The Duke Blue Devils run away from the Michigan State Spartans in a well played game 81-71. Duke got good performances from Jahlil Okafor, Quinn Cook, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow. Okafor would score 17 for Duke and pull down 5 rebonds. The freshman center would show a bevy of low post moves an may go down when its all said and done as the most efficient Duke player in terms of shooting percentage ever (8-10).
Justise Winslow didn’t shoot the ball well (4 of 11) but did score 15 to go along with 3 assists and 6 rebounds. Tyus Jones made incredible play after incredible play several and 1’s and hit some big shots. The freshman dished out 4 assists and no turnovers and clearly is ready for the big stage. Quinn Cook hit shot after shot the senior guard was a spark for Duke when shots needed to be taken he stepped up. Cook led Duke with 19 points and 6 assists without a turnover.
The positives for Duke besides the win is that they hung tough with a great defensive team and a great rebounding team. Duke has a clear picture of what to improve on. Defensively Duke was beaten too many times on fast breaks, too many times Duke was guilty of not hustling back to guard. Duke has to also do a much better job of rebounding. Duke needs to get much better numbers from its bigs in that regard, 5 for Okafor and 4 from Amile Jefferson will not get it done. Duke did do a good job in the turnover department turning the Spartans over 13 times.
Duke won this game on the strength of the guards who took control in the second half hitting shots from beyond the arc and slicing up Michigan State by driving to the middle and finishing.
There is still a lot for this team to learn and a lot to improve upon. Duke will have to be tougher and much more engaged defensively. Offensively things bottled up on occasion with certain lineups seeming confused and unwilling to drive or shoot the ball.