Yet all anyone wanted to talk about Wednesday night was how much
the Blue Devils sputtered on offense.
"It's good that we're struggling," Dockery said. "You get to
learn. It's early in the season and we're still a young team, and
we're still learning from each other. You just have to learn from
our mistakes and keep going."
Redick jumped three spots to ninth all-time at Duke with 24
points, Williams added 20 and the top-ranked Blue Devils prepared
for this weekend's matchup with No. 2 Texas by beating Penn 72-59.
"Obviously, it's quite an honor to be in the top 10 in
scoring," Redick said. "But that's so far away from what I'm
thinking about right now."
Dockery scored 11 points for Duke (8-0), which travels to East
Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday to meet the Longhorns (8-0). Somehow,
in a game where the Blue Devils shot 49 percent and led almost
throughout, no one was very pleased with the effort.
"Our offense just isn't quite consistent," Redick said. "It's
frustrating at times. We should be having fun."
Freshman Josh McRoberts had perhaps his best all-around game,
finishing with eight points, seven rebounds, four steals and two
blocks following a little motivational speed from Redick late in
the first half. After McRoberts missed the first of two free
throws, Redick walked from his spot near the 3-point line and got
in his face.
Whatever Redick said sure worked, since McRoberts appeared
energized the remainder of the game. He grabbed three rebounds over
the next several possessions, freed up Redick with a nice screen,
then finished off the half with a steal.
The second half was more of the same for McRoberts, and he even
got a chance to show off his open-court ability during one fast
break. The lanky 6-foot-10 forward rebounded a miss by the Quakers
(3-3) and dribbled up court before getting the ball to Redick, who
turned down an open jumper to feed Williams for a dunk to make it
McRoberts declined to speak with reporters after the game.
"I feel like everybody believes in each other on this team, and
we just have to get going," Dockery said. "We've got some
freshmen, and it's kind of tough coming and playing at Duke. When
those guys get more comfortable, we're going to get better."
But Penn rallied behind David Whitehurst, who made three
consecutive 3-pointers. Then Friedrich Ebede added a three-point
play to cut the margin to 10, and it still was 11 before McRoberts
got inside for a layup. Later, Redick swished a 3 that put Duke
ahead 66-50, and the Quakers never threatened again.
"For the most part, I was very proud of our effort," Penn
coach Fran Dunphy said. "Before the game, we talked a little bit
about having tremendous respect for this program, but we couldn't
let that become a fear factor. I thought our guys did a pretty good
job of understanding that concept."
Redick passed Trajan Langdon, Art Heyman and Shane Battier on
the career scoring list, and he made at least three shots from
beyond the arc for the 70th time in his career. He missed badly on
his first two shots before a driving basket in traffic got him
started on a run of five straight.
That included a deep 3 with 8:50 left in the half to give him 11
points in a span of less than 7 minutes. Still, coach Mike
Krzyzewski joined most everyone else in criticizing the offense.
Duke did have 17 turnovers, including five from freshman point
guard Greg Paulus, and he finished 0-for-4 from the field.
"It was one of those games where you can't explain it,
especially on the offensive end," Krzyzewski said. "We had to
play good defense or we wouldn't have won."
Ibrahim Jaaber had 10 of his 16 points in the second half for
the Quakers, who were playing on the road for the first time
following five home games. They couldn't overcome 26 turnovers
despite outrebounding Duke 34-27.
"I think we played well without all the turnovers," Jaaber
said. "I think if we had made some more buckets inside instead of
losing the ball, it might have been a different game."