College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, February 21, 2010
At the start of the season, not much was made about Duke's chances other than they'd likely be a high seed when March came around. Now, it appears that the Blue Devils may be able to nab a #1 seed in the NCCA tourney, as they've plowed through their ACC opponents with relative ease.
Sunday's ho-hum, 67-55 win over Virginia Tech offered a glimpse of what to expect when Duke comes calling. Their "big three" of Kyle Singler, Nick Smith and Jon Scheyer combined for all but four of Duke's points, with Singler leading the charge with 25 points on 7-for-15 shooting, which included 4 of 9 3-pointers and a perfect 7-for-7 from the foul line. Singler also added 10 boards for his 5th double-double of the season.
Scheyer scored 15 and Smith tallied 24. The other players to score were center Brian Zoubek, who had 3 points but held sway in the lane with 16 rebounds. Miles Plumlee had a single point from the foul line.
Duke, leading the ACC at 11-2, is being chased by 9-3 Maryland. The Terrapins may have their opportunity for at least a share of the conference title March 3rd, when Duke visits.Duke has already bombed Maryland once, 77-56, and their Sunday win sent the Hokies back to 8-4 in the ACC standings. In the meantime, the Blue Devils continue to make strides towards a top NCAA seeding and possibly a very deep run in the winner-take-all tournament.
Notable: The Pitt Panthers suffered through one of their worst shooting performances of the season, but bailed themselves out by hitting 26 of 34 free throws (76%) as they upset #3 Villanova, 70-65. Ranked #19 before their game, the Panthers will move up considerably in the national rankings due out Monday.