Seth Curry didn't let his right shin injury slow him down in the Bahamas. Credit: JOHN BAZEMORE/AP
Heading into the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, with its daunting three games in three days schedule, Duke wasn’t sure how much Seth Curry would be able to play.
Turns out, he was able to play quite a bit.
Curry, who is nursing a nagging right shin injury (it’s expected to bother him all year), played an average of 32.7 minutes per game. More than that, he played effectively, averaging a team-high 18 points per game. That scoring clip was also tied for third overall at the tournament.
Curry also hit several big shots for Duke, and none were bigger than his 3-pointer right in front of the Duke bench to break a 61-61 tie with Louisville with 4:26 remaining in the game. Duke led the rest of the way.
“We don’t even come close to winning this without Seth,” Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. “Even if he’s not scoring, they have to defend him. It opens up other things for us.”
Krzyzewski also said afterwards that Curry was “hurting a little bit,” The plan was to give him a few days off before Wednesday’s game against No. 4 Ohio State. Duke then plays Delware on Saturday and then doesn’t play again until the following Saturday, Dec. 8, when the Blue Devils face Temple in the IZOD Center.
“And then we have exams, so hopefully we have some recovery time here,” Krzyzewski said.
In other news:
***Quinn Cook was named the ACC co-player of the week (along with Virginia Tech's Erick Green). Cook, who worked his way back into the starting lineup after coming off the bench in Duke’s first two games, was the MVP of the tournament. Over the three games, he averaged 13.7 points (tied for ninth-best out of the entire field) with a .464 field goal percentage. He was also second with an average of 6.3 assists per game, and his 1.7 assist/turnover ratio was good for second overall as well.
***Thanks to Duke’s strong performance in the Bahamas, the Blue Devils moved up to No. 2 in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the AP poll. Duke received 18 first-place votes in the AP Poll. Bret Strelow of the Fayetteville Observer is one of the voters who has Duke in the No. 1 spot.
***Wednesday’s matchup against No. 4 Ohio State will be the third time this season that Duke has face a top-five team (wins against Kentucky and Louisville were the other two, if you have a short memory). Check back later today for a preview of the impending Ohio State matchup.