Tim Brando mentioned it repeatedly, but I really think the game was lost in the last minute of the first half…just like the Clemson game. Against Clemson, the team lost its focus. At Cameron it was more of Dudley getting in foul trouble and having to lay back. Not a pretty game, but winning in Durham is hard under any circumstance. I hate to lose, but this loss did not change my outlook on the season. I still think this team can scrape together enough ACC wins to get into the NCAAs. A few more thoughts…
-- Tyrelle Blair’s play. I had an up close view of his performance against Clemson. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t think I would see this sort of improvement all season, let alone in one week against Duke. His individual and help defense was much better. He contributed on offense and actually showed some effort. I don’t know if this is an aberration or a sign of things to come, but the kid deserve credit for stepping up on our biggest stage.
-- Shamari Spears. He took too many shots too far from the basket, but he is also making leaps and bounds in his play. His defense is getting much better as well.
-- Dudley not getting more shots. I know he gets a lot of his points in and around the basket. I know he is playing on a bad foot. But we absolutely need to get him more touches. Even when the other team collapses on him, he generates points.
-- The final minute of the first half. As I mentioned above, these mental lapses are killers for a shallow team. They cannot let it happen against the top teams.
-- Marshall’s production. I am not going to kill him…especially after the last game. He worked hard on the boards. But I’ll repeat my Marshall mantra: when he is not feeling it from outside he needs to drive and cut to the basket.
We’ll need perfect games to beat good teams. This was not one of them.