1) MVP Grayson Allen is the real deal. Sophomore comes up clutch for Duke again
Duke star Grayson Allen led the way with a career-high 32 points on 9-12 shooting from the field. Allen was named the 2K Sports Classic MVP and he did it all for the Blue Devils in this game. Allen’s three point shooting was spectacular as he made 5-6 from deep and he was able to drive into the lane at will against the Hoyas throughout the game. Blue Devil fans are getting used to this after Allen came up huge to help Duke win the National title last season. Allen is a superstar and if he keeps playing like that could be in the All-American discussion.
"We were completely disorganized the first 12 minutes," Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "Grayson kept us in the ball game. 32 points on 12 shots is crazy and I would like to him do that again."
"He was so deserving of the MVP for this," Coach K added.
The Blue Devils, led by Allen, got to free throw line and made the Hoyas pay for putting them on the stripe. Duke made 28-36 of their free throws and Allen made all nine of his from the line. Duke’s 1-3-1 zone was helpful in keeping Georgetown in check and kept players like D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera from impacting the game in a big way.
2) Hoyas need to close games out, let another one slip again
Georgetown felt that they let the Maryland game slip away, but came back to beat Wisconsin on Friday. Against Duke, the Hoyas played their best basketball of the young season, but could not come back to win the title game. Georgetown had the momentum at the half after Kaleb Johnson hit the half-court buzzer beater to give the Hoyas a 47-42 halftime edge. However, Duke went on that run and despite fight back, late it was too little too late for the Hoyas.
"When they were making their run I thought we had good looks," Coach John Thompson III said, "The whole game both teams had been answering, but it was during that stretch where we didn't answer. We got a little stagnant, we were stopping and thinking a little too much."
3) Despite loss, Hoyas look like contenders to win Big East
The Hoyas have played two top-five teams down to the wire in great venues and had chances to win both of those games. Georgetown has shown that they are deep and will be getting Tre Campbell and Paul White back later on this season. The Hoyas got great performances from Isaac Copeland who had 21 points and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera poured in 14 points for Georgetown. The Hoyas shot 54.9 percent from the field and were solid for just about the entire game shooting the ball. Copeland missed the game winning shot at the buzzer to end what was a thrilling game.
Georgetown will look to improve and bounce back once again. Many, including Coach K, believe that the Hoyas can be a very dangerous team as the season moves along.
"I like them a lot. They are really big, we looked like midgets out there," Coach K said, "They are well put together. They are extremely well coached."
"Copeland is a rising star, he was terrific today too," Coach K added, "They can shoot the ball. We beat a really good team today. They are only going to keep getting better."
After a classic game, Duke will play Yale next on Wednesday after a tough stretch for them. Meanwhile, Georgetown will look to rebound when they face off against Bryant next Saturday. One thing is for sure, both of these teams will get even better and have plenty of time to do so before March rolls around.