DURHAM — Duke turned in a season-worst shooting performance but ended up with a 22-point victory against Florida State.
Thats possible thanks to the 27 offensive rebounds the Blue Devils collected the most in a single game for the program since Dec. 17, 2002, against North Carolina A&T.
Thats the key to the game right there, Rodney Hood said after the 78-56 win against the Seminoles (13-6, 4-3 ACC).
The 27 offensive rebounds represented 61.4 percent of the available boards at Dukes end Florida State came down with just 17 defensive rebounds. The No. 18 Blue Devils were effective on the opposite end as well, limiting FSU to seven offensive rebounds while gathering 20 of their own (74.1 percent).
Jabari Parker pulled down 10 offensive boards on his own, tying Elton Brands record for most by a Mike Krzyzewski-coached player in a single game. Parker had his second straight double-double, with 14 total rebounds and 14 points. Like the rest of the team, Parker struggled from the field he finished 3-for-13 but went 8-for-9 from the free throw line, a result of his renewed willingness to drive to the basket. Parker has attempted 10, eight and nine free throws in the three games since his mini-slump ended prior to that, he had attempted 12 total free throws in Dukes first four ACC games.
Hes a very good player, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said when asked about Parker, laughing at his statement of the obvious. He is an extremely good athlete, and there isnt much from a technical standpoint he is not capable of doing. Hes a good ball handler, good passer, he is smart, he is quick, athletic and he is focused.
And he has been Dukes leading rebounder the past two games.
Marshall Plumlee came down with a career-high seven rebounds, all on the offensive glass, and also scored a career-high seven points in 12 minutes. A two-handed slam off of an offensive rebound started a 13-0 run for Duke in the first half, giving the Blue Devils a comfortable 43-25 halftime lead. While they never gave up, the Seminoles didnt get closer than 11 points in the second half, despite Duke going more than seven minutes between field goals, though there were plenty of free throws in that stretch. Duke shot 79 percent (34-for-43) from the free-throw line, which was enough to overcome the 30.5 percent shooting from the field (18-for-59). Plumlee ended a 0-for-16 start to his career from the charity stripe and finished 3-for-4.
Amile Jefferson pulled down three offensive rebounds for Duke (16-4, 5-2) as well. Hood had a theory as to why Plumlee and Jefferson were able to have success on the boards.
Honestly, I think its a respect thing, Hood said. If youre guarding somebody that you really respect or can play, youre going to box them out. Amile just slipped past everybody because theyre so focused on me and Jabari that he gets those offensive rebounds that are big.
Rebounding woes, combined with turnovers, did in the Seminoles. Florida State had 17 turnovers, with Duke credited for 10 steals, which the Blue Devils turned into 29 points.
Those steals, along with the rebounds, fell into the hustle stats category for Krzyzewski, a sign of the effort the Blue Devils put into the game. Krzyzewski, who won his 900th game at Duke, was particularly fiery as well, tossing his suit coat during a huddle and making big, demonstrative gestures (like slapping the floor so hard his watch came undone) several times.
Thats passion right there. Thats what we look for in Coach, said Hood, who overcame getting sick right before the tip to lead Duke with 18 points. We can tell the stuff that happened a couple of weeks ago (dealing with his brothers death) is all out. He flushed it out and hes here, hes 100 percent in. We love that.
Sometimes it can get a little scary because were up 15 and hes going crazy, but at the same time we know thats because he wants us to be a better team.
Keeley: 919-829-4556; Twitter: @laurakeeley