The Blue Devils were set to play the Wolfpack in PNC Arena to try and even out their ACC road record – the only problem is they never got off the bus. The Blue Devils were a complete no-show verses NC State and were summarily thrashed and embarrassed by the Pack. The game was virtually over in 10 minutes as the the Wolfpack went on a 20-2 run to begin the game. State wasted no time completely snatching the souls of the Blue Devils with tenacious defense, free flowing offense and a toughness that took Duke completely out of the game.
It wasn’t as if the Blue Devils didn’t have opportunities but an offense that was rendered completely inept by the State defense. Dukes inability to play a possession without turning the ball over as well and their lack of shotmaking doomed any hope of making this game respectable. At times it looked like Duke was playing the part of the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters. Defense that was a huge part of Duke’s early identity seemed to be opted out of against NC State, the Blue Devils still didn’t communicate defensively on perimeter switches, managing to leave open shooters and had no answer for State in the paint or the mid-range.
In all honesty the only stat of note for the Blue Devils, aside from the lopsided score ( 84-60) and turnovers (21) of which the Wolfpack used to score 30 points.
The bad was pretty much the entire game, the Blue Devils had no answers and that spanned the entire 40 minutes. The road for the Blue Devils gets no easier with 4 of their next 6 games on the road. Duke will need to improve point guard play immediately – whatever that means for the staff – they have very little time to figure it out.
DUKE HEAD COACH JON SCHEYER
“Well obviously that was not a good night for us and a great night for them. Congratulations to [NC] State, they outplayed us really in every facet. Their guards controlled the game, they outfought us. We knew they would be a really hungry team coming off a couple of tough losses and we’ve known they were a dangerous team. They’ve been right there with some of the best teams in the country and we have a lot of respect for them. But that was not a good enough performance or effort on our part and that’s on me. Unfortunately there have been moments I’ve been through as a player and coach where you have a night like this, and it’s not okay. It’s not okay to have a night like this. For us to learn from it, we’ve got to grow and change. I take responsibility for that as a coach. This is disappointing, but credit to them. We’re 2-2 and there’s still 16 games left in the ACC, there’s a long way to go. We have to learn from this though. Happy to answer any questions.”
On where he felt the game got away from Duke:
“It’s hard to point to one thing. It was basically everything. It was our defense, it was not being strong enough, it was their defense that got us out of sync. Having not been in this environment before, when it went that way we didn’t stick together the way that you have to. The times when we executed, made passes, and had some poise we actually got to the paint and had some good shots. But there are too many empty possessions. We knew coming in that they were great at creating turnovers, we had 21. That’s not going to get it done against anybody, especially not these guys.”
On his team’s toughness:
“I never go into any game thinking we’re going to get blown out like this. You feel you’re gonna win and I thought we had two good days of preparation. I told our guys to look ourselves in the mirror, me included, ‘what did we do to prepare,’ ‘what did we do in this game,’ whether it’s an hour before or a day before to learn and grow from this. But I was not expecting that.”
On his team’s self-professed timidness:
“You need to be aggressive. The questions you guys are asking me and the things that we’re talking about, that doesn’t get you a win. That puts you in the game. You still have to execute; you still have to game plan or scout. You’re defending two big-time players in [Terquavion] Smith and Jarkel [Joiner] and for us we have to figure it out. That can’t be the way, that’s not how I’ve approached this team, that’s not how I’ve played or coached, and I want these guys to play that way. I want them to be aggressive and go for it. We have to do that, that’s the bottom line.”
On losing back-to-back road games:
“It’s hard to have a great perspective right now when you’re in the moment and you’re disappointed, to say the least. You know it’s a long year. I knew this when I took the job that there’s gonna be some moments like this where people can doubt you, they can doubt us as a team, sometimes the best way to learn is to experience it. For this group in particular, to experience this, to experience playing on the road, while you wish you were 2-0 on the road or 4-0 in conference, but that’s not how it works. For us it’s all about how you learn from it and that’s how I’m gonna approach it.”
JUNIOR GUARD JEREMY ROACH
On what Duke needs to do to avoid another similar result:
“We know the road games are tough. Everybody is going to have their best shot, their best game with us. We got to be even more locked in on the road. Learn from this and go to [Boston College] on Saturday.”