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Duke vs Belmont

That was a lot closer than I would have liked. But everyone insists Belmont is a good team. And for the most part I agree. Not many teams can go into Cameron and consistently come back from double digit deficits and make it a single FG possession at the end. Not only that, they did so with Duke playing fairly well. So I think its safe to say that Belmont isn't just a cake walk of a team. We'll see that more definitively when they play Memphis next.

As for Duke, I think everyone expected things to be a bit rough. Finding a new point guard is tough. Seth Curry is naturally a two guard, or a scoring point guard. Now he has to balance running the offense for the benefit of everyone else and finding ways to get his own shot. Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith had to make this transition the past two years. I'm not sure Seth is quite as good as they are. But given time I think he can make it work. He did so fairly well tonight.

Perhaps the biggest question mark coming into the season was freshman Austin Rivers. In preseason games overseas he looked very raw. He would either jack up difficult shots or drive recklessly to the goal. And he would get frustrated easily. Tonight he looked pretty good. He was under control for the most part. And he showed why he was regarded as such a high recruit with his explosive athletic ability. I've said he is kind of a poor man's Dwayne Wade. And I maintain that with the way he can beat someone off the dribble and get to the basket. Coach K said his biggest problem tonight was not passing when he got into the lane. Hopefully he matures to the point where he can balance getting his shot and creating for others. So far I like what I see.

Mason Plumlee might have had the best game. He was aggressive, too aggressive sometimes. And he played tough. I'm not sure he can average 14 rebounds a night. But we need him to provide the inside presence that he did tonight. Miles started but didn't play much. Kelly, who was great during the preseason, was ok. Even though Dawkins hit the big shot he didn't play very well. The big surprise was how well Tyler Thorton played. He shot the ball well and played very good defense. Not even counting Thorton, I thought we had too many guards. Now with him playing well, we have even more. I guess that's better than not having enough. Hopefully we can work out a consistent rotation before we start playing ranked teams.