniels, 3
It started out really fun, and then it became the game that I thought it would be. The Eagles could not get anything going on offense (more on this later) and Duke just plugged away and slowly but surely disposed of this young BC team. It was encouraging to see that BC was not initially intimidated by the prospect of playing Duke, but then you could see it wore on them. They made their first 5 shots (like I said) and then once shots stopped falling, it started to snowball. They got discouraged and Coach K made some adjustments that stifled the offense.
The lack of a go-to scorer is so apparent that it's scary. BC went over NINE MINUTES in the first half stuck at 13 points. NINE. MINUTES. Try to fathom how ridiculous that truly is -- can you? They went nine whole minutes without scoring a single point. I feel like you could probably just chuck half court shots for 9 minutes and get one to fall. They eventually got some free throws and were able to get on the scoreboard again. However, BC did not make another field goal until there was just over 2 minutes left in the first half. That means the Eagles went 14 minutes without a made basket. FOURTEEN MINUTES.
During this same stretch, BC played remarkable defense. Duke was unable to get anything going either and BC went into the half down just 30-21. The defense was as impressive as the offense was pathetic. For these young players to hang with an experience Duke team filled with talent, well, that was something I wasn't expecting.
(Side note: How nice would it be to be able to just give the ball to a guy like Austin Rivers and say "go to work"? BC has no players that can consistently create their own shot. This would be the key to ending these long scoreless stretches. For the record, I believe guys like Ryan Anderson and Dennis Clifford can become these types of players as they grow and mature.)
Here's a ridiculous stat for you: Duke rebounds - 45; BC rebounds: 21.
Coach Donahue made a good point after the game that the rebounding numbers were partly a result of the amount of missed shots that BC had, but it doesn't tell the whole story. The fact of the matter is that BC has nobody even close to as big and strong as Miles and Mason Plumlee.
I feel as though I'm just rambling at this point, but this whole game was just weird. The two teams combined for 32 turnovers and might have set an NCAA record for traveling violations (probably not, though). There was a very big crowd, but it was zombie-like for much of the game. After the first three minutes, everyone seemed to mentally check out. Nobody really left until the very end, but it was just silent. There wasn't much to cheer about, but it was just awkwardly quiet. Nobody was talking on press row. Everybody just seemed in awe of how weird the game was. Maybe I'm making this up, but the game just felt surreal.
Conrad's Player Of The Game: Ryan Anderson
No contest here, really. Anderson had a game high 21 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. He shot 6 of 12 from the field and 7 of 10 from the charity stripe. He played really hard for all 33 minutes he was on the floor, despite being physically outmatched by the two Plumlee's. I said at the beginning of the year that I love Anderson's potential. He just needs to get more comfortable with his size and fill out his frame a little bit. His shooting mechanics could use some tweaks, but his stroke is effective enough. He's definitely got the potential to become the go-to guy that BC needs. He and Clifford could create an imposing front court in a couple years if they continue to grow and develop.