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Duke Plays in the Paint, Grows Up in the Process

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DURHAM — Duke entered last year's ACC Tournament as the regular season champion, but this Duke team is better than that one. The main reason-- this year there's an inside presence.

The past couple of years, Duke has lived and died by the three-point-shot. Now, after Saturday's impressive come from behind win, the Devils appear ready to unveil a "brand" new style of play. In the second half, Duke pounded the ball inside versus UNC with stunning results, proving they are not just a perimeter team.

"It's our intensity and will to want the ball," explains Elton Brand. "The first half of the game, we were crushed-- down just about 20. We weren't wanting the ball as much. There were opportunities where we could have gotten the ball."

After falling behind by 17 points, the natural tendency is to fire away from beyond the arc. Duke took the opposite approach, won the game because of it and in the process, grew up as a team.

"Getting the ball inside to Elton, we grew up," says forward Roshown McLeod. "We were very efficient when we needed to be. The last 10 1/2 minutes of the game, we grew up and became men."

There's no room for boys in the paint. Duke did indeed grow up on Saturday.

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Todd Gibson, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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