Duke dropped its first game of the season to Kansas 77-75 on a dagger of a contested mid-range jumper by guard Frank Mason III. Jackson torched Duke all night for 21 points and 5 assists while the Duke back-court aside from Luke Kennard was missing. Kennard scored a game high 22 points on 7-10 shooting, he also dished 5 assists (the high for the team). Duke for most of the second half looked like a team without a point guard which is not too far from he truth. There is no guard on this roster who seems comfortable playing the point much less has the instinct of a point guard. For most of the first half Duke maintained a lead and kept Kansas at bay on their way to a 5 point half time lead.
It didn’t take long for Kansas to assert itself on both ends jumping out to a double-digit lead. Duke would battle back and make a game of it despite both team being the victim of suspect refereeing. Duke would tie the game on a Frank Jackson 3 point shot only to see Frank Mason sink the aforementioned dagger on defender Matt Jones.
Duke shot well when it actually was able to get shots, despite leaving critical points at the line on missed free throws (21-30) Duke did shoot 70%.
The other good for Duke was the heart the team showed when faced with a double-digit deficit in the final minutes of the second half. Duke hit shots when they needed to and chipped away and got stops.
Duke lost this game with 3 members of an NBA roster next year on the bench. Kansas showed how great of a team they are but Duke showed even with being short 3 starters they still can compete with any team in the nation.
Well Duke lost, that’s never good but if you are going to lose this is probably the way to do it.
Duke had 16 turnovers to only 12 assists. 7 of those turnovers from Amile Jefferson who never quite look comfortable on the offensive end tonight.
Rebounding was an issue for this team, with the two starting power forwards only getting 4 rebounds apiece both playing nearly 30 minutes each – conversely Udoka Azubuike for Kansas got 12 rebounds in 15 minutes, more than Chase Jeter and Amile Jefferson combined.
A point guard isn’t just the guy who brings the ball up the floor as you could see with how Frank Jackson controls the offense for his team. Duke has guys that bring the ball up but no one with a true command of the offense. This was evident with the lack of offensive consistency and the stagnation that occurs far too often.
Duke lost the battle for:
points in the paint
second chance points
fast break points