After a Duke career-high 31 points against Santa Clara capped off 2012, Seth Curry received an unexpected surprise to open 2013: He was officially named a team captain.
Our three seniors have really been the leaders of our team, head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. From the spring Ryan (Kelly) and Mason (Plumlee) were named co-captains but Seth has been one of the leaders since then. It seems only natural that all three of them should be tri-captains. It is an honor and we are really happy to make it official.
Curry will play his first game as a Duke captain in his hometown, Charlotte, as the No. 1 Blue Devils (12-0) play Davidson (7-5) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Its a lot of fun for me to have a lot of family and friends in the stands, said Curry, a graduate of Charlotte Christian. Every game here at Duke is a big-time game, so it shouldnt be any different.
And in case the Blue Devils needed to be reminded that they will always be a marquee matchup for any opponent, Santa Clara pushed them in a 90-77 victory Saturday.
The Spartans were up 45-41 with less than 16:24 remaining on the game clock. Curry would score 12 of Dukes next 17 points as the Blue Devils built a 62-48 lead with 9 minutes, 13 seconds remaining.
For the game, Curry shot 12-for-18 from the field, including a 4-for-7 performance behind the arc, for 31 points, which earned him ACC player of the week honors. It was his most productive offensive day since scoring 35 against VMI when he was a freshman at Liberty.
They had a hard time guarding one of the sets we have where we highlight Seth and Mason together and we just scored every time, Krzyzewski said of Santa Clara. Plumlee added 22 points.
With the unexpected test from the Spartans successfully passed, Davidson will be Dukes last nonconference tune-up before the beginning of ACC play. Its a slate that ranks as the toughest in the country, as the Blue Devils are ranked not only No. 1 in the nation but also No. 1 in strength of schedule and RPI. Duke has beaten three teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25: Louisville (4), Ohio State (8) and Minnesota (9). Another one of Dukes marquee nonconference wins came against Kentucky, a team that was ranked No. 3 at the time.
There has been much to be pleased with, from Krzyzewskis point of view.
Well, what do you think? Krzyzewski said when asked to assess his team. We are undefeated, number one in the country, we are playing our butts off. Other than that, I am displeased.
Keeley 919-429-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley