Surprising Star Lifts Duke Blue Devils over UNCG Spartans

Curtis ClontzCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2011

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 18:  Quinn Cook #2 of the Duke Blue Devils drives to the basket on Chris Czerapowicz #35 of the Davidson Wildcats during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 18, 2011 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Duke Blue Devils had eight days to sit before the game against UNCG. Finals came and went, and it was finally time to put up the books and concentrate on basketball.

Duke started the game very slow, which will be called rusty. In all fairness, they weren't rusty. UNCG was playing out of this world. On the night, Duke had 18 turnovers. This is a scary stat for Duke faithful, as the season inches closer and closer to conference play.

This game was a tale of two halts, as Duke was able to really open things up and bully UNCG as the game played out. In my preview, I said that this game would be just as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

In the end, it wasn't as easy as that, but it was a good time to get starters and reserves playing time and help the team grow.

Growing the most on the night may have been freshman Quinn Cook. Cook was scoreless in the first half but turned it on as he as able to score 14. He was a spark off the bench and truly had the hot hand as he replaced Tyler Thornton due to his foul trouble. This was a pleasant surprise—especially if this is a sign of things to come.  

Cook is a true point guard and has been considered to be a Daniel Ewing type of four-year guy. Cook played 18 minutes and had two assists and two turnovers. If he can play like this in the future, Tyler's job could be in trouble.

The other Duke bright spot was Mason Plumlee, who tallied a double-double by scoring 15 and grabbing 13 boards. He seems to still be improving and getting better each game. Duke needs him to be a true post presence if they are going to challenge the Heels for the ACC this season.

UNCG started the game on fire. It appeared that they couldn't do any wrong as Duke struggled. On the game, only one of their starters scored in double digits.  

Everyone knew going into this one that UNCG was outclassed and didn't have much of a shot. Up next for Duke is a matchup against Western Michigan. Another subpar team, the Broncos are currently 3-7 on the season. After losing their first six games, they have turned it around by winning three of their last four.  

An upset over Duke would be astronomical for the Broncos as they will certainly put on their best suit and give it their best shot. The game takes place at Cameron Indoor Stadium so if you're a betting man, I would bet the farm on Duke.