Coach K, in recent days, has made it clear that despite the fatigue his young Devils must be feeling he wanted to see a full 40 minutes of engaged high level basketball. The Blue Devils delivered to the tune of a 124 – 67 drubbing of hapless St. Francis. Duke poured it on holding the Red Flash to 33.8% shooting for the game.
Duke put on a masterful offensive display to the tune of 71 first half points, one shy of a Duke record. Duke had a whopping 17 assists to 1 turnover in the first half and boasted 3 double figure scorers before the break. The outcome of the game was never in doubt 5 minutes into the game and Duke did not let their collective foot off of the gas.
Returning to Duke was the 3 point touch that had eluded them in recent weeks. Freshmen Gary Trent Jr., who had been slumping with his shot as of late after a hot start to the season, was 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, scoring 14 points. The key for Trent was not only being shot ready but shooting his 3’s in rhythm and his teammates finding him in the right spots. It was less about Trent settling for 3’s but rather stepping into a good shot.
Marvin Bagley III, despite only playing 26 minutes, scored a game hight 21 points and pulled down 11 boards. Trevon Duval did a superb job of distributing the ball to his teammates, Duval ended the game with 11 assists and two turnovers.
Marques Bolden, off the bench for Duke, scored 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in his best game as a Blue Devil. Also off the bench for Duke Alex O’Connell and Javin DeLaurier scored 9 points a piece with DeLaurier adding 6 rebounds and O’Connell shooting 3-5 from 3 point range.
The first half saw Duke with 17 assists and 1 turnover, showing how well this team can play when it both shares and values the ball on offense.
3 point shooting hasn’t been a strength of this Duke team but against St. Francis Duke looked like a complete team shooting 57.7% from beyond the arc, going 15 of 26.
Rebounding as expected was a huge advantage for Duke in this game to the tune of a 61 to 25 advantage. Duke turned 17 offensive rebounds into 29 fast break points
Duke showed no signs of fatigue as they were off to the races early and often. Duke had a 17 to 0 advantage in fast break points.
Duke was able to rest starters off and on and utilized 89 bench minutes of their 200 and the result was 56 bench points and 28 rebounds
Duke shot under 70% from the free throw line, while still higher than their season average still a number that should be around 70% for Duke to take better advantage of their size advantages. The Duke bigs went 9 of 14 for around 64%.
Duke did not get to the foul line very often – on a team who generally has an advantage in post play and points in the paint Duke only shot 19 free throws as a team. Could be a sign of just a very cleanly played game but a number that Duke would surely like to see increase with the amount of paint touches.
Wendell Carter played a good game tonight, scoring 15 points and pulling down 9 rebounds but still managed to collect 4 fouls in 20 minutes of play. Teams, I feel, will key on that aspect of Carters game and work to get him in foul trouble earl to neutralize 1/2 of Duke inside threat. Not every foul Carter earned was his fault, at least one was do to a Duke guard missing a defensive assignment that left Carter out to dry. Duke will need to work with Carter on his footwork and his ability to guard the perimeter and guard inside without reaching.
Duke heads into ACC play against Boston College on a high note and the hope is that the way the Devils played today will carry into the next practice and then again on Saturday on the road in Chestnut Hill.