A 27-point loss to the Hurricanes was an eye-opener for many, but Duke was able to figure things out and get back on track offensively against the Terrapins. The main reason behind their success on Saturday however, was the play of Rasheed Sulaimon.
The freshman guard scored a game-high 25 points, picking things up right from the get-go as the Blue Devils dispatched Maryland by a final score of 84-64.
Sulaimon’s emergence continues to give head coach Mike Krzyzewski a more-than-dangerous back court rotation alongside Seth Curry and Quinn Cook. Entering the game, Sulaimon was averaging 11.3 points per game, but that number for the first-year guard will certainly increase following his career output on Saturday.
At one point in the first half, Sulaimon had scored 18 points, while Maryland as a team had only totaled 25. His hot start helped pace the blow out victory and ultimately get the Blue Devils back on track. After losing earlier this week, it is clear that Duke will fall from its No. 1 ranking, but their ability to rebound from Wednesday’s defeat should certainly keep them amongst the nation’s elite at 17-2 overall.
The absence of Ryan Kelly continues to present an issue for Duke, but his health as the season rolls along will be crucial. Duke’s bench in fact, tallied only five points despite the Blue Devils scoring 84 as a squad.
Duke will have some time off before taking a mid-week trip to Wake Forest on Wednesday.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS