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Blue Devils missing an inside game

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TALLAHASSEE,  Fla. — Duke guard Nolan Smith sounded the alarm Wednesday night after a tenacious Florida State defense frustrated the No. 1-ranked Blue Devils in a 66-61 win at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

"Teams are going to watch this tape and see, 'This is how to get them.' " Smith said.

Duke (15-1, 2-1 ACC) saw its 25-game winning streak dating back to last season broken because it shot a season-low 31.1 percent from the field and recorded a season-low point total.

You didn't even have to see the game to know what's wrong. The box score tells the tale.

The Blue Devils attempted 35 3-pointers, making 11. They tried just 26 two-point shots, connecting on just eight.

"We couldn't help off any of the shooters, because they're awesome shooters," said Florida State forward Chris Singleton.

So Duke needs to develop some kind of offense in the lane to force the defense to collapse. Smith, who was 3-for-10 on two-pointers Wednesday, said he needs to be more patient in the lane. He wants to use more shot fakes and draw more fouls.

And the Blue Devils need some kind of a low-post scoring presence from their big guys. In 53 total minutes, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Miles Plumlee combined for five points. They shot a combined 2-for-8 from the field.

Although the players were disappointed Wednesday, coach Mike Krzyzewski took a more patient, longer view. He said Duke now has a chance to be a good team, when it had a shot to be a great team with freshman point guard Kyrie Irving out indefinitely with an injury to his right big toe.

"You just learn from the experience," Krzyzewski said. "We have a long way to go, and we have to keep getting better from these experiences."

Other teams will watch tape to see how to stop Duke. And Krzyzewski and his staff will try to come up with counter moves. It's part of the ebb and flow that could make this an interesting season over the long haul for the Blue Devils.


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You can disagree with

You can disagree with me all you want, but Smith is not a point guard. He's a drive and shoot player not a drive and dish player. Thornton and/or Curry should have been preparing to be the next in line for that spot from day one. Everyone has bad games, but last night was more about stupid mistakes than bad shooting IMO. One thing is for sure, without a true point guard, the Plumlees will have a lot more games like last night.

So....Nothing new here.I

So....Nothing new here.I would say the same about last year as well. Duke has always relied on defense and 2-4 excellent outside shooters to win. Same this year. I haven't watched this years version of the Devils but last year they spread the floor and drove and dished to the outside shooters. I expect we will see something similar this season if they aren't already doing it. 

Old hat

It is like watching a high school all star game. Everybody shoot three balls ! Nothing has changed in over 12 years. Last year was a mirage.

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About the blogger

Ken Tysiac has covered the ACC for The Charlotte Observer since 2003, and spent the previous eight years covering Clemson for the Anderson Independent-Mail and then The State in South Carolina. He grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.