Showing posts with label Nolan Smith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nolan Smith. Show all posts

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nolan Smith Leads Duke Past Tar Heels for ACC Crown

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, March 13, 2011

Like his co-player of the year candidates, Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette, did the previous two days, Duke's exceptional Nolan Smith rose to occasion and willed his team to a win on Sunday, avenging a regular season finale loss to North Carolina, to capture the ACC tournament title, 75-58.

Smith, who was far from perfect from the floor, hit just 6 of 18 shots, but he did score a game high 20 points and distribute 10 assists to his teammates. As far as Smith and the Duke program are concerned, it was a beautiful team effort, with Seth Curry and Kyle Singler scoring 11 points each and three other players finishing with nine apiece.

Following the game, the NCAA tournament committee made Duke the number one seed in the West region, a fitting reward for their season-long exploits.

Three other games decided tournament titles, and thus, automatic bids. Ohio State beat Penn State, 71-60, for the Big Ten crown, Kentucky subdued Florida, 70-54, in the SEC and the Richmond Spiders took home the Atlantic Ten hardware with a 67-54 win.

Ohio State was awarded the #1 seed overall, in the East region. Pitt was the top seed in the Southeast and Kansas took #1 in the Southwest.

Beginning Monday, check this space for frequent updates with game recaps, previews and top performances for the duration of March Madness.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nolan Smith Drives Blue Devils Past Tar Heels

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nobody could say for certain, but some people at Cameron Indoor Stadium thought they saw the faint utline of a large, red "S" under Nolan Smith's jersey in the second half of Duke's comeback, 79-73, win over North Carolina.

The Duke senior, with some help from a red-hot Seth Curry, carried the Blue Devils from a 14-point half time deficit to ultimate victory over their main ACC rival. Duke had been outrun, out-rebounded and outplayed in the first half, as the Tar Heels blitzed the home team for a 43-29 lead.

But when the teams took the court in the second half, something surely had changed. The Blue Devils ground into North Carolina's lead, outscoring them 25-11 to tie the game at 54-all. Curry contributed a flurry of seven points in less than a minute during the run and Smith tallied 22 of his career high 34 points in the second stanza. Curry finished with a season-high 22 points.

Smith hit 13 of his 23 shots, and was nearly perfect in the second half after a rough start. He tossed in three of six three-pointers and added five free throws to surpass his previous career high of 33 set a month ago against UAB.

The #5 Blue Devils opened a 1 1/2 game lead on North Carolina in the watered-down ACC. Duke is 22-2 overall and 9-1 in the conference. North Carolina, which returned to the Top 25 this week at #20, is 7-2, followed by 6-3 Florida State, Clemson at 6-4 and Maryland and Virginia Tech, both at 5-4.

The Tar Heels will not forget Smith and the tale of two halves in their encounter when they next tackle the Blue Devils in the final game of the regular season for both squads, March 5, at Chapel Hill.

NOTABLE: The Big East continues to appear as the best top-to-bottom conference, as three games from Wednesday night pointed up the contentious nature of the nation's largest conference. #8 Notre Dame had to go to overtime to knock off #16 Louisville, 89-79, for their 6th straight win. In Syracuse, the Georgetown Hoyas hammered the Orange down the stretch, outscoring them 9-1 in the final 3:47 for a 64-56 victory, the Hoyas' 7th straight after a 1-4 start in conference play.

Outside Trenton, NJ, lowly Rutgers (4-8, Big East) took out #9 Villanova, 77-76 and unranked Marquette rallied from 16 points down to overtake South Florida, 59-58, on the Bulls' home court.

There are eight Big East teams represented in the Top 25, and the conference is expected to send at least that many to the NCAA tourney in March. #4 Pitt leads the conference standings with a 10-1 record.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Duke Rolls to 14-0 As Nolan Smith Dazzles with Career High 33 Points

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The top-ranked and undefeated Duke Blue Devils rolled to their 14th straight win with an 85-64 blowout over UAB.

Leading the Devils and all players in scoring was senior Nolan Smith, who tallied a career-high 33 points, also dishing five assists and bringing down seven rebounds, four on the offensive end.

When Smith wasn't beating multiple defenders to the hoop on slashing drives, he was ringing it up from the outside, hitting 2-of-5 three-pointers while going 11-for-22 from the field. Smith also went 9-for-10 from the foul line and was aided by fellow senior Kyle Singler's 15 points, which pushed his career point total over 2,000, making him the 11th Duke player to achieve that lofty goal. The all-time record for a Duke player is 2,769 points, set by J.J. Redick, who has since moved on to the NBA. Singler is sure to follow in those footsteps.

Smith has been on a tear for the Blue Devils of late, scoring at least 22 points in each of Duke's last five games. He leads the team in scoring and assists, at 19.6 points and 5.6 assists per game, respectively.

Notable: Jimmer Fredette lit up the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas as the #15 BYU Cougars went on the road to knock off #25 UNLV, 89-77. A season high for Fredette in scoring, he tickled the twine on 12-for-25 shooting from the field, including 7-for-13 on three-pointers and added 8 of ten free throws.

Other Top 25 winners included #3 Kansas, #6 San Diego State, #9 Missouri, #11 Purdue and #19 UCF. Memphis, ranked #21, fell to unranked Tennessee, 104-84.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

780 Wins for Coach K as Singler and Smith Tally 53 Combined

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, December 29, 2010

After freshman sensation Kyrie Irving went down with a potential season-ending injury a few weeks back, the college basketball community began to re-evaluate the Duke Blue Devils, some even believing that the reigning national champs might come back to earth a little with their star guard on the mend.

It's still a bit early to tell, but the Blue Devils still appear to be the team to beat. In four games since Irving's injury - suffered late in Duke's win over Butler - the Blue Devils have dispatched their overmatched opponents by an average of 43.5 points, including Wednesday's 108-62 pounding of NC-Greensboro.

Proving they still have plenty of firepower, the Blue Devils were led by two seniors, forward Kyle Singler, who poured in a game-high 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting, and Nolan Smith, who threw down a season-high 26 points, hitting 8-of-12 from the field, including 3 of 4 three-pointers, while gathering in 6 rebounds and distributing 9 assists.

Duke moved to 12-0, remaining atop the college hoops rankings, and putting coach Mike Krzyzewski aline in second place with his 780th career win, one more than North Carolina's Dean Smith and closing fast on Bobby Knight's record 802 wins.

Fans and upcoming opponents may get a better feel for just how good the Blue Devils really are when they begin ACC play next week, starting with home games against Miami (FL) on January 2nd and Maryland, January 9th. In between, Duke hosts UAB, a non-conference foe, December 5th.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Duke's Nolan Hits Career High 29 in Win over Baylor

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Duke Blue Devils advanced out of the South region to the NCAA tourney Final Four with a sharp, 78-71, win on Sunday. The win enabled Duke's first trip to college hoops Nirvana - the Final Four - since 2004, when the Blue Devils lost to UConn, 79-78 in the semi-final.

Propelling the Blue Devils past Baylor was the exceptional play of junior guard Nolan Smith, who posted a career-high 29 points on a night that Kyle Singler - Duke's scoring leader - was held to an uncharacteristic 5 points. Smith hit shots from everywhere, going 9-for-17, including 4 three-pointers. He was also near-perfect from the foul line, cashing 7 of 8 freebies.

Duke faces West Virginia in a semi-final game on Saturday, April 3 in Indianapolis.

NCAA Conference Scoreboard (through games of March 28)

Conference W-L
ACC (6-5)
Atlantic-10 (2-3)
Big East (8-7)
Big Ten (9-4)
Big 12 (9-5)
Conference-USA (0-2)
Mountain West (2-4)
PAC-10 (3-2)
SEC (6-4)
West Coast (3-2)
Western Athletic (0-2)
Other (11-18)

*Conferences with only one tournament team listed as "Other."