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The Duke Blue Devils bounced back from a 27% shooting performance against Oregon State with a hard-fought game vs. Xavier, 71-64. It was a close game throughout, with neither team extending a big lead throughout the contest. Jeremy Roach led the Blue Devils in scoring with 21 points on 9-15 shooting to go along with 5 assists and 4 rebounds. It was all Kyle Filipowski early on, as he scored 10 of his 12 points before halftime. The Duke defense was stifling, holding Xavier to 38% shooting in the win.

Despite both teams shot over 40% from beyond the arc but the Blue Devils were able to defend their paint while scoring plus 10 in Xavier’s. The Blue Devils for the first time this season did not win the offensive rebounding battle as Xavier bested the Blue Devils by 1. The Blue Devils did, however, own a 12 to 4 advantage in second chance points. The Blue Devils defense and the offense of Jeremy Roach were too much for the Musketeers as Duke was able to get 3 straight stops in the final minute of play and held Xavier without a made field goal for the final 5:51 of the game to secure the 71-64 victory. Mark Mitchell added 16 points on 6-11 shooting, grabbing 5 rebounds.

Overall the Blue Devils shot 50% from the floor, and 45% from beyond the arc. Duke out-rebounded the Musketeers by 1, 33 to 32.

DUKE HEAD COACH JON SCHEYER 

Opening Statement: 

“Man. Great win for us. We have great respect for Xavier, Sean Miller, who they are as a team. They’re old, they’re really tough and they’ve been – our scouting report we always identify ‘alright he’s a hot player right now’, and you go down the list and every one of their guys were hot going into this game. They’re all shooting 40, 50 percent from three, [Jack] Nunge was shooting 70 [percent] in his last four games. And just proud of our collective effort. Thought we played a 40-minute game, really together, we fought, we defended really well. And then I thought Jeremy Roach’s leadership throughout the whole game was a key. And then a lot of different guys stepped up with some big-time contributions. Really proud of this effort, getting a chance to recover now, and of course see who we play tonight. We know no matter what, it’s going to be a heck of a game on Sunday. Really proud of this win and this effort.” 

On Jeremy Roach’s leadership: 

“Jeremy and I spoke and my thing was ‘play instinctually. Just be you’. He’s in a tough spot where he has a lot on his shoulder. We need him, what did he play today — 35 minutes? We need him to score, to create, to defend the other team’s best player. [Souley] Boum today was the best player for them. And there’s a lot that falls on your shoulders, so you end up, you can overthink it a little bit. And the thing that I loved for him today was he was just him. And when he’s that way, to me, he’s the best guard in the country. He controlled the whole game, created for others. He had five assists, I actually thought he could’ve had eight, nine assists, we missed a couple bunnies that he dumped off. But really proud of him and how he responded. I think this is what we’ll see going forward from Jeremy.” 

On Duke’s defensive stretch to end the game: 

“We’ve been in this situation a couple of times. And even the scrimmage for us, we learned a lot from that and different games down the stretch. Like the Kansas game, for example, we’re winning and to close out a game it’s not about scoring, it’s about getting stops. And the last huddle, I think there was 3:30 on the clock, I’m not exactly sure how much time, but they were the ones talking. Our guys were. ‘Hey we’ve been here before, we know what to do’. And they came out, all five guys were locked in, and I thought we came up with some big-time rebounds. Mark [Mitchell], [Kyle Filipowski], Ryan [Young] all get in there, scrapping to come up with some big plays and to finish the game off.” 

On how Duke closed out the game: 

“I thought we showed some great poise. Because I think we were up 13? Yeah, 13 was the lead that we got. And Xavier, they’re not a team that, you’re not going to run away with it. They’re tough minded. And just the poise, I thought in key moments, Jeremy put us on his back and said ‘alright’. Whether it’s for him or for somebody else, he got some really good looks, really good quality looks. And then you of course have to follow it up with a stop, and we did that enough times to get some separation and never let them really get the lead, which was a big deal.” 

On avoiding a slow start: 

“I think there’s a lot of things that go into it. I think it starts with our mindset. What I told our guys, it’s not just about what they’re doing, it’s about what I’m doing. It’s about what we’re doing as a coaching staff. And I thought it was a great wakeup call for all of us. There was incredible drive today, we knew what kind of game it would be. And that’s what it’s going to be every time that we play. So for us, going through this the first time together, it was all just about locking in. We didn’t even talk about a 40-minute game, we’ve been talking about putting together a 40-minute game, it was about the first four minutes. The first four minutes, let’s win them, let’s come out. And our guys took that to heart and did a great job.” 

On dealing with early foul trouble: 

“Yeah definitely some adversity came our way with that. Ryan and Dereck [Lively II] getting two fouls early. But the job they did on Nunge, I mean, 1-of-13, he’s a great player. I’ve followed him for a long time, all the way back in high school we looked at him. And Dereck’s response on defense, Ryan’s physicality, I mean that’s a big-time thing. He’s their leading scorer, he’s been averaging 17. I credit, we talked about the defense collectively, but without those two guys guarding him, it would’ve been a long night for us. So really proud of the bigs and their effort. Coach (Amile) Jefferson did a great job watching extra clips with them, and we knew they were an inside-out team, so taking that away was important.” 

GRADUATE FORWARD RYAN YOUNG 

On how important Jeremy Roach’s performance was for the team: 

“It was huge. He’s our leader, our captain, the team goes when he goes. It’s awesome to have him getting those shots and leading the team in general, offensively and defensively.” 

On the guards playing well and it being helpful for the frontcourt: 

“I think we’re a team, we have a deep team, we have nine guys, not every guy can be all over the court at all times. So I think our depth is one of our best attributes and we’re able to have those kind of nights. Yesterday we had some guys going, some guys were just missing shots. And we were still able to pull out a gritty win like that and today, we had a lot more firepower, obviously better shooting stats. I think that’s a huge strength of our team. I’ve never been on a team this deep, I’ve said it a million times but it’s awesome to come out here and have so many different weapons.” 

On how much he’s seen Kyle Filipowski improve in practice: 

“A ton. It’s been fun to go against him. Obviously, he’s quite a talent, and he’s got a lot of different things that he can do. SO it’s been awesome to go against him, all four of us – Christian [Reeves], myself, Dereck [Lively II] and [Filipowski] going at each other one-on-one and making each other better every day have been awesome. The growth he’s made has been incredible, and obviously it’s been awesome for us.” 

JUNIOR GUARD JEREMY ROACH 

On when he realized he was scoring well: 

“I think, I came off, it was the first half I came off like a drag screen in transition, hit a three, I knew I had it going then. Just wanted to keep it going, get the win. 

On how important a balanced attack is: 

“It’s big. I mean, we like to play inside out but I mean, when guards are hitting shots, when guys are getting shots, it opens up for everybody else. So just kind of try to continue to be consistent and hitting shots.” 

On how Duke addressed the offensive struggles vs. Oregon State: 

“I think we were hesitating a little bit, myself included. We hesitated a little bit, not confident all the way confident with the shots. I mean, we just want to shoot our shots with confidence. It’s a big thing for Coach Scheyer, always instilling confidence in us before the game, just trying to make us knock down shots. So I mean, shooting shots with confidence is a big key” 

On the key to being ready for Purdue or Gonzaga: 

“Same preparation as we did for Xavier. You can’t take anything for granted. One possession at a time, and it’s the same preparation, like I said, for Xavier. I think that’s the biggest key was our preparation today and getting our mindset ready.” 

FRESHMAN FORWARD MARK MITCHELL 

On what the win says about the team’s response: 

“I think yesterday we didn’t have our best performance. I think today we tried to come in and lock in on the scouting report. We knew [Nunge] was their most important player, we just tried to come in and shut him down and do everything we could to stop him.” 

On multiple players being able to hit a shot in a key moment: 

“We have a lot of people on this team. You never know when it’s going to be your day and I think at any time, any of us can make a big shot.” 

On whether he realized Jeremy Roach had the first 20-point game of the season: 

“I didn’t. I don’t really think about scoring like that but I knew he had it going so I’m glad.” 

 Player Notes

• Junior Jeremy Roach scored a team-high 21 points – his second career 20-point game and his first since his career-high 22 points at Virginia Tech in his freshman season (Jan. 21, 2021). 

• Roach had five assists, four rebounds and two steals on 9-of-15 shooting in 35 minutes. 

• Freshman Kyle Filipowski has scored in double-figures in each of his first seven career games, after collecting 12 points against Xavier while also swiping a career-high four steals. 

• Freshman Mark Mitchell scored 16 points – two shy of his career high – on 6-of-11 shooting with five rebounds. 

• Graduate Ryan Young pulled down a game-high five offensive rebounds (six rebounds total) with eight points in 21 minutes off the bench. 

• Young was 3-of-5 from the field and for the season is 24-of-33 from the field (.727). 

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