College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 1, 2010
As far as returning national championship teams are concerned, the 2010-11 version of the Duke Blue Devils is looking pretty good. Having graduated Jon Scheyer, the Devils appear to have found an adequate replacement in freshman guard Kyrie Irving, who may not have the shooting range of Scheyer, but has proven to be a better ball-handler and penetrator than his predecessor.
While the Big Ten took its measure of a somewhat-watered-down ACC, winning the challenge, 6 games to 5, Duke did not disappoint, knocking of a very good Michigan State squad by an 84-79 score.
Irving was clearly the catalyst for the Duke victory, leading all scorers with a career-high 31 points, canning 8-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-3 from three-point range and hitting 13 of 16 free throws. In addition, Irving added six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
Improving to 7-0, the Blue Devils handed Michigan State its second loss of the season, extending its ridiculous string of home wins over non-conference opponents to 80.
Other winners on Wednesday in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge included, for the ACC, Boston College and Maryland, while Wisconsin and Purdue added to Big Ten wins from Tuesday by Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois and Northwestern. Wake Forest was the only ACC winner from Tuesday. Virginia dropped #15 Minnesota Monday night, 87-79.