Virginia Tech jumped out to a 4-0 lead and that was where the game may as well have ended for the Hokies. Duke went on an 11-0 run, eventually stretching the lead to 48-28 at the half on their way to an impressive 88-56 dismantling of the lowly Hokies.
Seth Curry scored 19 of his game-high 22 in the first half, making 5-of-6 threes and ripping Virginia Tech’s heart out one long-range bomb at a time. It got so ridiculous that Curry managed to get his shot blocked, get the rebound, dribble out to the three-point line and bury another three before yapping at Jarell Eddie to earn a technical foul with 1:01 to play in the first half. Curry may be the only person I know who could pull that type of sequence off and still barely change his facial expression.
Duke made 8-of-9 three-point attempts in the first half and finished with a ridiculous 12-of-17 performance, good for a 70.6 percent mark from deep. If there is one way to ensure a loss to this team — or any team for that matter — its allowing them to bomb from everywhere on the court without consequence.
Curry was on the only one feeling it from three, obviously. Rasheed Sulaimon put together one his more impressive performances with 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals while also taking turns making life on Erick Green difficult.
Mason Plumlee rebounded from the worst game of his season against Maryland with a sold 13-point, 12-rebound, five-assist, three-block performance that actually looked effortless. He hit one of his little turnaround hook shots in the second half that actually came off looking smooth and he puncuated his evening with a dunk that Dave O’Brien christened “Thunder Dunk,” which is either wildly cliche or totally awesome, I haven’t decided yet.
Doris Burke — who although I can’t stand listening to her is very good at her job — pointed out in the second that when Plumlee isn’t thinking too much he plays at his best. While that can be said of anyone it may be especially true for the middle Plumlee. When he is out there flying around, grabbing rebounds and relying on instincts he’s the best player on the floor. But when he tries to complicate that by mixing up post moves or trying to do stuff he can embarrass himself. Plumlee should subscribe to Cunu’s surfing advice from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and “do less.”
At the end of the day Duke left Cassell Coliseum with a 32-point win that takes a little bit of the sting out of the Maryland loss despite the fact that VT may be one of the most poorly constructed basketball teams I’ve seen in awhile (thanks, Seth Greenberg). Holding Erick Green below his scoring average is a victory unto itself and so I must tip my hat to the Blue Devils and hope that they carry this momentum into their next couple games, all of which are huge.
Jimmy Kelley is the founder and lead writer of Devils in Durham. Follow him on Twitter @DevilsInDurham