North Carolina puts blue in Blue Devils
February 8, 2007
The Duke men’s basketball team didn’t just lose its all-time leading scorer when J.J. Redick matriculated to the N.B.A. after last season. It also lost a proven leader and seasoned veteran who helped to mentor the younger players. It lost a go-to guy that would step up and make crucial shots every time he was called upon. But most importantly, it lost someone who could pick up a team when it was down, and carry it through the low points of a grueling season.
Duke sure needs a guy like that right about now. The Blue Devils lost to North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium last night, 79-73, in a game where a player like Redick clearly would have made the difference for the Blue Devils. Duke had its chances to put a young Carolina team away but never was able to put the final nail in the casket. Freshman Jon Scheyer had a career high 26 points, but even that wasn’t enough to help the Dukies. At 18-6, Duke needs to recapture its traditional magic if they hope to make some noise come tournament time. And with a tremendous void left by Redick’s departure, someone has to become a leader rather quickly. Otherwise, the Blue Devils will be left to cope with their season ending much sooner than seasons past.