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Entering Sunday the Blue Devils knew that against Purdue 7’4 center Zach Edey was going to get his. It was Duke’s job to make it tough and to shut down the other 4 players on the floor. The Blue Devils couldn’t get it done. Duke jumped on Purdue early, opening a seven-point lead at 14-7 at the 15:48-mark on a Proctor jumper. Purdue chipped away, and Branden Smith’s layup three minutes later gave the Boilermakers the lead at 17-16. Purdue opened a lead as many 18 (46-28) before Duke closed the half on a 7-0 run thanks to four points from Proctor. The Blue Devils trimmed the margin to as few as seven on two occasions in the second half, but could get no closer. Purdue’s 7-foot-4 big man Zach Edey finished with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Caleb Furst had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Fletcher Loyer scored 18 points, including 4-of-8 from three-point range.

The Blue Devils inability to guard the perimeter, allowing open shots from beyond the arc as well as their cold shooting were the death knell trio for Duke as they fall 75-56. The Blue Devils shot just 36.2% for the game and only 10.5% from 3-point range. Duke was out-rebounded by Purdue, 42-31 – its first game this season being out-rebounded by an opponent and the first time this season the Blue Devils failed to lead in second-chance points (8-3). Purdue’s 75 points were the most scored against Duke this season – previous high was 69 by Kansas.



I think it’s very easy to say that well they lost so things have to change. Too much change is the absolute worst thing you can do to a young team. The philosophy needs time to work – this team currently had a lot more variables than expected. They just have to keep working and they will. As a coach one of the worst things you can do is be too reactionary to a loss – especially a loss to a really good team. 9 days with the entire lineup and 1 practice. If a coaching staff believes in what they are doing you go to the film, analyze what went wrong. More often than not its execution which doesn’t require change, it requires reps and work. 11 new players – 7 freshman.  It’s going to take time to build the vision that Jon Scheyer is trying achieve.


Opening Statement: 

“Honored to be in this tournament. We knew coming in, we would be tested and really get a chance to see where we’re at. To play a team like Purdue … they were great today. They have the most unique player in the country probably in [Zach] Edey. They’re incredibly well coached, they played hard and have a great identity. For us, we made it interesting there. We cut it to six points in the second half. You need to hit some shots and need a couple things to go your way. We’ll learn a lot from this. It doesn’t get any easier … we have to go back home and get ready to move forward. I thought it was a great week. We played four games in seven days. We obviously have a lot of things we need to do better, but proud of the fight we showed in the second half. We need to learn to do that for 40 minutes. Hats off to them [Purdue]. They’re as good as anybody in the country. They have a really good team and I give all the credit to them.” 

On Zach Edey: 

“I thought Dereck [Lively II] really battled him early. He hasn’t had anyone stop him like that and Dereck took the ball a couple of times and made it difficult. He’s a hard guy to prepare for because there’s nobody else like him. I thought the fight was there early from our bigs. We talked about our ball pressure being key because they’re so good at passing it right in and then you have a decision to make … do you double or do you not? When teams have doubled, they get wide open threes so its a tough decision. We were ready to live with some of his buckets. We knew he was going to score some but we gave up threes and that so that really hurt. I thought our bigs really fought him, particularly Dereck at the start … I thought he made life difficult for him.” 

On switching to a zone defense: 

“It’s something we have to be ready to go to. We spend a lot of time building our habits with our man-to-man defense so we’ve practiced it a couple of times. We’ve had it in our back pocket just in case and I thought our guys did a good job on the fly to pick it up. The thing with them [Purdue] is they move so much … they get really good movement and they screen hard and cut hard. I thought it helped slow them down and our press was good for us also. For key plays … they got the loose balls and the rebounds. We needed to come up with those balls and those plays, but they’re the ones that did.” 

On sharing the ball: 

“We need some more practice time. Dariq [Whitehead] has been back for nine days now and we’ve had one practice with our full team. This is an evolution for us. In those key moments that you mentioned, we get two threes blocked. You have to get shots off and that’s for us to continue to develop and practice and get to know each other. I think for all our guys, you think it’s going to be tough but you don’t know how hard it’s going to be in college. Now we’ve had a few experiences being here … every game we’ve played, we’ve learned something from. You need to make a team like Purdue really work and break them down on defense and that’s the next step we need to get to.” 


On today’s loss compared to the Kansas loss: 

“This one is probably harder. With the Kansas loss, we didn’t play as well. We gave it up and tonight, they [Purdue] just out-toughed us. There aren’t many excuses for this loss and playing for a championship always means more, too.” 

On the value of playing a zone moving forward: 

“I think it can be very valuable moving forward. Switching up the defense on another team can always disrupt them a little bit, like how Oregon State did to us. I think it can be a useful tool for us down the stretch and in some crunch time moments. I don’t think we’ll come out to start a game in a 2-3 zone, but it helped us at times against Purdue. We have to work on it more and we’ll be a lot better at it, especially when times like this come up again.” 


On the offense late in the game: 

“A couple of our shots weren’t the right shots. I think we attacked the paint pretty well, but they were in drops so we were able to pick that apart. It was mainly just the loose balls … we needed to win more 50/50 balls.” 

On the zone defense: 

“We’re able to take up more space in a zone to try and disrupt them. We dug deep on defense and really emphasized that into the second half. We really wanted to get stops to be able to get our lead back, which we did earlier, but we couldn’t get stops later in the game.” 

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