Thoughts on Duke's one-point over BC

March, 14, 2009
• Duke got Nolan Smith back from a concussion for the BC game. Smith hit a crucial 3-pointer, but did miss a layup in his 18 minutes.

• Duke's Kyle Singler is playing some of the best basketball of his career. He scored 26 points and had six blocks on Saturday. Singler said he's becoming much more aggressive offensively, and it showed, as he continues to seek his shot.

• Rakim Sanders missed on a chance to foul Gerald Henderson on his ultimate game-winning bucket. And Tyrese Rice wasn't supposed to call a timeout with 10.6 seconds left, but the BC coaches felt Rice didn't think the ball would be inbounded. It was, and the Eagles then had to call another timeout with 5.5 seconds left when they got the ball across midcourt. The play was for Sanders to get the ball to Joe Trapani to start a cut toward the basket. But Duke did a good job of denying Trapani the ball, forcing Sanders to launch a deep 3-pointer that missed.

• Duke and Boston College are becoming solid competitors in this league. The two teams continue to play grind-out games against each other, with both teams exhausted by the end.

• BC coach Al Skinner was naturally disappointed in not being able to advance to the semifinals against Maryland, but optimistic that the fortitude the Eagles showed in coming back twice, and taking the lead late, will carry into the NCAA tournament next week. The Eagles firmly believe they can advance into the second weekend if they get an advantageous seed.

• Freshman Reggie Jackson had a bruised elbow and couldn't return after playing just five minutes. But he isn't expected to be out for the Eagles next week. Forward Josh Southern tweaked his shoulder and was limited to 25 minutes, but he shouldn't miss time, either.

• Greg Paulus has essentially disappeared on the Duke bench. Paulus played just one minute and is being wedged out of the rotation with Smith, Jon Scheyer, Elliot Williams and Henderson dominating minutes on the wing. But to Paulus' credit, the senior guard doesn't sulk on the bench and hasn't been a problem.

Andy Katz | email

ESPN Senior Writer



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