Duke's 'biggest win of the season'
By Andrew Jones
February 2, 2011
College Park, MD -- Sometimes, the best learning experiences come in unruly fashion. And the rattling of Duke's cage last Sunday, courtesy of St. John's, forced a few changes within the Blue Devils and quite a bit of introspection.
The result was an 80-62 win at Maryland on Wednesday night that coach Mike Krzyzewski called the team's best win of the season. It was also met with the return of the Duke fiber that has anchored this program as one of the nation's best for the past quarter-century.
"It shows a lot of character," Krzyzewski said about his team rebounding from the ugly loss to the Red Storm. "The Sunday game was, not taking anything away from St. John's, but sometimes n matter what you do you just don't do, you're just a little bit flat. And we were a lot flat and they weren't.
"To come on the road three days later and win like this is really a huge thing for our kids. I'm proud of our guys. Most teams wouldn't be able to do that. I thought we grew up a lot today and we got tougher today."
And more confident.
Krzyzewski started freshman point guard Tyler Thornton for the first time, making him the fifth perimeter player to start a game this season. And on the first possession of the game, Duke went inside to sophomore center Mason Plumlee, who was charged with the responsibility of battling Jordan Williams, who might be the ACC's top big man. The coach said that was to instill more confidence in the pair and because he felt they could perform effectively. Both played well.
This wasn't about seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith leading Duke (20-2, 7-1 ACC) to another victory. The pair certainly did their thing