In their last game out Duke lost to a really good Gonzaga Bulldogs team – a team that exposed some of the issues this Blue Devil team could have this season. The Blue Devils needed to get back on the court and perform better and to an extent against Indiana they did that. They showed that they can be a dominant team, even against quality competition but this outing was not anywhere near perfection – not by a long shot. Sure the Blue Devils were able to win by 21 against the Indiana Hoosiers and honestly never really threatened. The team continually shot themselves in the foot – talent won the day but Coach Mike Krzyzewski would much rather have talent go hand in hand with execution. It’s coming.
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) November 28, 2018
The Duke defense for much of the first half was suffocating for the young Hoosier team and with Duke dictating the pace of the game, Indiana found themselves turning the ball over to the tune of 13 in the first half which led to 19 Duke points. Duke also had an edge of 16 to 0 in fast break points. The Blue Devils had their issues as well only shooting 41.7% from the free throw line in the first half leaving 7 points on the floor. The Devils also had issues with just getting their offense in sync – they were still able to put up 53 points in the half despite perhaps a Maui hangover.
In the second half the Blue Devils played like a young team with a lead, turning the ball over 10 times leading to 9 points for the Hoosiers. Coach Mike Krzyzewski called several timeouts to try an exhort his team to understand that even with a lead they needed to play with emotion and a chip on their shoulder – that never really materialized with any consistency but despite that Duke was able to overpower a good Indiana team.
Duke was led in scoring by freshman Zion Williamson who poured in 25 points. The freshman forward also stuffed the stat sheet by grabbing 6 rebounds, dishing 4 assists, blocking 2 shots and stealing the ball twice. Williamson thrilled the crowd with highlight reel dunks and shot 11-15 from the field. R.J. Barrett poured in 22 for the Devils on 9-18 shooting before fouling out in the latter stages of the second half. Tre Jones may have been Dukes most steadying presence on the court – the freshman point guard shot 6-10 from the field, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 8 assists without turning the ball over once. Jones’ ball pressure also was also on display and netted him 2 steals.
Defensively Duke was able to hold much heralded freshman Romeo Langford to 3-15 shooting and 13 points their star senior forward Juwan Morgan to 8 points.