By Sarah Kwak
Duke's loss to Wake Forest on Wednesday, while heart wrenching, showed us a few things that could become important come March. It was tough, but the silver lining is thick for Blue Devils fans.
1. Gerald Henderson has ice in his veins. The boy is all clutch, something Duke hasn't been in recent years. Not since Chris Duhon (but really more like since Jay Williams) have we seen a Blue Devil own the last minutes of a game the way Henderson and Kyle Singler did last night.
Talk all you want about the days of J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams and the lot, but let's face it. They were great players that scored a bunch of points, but when it mattered most, they were throwing bricks with the big game on the line. And this wasn't a fluke either. Remember, Henderson made that game-winning basket last March in the first round against Belmont.
2. Duke shall not live and die by the three-pointer alone, and thank goodness for that. Sure, having sharp-shooters like Henderson, Singler and Jon Scheyer doesn't hurt, but last night, the team went 4-for-22, just 18 percent, from behind the arc. Two years ago, that three-point shooting percentage would've been the most important stat of the night, the whole story of the loss. And two years ago, the game would've been a blowout had Duke gone 4-for-22 from three-point range.
3. Letting James Johnson get through for an easy, last-second layup is going to stay with these guys for a while. Nothing hurts more than winning the last six minutes of a game before losing it in the last second, off a soft basket no less. Don't expect them to let that kind of thing happen again.
4. A little more fawning over Henderson. After nailing the game-tying jumper, he's back on the other side, fighting and pulling down the rebound on the other end. If not for the inadvertent traveling call, Henderson would've single-handedly forced that game into overtime. Simply put, Gerald Henderson is a stud.
All said, it's never great to lose, but this loss showed more promise than flaws for the Blue Devils.
(Note: Thanks to Matt for his "marred" "observations".)