College Basketball

Duke vs. Notre Dame: Score, Grades and Analysis

USA Today
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 5, 2014

Despite playing without recently dismissed leading scorer Jerian Grant, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish upset the No. 7-ranked Duke Blue Devils on Saturday at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind., 79-77.

Academic issues led to Grant's departure from the program and school, but the Irish rallied to win in their first conference game as a member of the ACC.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey was able to best his former mentor and boss Mike Krzyzewski. Brey served under Krzyzewski before moving on to become a head coach. Brey gave props to the supportive crowd at the Joyce Center and talked about the pride he has for his team.

Led by senior guard Eric Atkins, Notre Dame out-executed the Blue Devils in the second half. Atkins finished with a double-double (19 points and 11 assists). His playmaking and the Irish's size advantage led to 52.6 percent shooting from the field.

Even Notre Dame's tennis coach, Ryan Sachire recognized Atkins' outstanding effort.

Notre Dame also pounded Duke 39-30 on the glass. A huge second-half run from the Irish sealed the deal. Seth Davis of CBS Sports highlighted the onslaught and urged fans to put the NFL Playoffs on hold.

Duke's freshman star Jabari Parker had the worst game of his young college career. His seven-point performance on 2-of-10 shooting marked the first time he'd been held to single-digit scoring in a game. Ryan Fagan of the Sporting News pointed out how ordinary Parker looked during the game.

The Blue Devils used 12 three-pointers to take the lead into halftime. They kept pouring in shots from long-range midway through the second half. Stephen Wiseman of the Herald Sun noted the Blue Devils' marksmanship.

Duke sophomore Rodney Hood made five from long distance and led all scorers with 27 points. However, his efforts weren't enough to get the job done as the Irish's run in the second half was sufficient to hold off the Blue Devils down the stretch.

Both teams will be at home on Tuesday for their next games. Notre Dame will welcome North Carolina State and Duke will play host to Georgia Tech.

The Irish will be hoping to build on their success from Saturday, and the Blue Devils hope to get Parker back on track.

Check out the grades for this thrilling ACC clash.




Jabari Parker, D

Dec 19, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) walks on the court against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at Madison Square Garden. The Blue Devils won 80-63. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The freshman sensation never found his rhythm in this one. He took ill-advised shots and wasn't a force on the glass, totalling just four rebounds.

He made just 2-of-10 from the field and watched from the bench as his team went down in the final minutes.


Eric Atkins, A-

Jan 4, 2014; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Eric Atkins (0) passes the ball as Duke Blue Devils guard Andre Dawkins (34) defends in the second half at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 79-77. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TOD
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


The senior was nearly flawless in his execution of Brey's offense. He got his big men the ball to exploit Duke's size deficiency and only turned the ball over two times. 

His only flaws on the day came at the free throw line. He made just 5-of-8 attempts from the stripe. Notre Dame made only 54 percent of its free-throw attempts as a team.


Rodney Hood, A-

Jan 4, 2014; South Bend, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Rodney Hood (5) celebrates after a three point basket in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Hood was dynamic in the first half.

He made silky-smooth moves off the dribble, and rained down threes with his feathery left-handed shooting stroke. In the second half, he was still good, but he disappeared during a key stretch when his team really needed him.

Hood also had a costly turnover with under a minute to play when Duke had a chance to tie. All in all, NBA scouts should come away impressed with his performance.

He made 8-of-17 attempts from the field and all six of his free throws.


Quinn Cook, A-

SOUTH BEND, IN - JANUARY 4: Quinn Cook #2 of the Duke Blue Devils drives to the basket against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half of the game at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center on January 4, 2014 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Joe
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Cook took over as the big-shot maker when Hood stopped being aggressive. The point guard played well and finished with 22 points. His only issue was shot selection. 

He hoisted up a few perplexing threes in the second half. The questionable decisions may not have cost Duke the game, but they didn't help the cause either.


Garrick Sherman, B-

Jan 4, 2014; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish center Garrick Sherman (11) drives to the basket as Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) defends in the first half at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

At 6'11", Sherman had his way close to the basket most of the game. He showed a nice touch and great use of the glass on multiple occasions. Because Duke had no one to match his size, he was the most difficult matchup of the night. 

Sherman finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. All things considered, he could have had even more.


Pat Connaughton, B

Jan 4, 2014; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Pat Connaughton (24) dunks over Duke Blue Devils forward Rodney Hood (5) in the second half at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 79-77. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Every upset needs few swagger plays and Connaughton delivered them for Notre Dame. First, he posterized Parker on a drive down the lane. Take a look:


Then he whipped one through after a sweet feed from Atkins on the baseline. Connaughton had 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two dunks that helped carry the Irish to the upset.


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