Section 17: Oop City (Duke vs. Colgate)

Well, it IS true. (Courtesy DukeBluePlanet.com)

Duke devoured its third straight cupcake last night, beating the Colgate Raiders 110-58 in front of a sold-out Cameron crowd. Our courtside highlights are below.

The starting guard duo of Kyrie Irving and Nolan Smith was once again impressive in the blowout win. Irving and Smith racked up 9 assists apiece, to go with 13 and 16 points respectively. In the fast break, each player understands when to push it to the basket and when to wait for the secondary break (i.e. shooters like Curry or Dawkins) to swoop in on the wings. That they put up these numbers in just 25 minutes of action is…scintillating.

Our post players had an up and down night. Rarely did we establish position in the paint—most of the combined 18 points of Miles and Mason Plumlee came off of alley oops or fast breaks. We also can’t have these guys foul out regularly. Hopefully, as the level of competition rises (and it’s about to), our bigs will recognize the importance of securing rebounds instead of swatting at shots.

Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins continue to be dynamite off the bench. Dawkins was an efficient 4-7 from the field last night, including 3 triples, to finish with 16 points. Curry was only 1-7, but demonstrated a knack for getting to the foul line, where he drained 8 of 9. These guys are instant offense, and that we can throw a lineup on the floor with three to four outside assassins is quite a luxury. Zonebusters!

But now, all the indulgence and sweets are over. Next week, real basketball begins. On Monday we face off with the Marquette Golden Eagles, an overlooked Big East squad that has opened the season 3-0. The last time we faced off? In the CBE final of 2006, when Dominic James scored 25 points to help Marquette “shock” Duke, 72-63. That was a rough year, we all remember. I prefer to call it “The Dark Time.” And Marquette was the first of our 11 defeats.

Now, we’re once again the hunted. Complacency? It doesn’t exist. Let’s get after it and add this CBE trophy to the overflowing case.

Edit: Duke actually beat Marquette the next year in the Maui Invitational title game, 77-73. Selective memory favors anger, I guess. Thanks to commenter Raul for the tip.