Duke’s starters:

Greg Paulus
Jon Scheyer
DeMarcus Nelson
Lance Thomas
Josh McRoberts

> Georgia Southern wins the tip and promptly turns the ball over.

> Early foul called on DeMarcus Nelson for pushing off the defender. That’s ridiculous.

> Scheyer makes his first defensive mistake by opening up his body when going for a steal. He doesn’t get it, and GS makes an open jumper.

> Nelson with a terrific baseline drive and lays it in off the glass with pressure. That explosion is a tremendous asset for Nelson–and for this team offensively–that hasn’t been there for Nelson in previous seasons because of injuries.

> Paulus gets beat off the dribble, help defense stops the penetration, but poor defensive rotation provides an open jumper. GS leads 6-3.

> Nelson’s leading the way thus far offensively, asserting himself with his strength. He is absolutely shredded in his upper body.

> One would imagine that the new bulked-up Nelson is struggling as a result of that muscle to make his free throws…it’s impacting his stroke and his form.

> Zoubek took his first shot of the game. He received the ball in the post, and did a good job of finding the defender on his butt. He faked to the interior, and pivoted away from the basket before shooting. His mistake was that he faded away when he shot, rather than going up straight. As a result, the shot was short. Zoubek’s got the size to play with anyone. As he becomes more comfortable with his body, and as he gets stronger, that move will be deadly in the paint because no one will be able to defend it.

FIRST TIMEOUT

15:22 mark, 8-5 Georgia Southern leads

> Offensively, we look a bit out of sorts. We’re trying to overload one side of the court and find advantages with size on the block, and at least on this time down at the 14:58 mark, we didn’t find it. Paulus forced a drive and was fortunately fouled on his shot attempt. And he’s a damn good free throw shooter, so he brings it to 8-7.

> Paulus gets beat off the dribble once again. His agility just isn’t there right now to play the kind of man-to-man we need him to play.

> Watch Zoubek tonight. He’s going up against some physical post players, so it will be interesting to see how he responds.

> Charge called on DeMarcus Nelson…Duke trails by six. We’re struggling to find our shot against this defense, and we’re giving up too much dribble penetration. These guards are good.

> McRoberts looks lethargic to me…I wonder if he’s under the weather. He’s already air-balled a shot, and missed out on a defensive rebound or two. He’s lacking the zeal that made him such a spark his freshman year.

TIMEOUT at 11:45, 15-12 Georgia Southern…

> GS makes a desperation three from 30 feet as the shot clock expires. Is it going to be that kind of night?

> We’ve got a little more athletic lineup in right now to try and slow down the GS guards. If we can find some assertiveness on offense–and a little patience–we’ll be okay.

> ESPN commentator says GS is leading because they’re playing with a ton of effort and intensity. Brilliant.

> Wow, the first “Duke gets all teh calls” agonizing comes up from the commentator. Unbelievable.

> We’re getting to the three throw line now becuase of how we’re running our offense. We don’t have outside threats, so we’re trying to penetrate and get inside shots. We’re getting hacked, and it’s paying off. We’re chomping away at the lead at the free throw line…but we’ve gotta make our damn free throws.

> Nelson’s having a great game so far…McRoberts with his second airball of the game. Somethin’s wrong with him mentally or physically.

> Scheyer with a tremendous play…absolutely tremendous. Loose ball in the open court, he hustles, gains possession and lobs it forward to a streaking Gerald Henderson for an easy dunk. That’s the kind of transition offense Duke will need to thrive at this year to pull out games just like this one…we’re not going to be every team in a halfcourt offense until we find our identity…so for tonight, easy buckets will be the difference, IMO.

> Duke’s making a little run now.

TIMEOUT at 7:23, tie ballgame, 18-18

> Paulus’ lateral quickness just isn’t there for him right now. Hopefully that’s a product of his injury, and not a sign of a lack of improvement from a year ago.

> 5:12, Duke trails 27-25. We have no answer for Foreman on defense thus far.

> Note: ESPN has changed Duke’s ranking from 11th to 10th. Hilarious.

> Terrible stat: We’ve only got 2 assists tonight…and 5 field goals.

> Nelson has been switched to guard Foreman. Terrific move…that Army training will come in handy here.

TIMEOUT at 3:42

>Wow, Henderson with a great spin move to avoid a defender, and he finished the layup. Gotta love that ability to improvise.

> McRoberts is bringing the ball up the floor way too much…a guard needs to come get the ball and get things moving.

We’re not getting into a transition offense, and that’s to GS’s advantage because our big men can run…but we haven’t taken too much advantage of that up to this point.

> McRoberts gets an offensive board off our eighth missed free throw and slams it home.

Our biggest problems thus far:

1) Perimeter defense
2) Free throws
3) Offensive execution

> Henderson with another athletic move and finished shot. It’s easy to see why Duke is so high on him.

> McRoberts brings his man to the perimeter and has his effort of taking him off the dribble stymied by a travelling call. Interesting strategy…spreading the court for the center and asking him to drive.

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