Watching Duke last night against Colorado state there are two distinct schools of thought, one being yes they won the game handily and the other being considering where we are in the season, they did not look very good doing it, decent but not good. First and foremost I’m a fan and it’s hard not to compare Duke to the other top flight teams in the top 25, wrong or right, I’m doing it in my head daily.
Right now the Devils don’t appear to be a top ten team, I’m not saying they won’t get there but defensively they have to improve. A lot can be hidden against a Colorado State but a lot gets revealed as well. Duke should have come out and jumped all over this team but considering much of the time after the Ohio State debacle was spent on defense there were a lot of easy buckets afforded the Rams in this game. Also considering that the Rams didn’t start a player over 6’6 the Devils should have easily out-rebounded the Colorado State instead of just equaling the Rams output. Perhaps its a lack of focus, there seemed to be times with a lead that Duke would lose the intensity, and allow the Rams to crawl back into the game. If Duke can keep up defensive pressure throughout the game, which should be feasible considering that this team is deeper than in years past. Perhaps it’s the youth. Perhaps the team is still finding itself.
Coach K on Dukes defensive effort:
“I thought the last seven minutes of the first half we played great defense when we got that lead,â€ Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. â€œAnd we didnâ€™t play very good defense for six minutes, and then the rest of the game we played well defensively.”
The Devils did exploit their height advantage on the offensive end somewhat with Mason and Miles Plumlee both scoring 14 points. Austin Rivers once again led the Devils in scoring with 17 points on a series of drives and 3 of 5 shooting from 3.
Andre Dawkins scored 15 in the game after losing his starting job to Tyler Thornton, he scored all 15 in the first 17 minutes of the game and left due to injury and did not return. His status for Saturdays game is still unknown.
I guess the mantra I need to keep as well as other Duke fans is, WORK IN PROGRESS, WORK IN PROGRESS. We will learn a lot once the Devils open up ACC play. Even before that, a tough game on Saturday against Washington on a neutral court.