DURHAM – The word Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski used was “shock.”
As No. 25 Miami continued to pile on the No. 1 Blue Devils in a 27-point blowout Wednesday night, Krzyzewski said his team was stunned that they couldn’t put the ball in the basket.
Duke’s guards shot 5-for-36 as the team missed just about everything on the way to a nationally-televised embarrassment.
In its fourth full game without starter Ryan Kelly, Duke finally nailed down the team it must be without him Saturday. All five Duke starters scored in double digits as the Blue Devils shot 52 percent from the floor and routed Maryland, 84-64, at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“We’re obviously a different team without Ryan, and we have to play like we won’t have him,” Krzyzewski said of the senior who is out indefinitely with a foot injury. “I think we will have him at some time, but we have to figure out who we are without him.
“... Our preparation was intense, and we played that way. I’m very impressed with our team.”
Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon played his best game in a Duke uniform, tying a Duke freshman record by hitting six 3-pointers and scoring a career-high 25 points.
Mason Plumlee scored 15 points in the second half on the way to 19 total for Duke (17-2, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), which took the lead at 13:44 of the first half and never lost it.
“This is our best performance since Ryan’s been out,” Plumlee said. “We aren’t going to have Ryan for a while, so I think we’re trying to get our identity.”
Sulaimon started the game by hitting eight of his first 10 shots, including all six 3-pointers. The freshman hit three shots from behind the arc in a 1:37 span in the first half, which gave Duke a 9-point lead.
Maryland (15-5, 3-4) outscored Duke, 27-5, in bench points, though Duke’s starters played so well that it didn’t matter.
In addition to Sulaimon’s and Plumlee’s contributions, Seth Curry scored 13 points, while Amile Jefferson and Quinn Cook both had 11 points.
Kelly was on Duke’s bench, but he needed crutches to move around. There is no set date for his return.
“I know a lot of the attention is going to be on Seth and Mason with Ryan being out,” Sulaimon said. “I’m just doing my job as a teammate. I know I’m going to have open shots. I have to take them and make them.”
Jefferson added nine rebounds and Cook, leading the Duke offense, recorded nine assists and helped Duke limit itself to four turnovers.
Krzyzewski pointed to Curry’s 3-pointer off a loose ball in the second half as an example of what the Blue Devils need to be doing.
“It was a Duke shot. Our guys were taking Duke shots (Saturday),” Krzyzewski said. “They were playing with a really good spirit.”
Dez Wells and Charles Mitchell each scored 13 points to lead Maryland.
The Blue Devils ran past the Terrapins in the second half thanks to an even better offensive display. Duke made seven 3-pointers in the first half and shot 50 percent from the floor, only to shoot nearly 55 percent and not commit a single turnover in the final 20 minutes.
“I was pleased (at halftime) considering they were 7-of-10 from 3,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “I said, ‘Man, I don’t think they can play any better than they played.’ (Then) they played about the same in the second half.”
The Blue Devils’ next contest comes Wednesday at Wake Forest, which Duke beat, 80-62, on Jan. 5.
Duke’s victory against Maryland was the sixth straight in the series and 12 out of the past 13.
The Terrapins, playing at Cameron for the last time as an ACC team before the school moves to the Big Ten, were serenaded with chants of “ACC” and “Not our rival” by the Duke crowd.
Nick Piotrowicz can be reached 407-9952 or npiotrowicz@ rmtelegram.com