Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Duke Throttles Miami

The Duke Blue Devils ended a two-game ACC losing streak with an 89-59 win over Miami in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The win pushed the Blue Devils ACC mark to 6-2 with a 16-3 overall record.

Duke knocked Miami back with their first-half three-point shooting where they started the game 9-16 from the stripe. The Blue Devils were taking no prisoners up 48-24 in the first half.

"For us to win we have to play good defense and that translates to good offense," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. He continued, "We emphasize defense and hard play.

Duke held Miami to 30% shooting for the game.

With the loss, Miami falls to 2-6 in the league and 10-8 overall.  Duke swept the season series with the Hurricanes and they move3 to 22-7 all time.  This game also marked the Blue Devils only appearance in the Coaches vs Cancer event.

Duke cooled off in the second half but still outscored the visiting Hurricanes 41-35. The Blue Devils were led in scoring by freshman Matthew Hurt who tallied a game high 22 points.

Tre Jones chipped in 16 points for Duke while dishing 6 assists Vernon Carey was the only other Duke player in double figures with 11. Nine of the eleven Duke players who played scored.

Duke scored 46 points in the paint to just 18 for Miami. The Blue Devil bench outscored the Hurricanes 27-12. Duke scored 20 points on fast breaks while forcing 13 turnovers.

The Blue Devils will have a long lay off until their next game on January 28th with Pittsburgh in Cameron. That game will again tip at 9:00 and will be on ESPNU.

Duke Drops to 8th in A.P. Poll

The Duke Blue devils dropped to 8th in the new A.P. poll released today. After consecutive losses, the Blue Devils hope to get back on track against Miami in Cameron in a game which tips at 9:00 on Tuesday.

The Coaches poll will be released later today. Baylor overtook Gonzaga as the top-rated team in the A.P. Fellow ACC members Florida State and Louisville placed 5th and 6th in the rankings.

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/rankings

Louisville Knocks Duke Back But Not Out

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski pretty much called it like it was when he said the Louisville team ran their offense better than Duke did in the Cardinals 79-73 win over the Blue Devils.

This was after be brought attention to one of the most physical games of the ACC season which saw Duke drop its second consecutive ACC game which dropped them into third place.

"The term “freedom of movement” was not alive and well tonight. I hope we don’t have the rest of the conference like that. That’s not good basketball," said the Duke head man in his opening statement to the media.

Earlier in the day a few of the ESPN talking heads had been talking about the game trending towards physical play and letting a lot more go with concern to movement than in seasons past.

The Louisville offense kept it simple, score in the paint or by the three-point shot. Of their 79 points, 65 of them came in the paint or on made three-pointers. And the Cards knocked down 50% of their three's to boot.

On the other side of the ledger, Duke connected on 6 of 25 from the three-point stripe. But take away Matthew Hurt going 3-5 and the Blue Devils were just 3 of 20.

Duke also had trouble executing their offense after staging the comeback where the Cards once held a 15 point lead. But the Blue Devils struggled to execute the offense in the last few minutes of a close game.

Louisville won by kicking the ball out on fast breaks, especially in the first half when they turned Duke over early and often. There initial play to start the game knocked the Blue Devils back while giving the visitors confidence and they held on for the win

Duke had some positives in a game they'll certainly learn from participating in. They were literally on the ropes but managed to keep fighting putting themselves in a position to win.

Cassius Stanley tallied career highs with 25 points to go with 11 rebounds. Matthew Hurt continued to contribute on the offensive end and not to be lost were the 7 rebounds and 5 steals Jack White contributed. Duke also cut down their turnovers to just six after starting the game with ten in ten minutes.

All in all, this game took a herculean Louisville effort, their bigs making threes, foul trouble and some guys having career games on the other side of the ball for Duke to lose.

There is no doubt that this win will propel the Cardinals into a better position mentally after they stumbled a bit early with three losses. But Louisville was always a top ten team and will be the remainder of the season.

Duke, on the other hand, was handed its third loss of the year, and this will likely drop them to the bottom of the top ten in the polls this week. But do not expect that to last provided the Blue Devils remain healthy.

"We just have to get older. I’m really up on my team. It’s a long journey. I’ve never told you that we’re great. It’s a process for us, playing these two teams," said Krzyzewski who continued, "Getting beat, we have to learn from it and move on. It’s a long journey.”

Intangibles Work Against Duke

There are times when the intangibles help align an evening in a way that an upset is possible. In hindsight, the intangibles were hard to ignore with the Clemson win over Duke last evening.

The Tigers were coming off one of the biggest wins in their program's history over North Carolina in Chapel Hill to end one of the more embarrassing streaks ever. That kind of thing has a way of carrying over not only for the season but especially for the next game.

While football is indeed another sport, the Clemson faithful were as down as could be after their team lost the national title game to LSU the night before. This provided extra incentive to ease the pain for the home team and to their credit, they played their best game of the season.

On the Duke side of things, it was announced that Joey Baker would miss the game with a sprained ankle just hours before the game. This coupled with the fact that Wendell Moore Jr. was already sidelined immediately changed the complexion of the game.

Duke had just gotten adjusted to missing Moore when they had another key cog in their rotation go out. And that folks, will mess with chemistry, substitution patterns, etc.

Once the news of Baker being out broke, people began to take a closer look at an 8-8 Clemson team. I speak for myself here in that I started to realize this game was a trap. The Tigers had a win over N.C. State, UNC and TCU which is atop the Big 12. In other words, they have been sneakily getting better while most were unaware of their progress due to a slow start to the season.

Add to all this that Duke went cold from the free throw stripe in the second half, while missing easy lay-ins and you could see the pattern develop in real-time as the Blue Devils suffered their first ACC loss of the season.

Duke was not especially sharp on the defensive end. Part of that was due to a lack of depth they have become accustomed to having and that made for some tired legs after pressing to get back in the game after a fast Clemson start.

The Blue Devils would also need for all eight of their rotation players to step up and that did not happen as well. Players who have been playing well disappeared under the pressure and it was clear the team struggled to find a way to stop a red hot Clemson offense nor did they match their opponents' emotion on this evening

To their credit, the Blue Devils would fight back into the game and they had a chance which is something. But things will get tougher this Saturday when Louisville comes to town and the Cards will look to derail the Blue Devils on ESPN Gameday in Cameron,

In the end, what we have is a typical ACC upset when it seems like the world aligns against one side. Upsets will happen, especially in league play and the ebbs and flow of the season mean injuries and unexpected situations will occur.

All the Blue Devils can do is learn from the game. They're a young team that had been playing great basketball until last evening. Overreacting to the loss would be silly in a January game and a look around the nation shows several teams stumbling.

On the other hand, Duke is facing adversity as they face Louisville this weekend in a most important game. Injuries are a part of the game but they come at a bad time for Duke which now has to limit players in practice.

One thing is certain though. If Duke is to get back to their winning ways against Louisville all eight rotation players must show up and contribute. The game with Louisville will be the ESPN Gameday game of the week. That contest will tip at 6:00 on ESPN and we will learn a lot about the Blue Devils by the end of the evening.

Joey Baker Out vs Clemson

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Duke has announced that sophomore forward Joey Baker will miss tonight's game at Clemson with a sprained right ankle.

Baker suffered the injury in practice this week. His status is day-to-day.

The Fayetteville, N.C., native had played in 15 games and was averaging 6.9 points and shooting .481 from the field and .435 from three-point range.