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Duke Beats Kansas to Win Maui Invitational in a Thriller
For my money, the Maui Invitational is the best early season tournament in college basketball, and it's always fun when Duke is involved. This year's tournament didn't disappoint as Duke beat Kansas in a thrilling victory that came down to the last minute 68-61
Ryan Kelly continued his development as an excellent basketball player hitting numerous shots from the perimeter, drawing offensive fouls and providing a physical threat under the basket. Kelly is also taking his position as a team captain seriously instructing his teammates and setting up plays. He also does things that don't show up in the stat sheet, like diving on loose balls and denying the post man the ball. This year could be special for Kelly.
Freshman Austin Rivers has consistently demonstrated his ability to get into the lane easily, but he takes too many ill-advised shots once he gets there. With perimeter shooters Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins and Kelly left open as defenders converge on Rivers, he has to do a better job of kicking the ball to them instead of forcing up contested floaters.
Thomas Robinson wreaked havoc for the Blue Devils, playing a similar style to Derrick Williams of Arizona last year. He is a big and powerful post man with decent shooting range and a quick first step. He was hard to keep off the boards and when Mason Plumlee stepped out to contest him he would blow past him towards the hoop. Plumlee and Kelly did do an admirable job contesting his shots near the hoop, blocking or stripping him several times. Kansas is an incredibly physical and talented team, but they will struggle with depth if any players get into foul trouble and late in tough, close games.
Both teams face Ohio State after Thanksgiving, which will provide two more thrilling nights of basketball for fans across the country.
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