Duke shuts Michigan down 79-69: A much-needed win for Duke and welcome site to Duke fans – A staunch and active defense. A good sign for Duke, they executed their defensive game plan nearly perfectly for much of the game and took Nik Stauskas and for most of the game Mitch McGary out of the game. Stauskas ended the game with 4 points on 0-2 shooting. McGary had a good line with 15 points and 14 rebounds but most of that was in clean-up time when Michigan was in desperation mode and Duke had let the foot off of the gas. Caris LeVert was the only true offensive threat for Michigan in the game scoring 24 points and 20 of Michigan’s 47 second half points.
Duke was led by Quinn Cook who scored 24 points but more importantly dished out 9 assists. Cook was Dukes most effective player on offense and Michigan guards had no answer for the junior point guard. It’s very weird to mention Duke scoring and not having it reflect Rodney Hood or Jabari Parker as the leading scores but both took a backseat to Cook. Hood was 5-13 for 14 points and also had 5 rebounds while Jabari Parker was an efficient 7 or 14 from the floor for 15 points. What made both Hood and Parkers game exceptional tonight were the low turnover numbers. Duke as a team only had 7 turnovers to Michigan’s 12 and no one on Duke had more than 2.
The turning point in the game came after a Michigan run cut the Duke lead to single digits, senior Andre Dawkins gave Duke 8 points off the bench to give Duke breathing room. Dawkins hit 2 beautiful 3 pointers and had a drive to the lane for 2, not generally a part of his game.
The other story was a renewed emphasis on defense keyed by Matt Jones who inherited minutes normally reserved for Rasheed Sulaimon. Jones along with several other Duke guards denied hot shooting Nik Stauskas. Duke gave the Michigan guard no room to operate and his facial expressions throughout the game betrayed the exasperation he felt being defensively keyed upon.
Duke fans used to seeing Rasheed Sulaimon coming off the bench noted his absence over social media for most of the game but as told in the post game notes, Sulaimon is struggling right now and knows exactly what needs to happen for him to get more playing time. Look for the sophomore to earn those minutes back, he is too good not to. One player who perhaps has earned himself more time on the court is Marshall Plumlee, the 7 footer game Duke some good minutes off the bench tonight. Plumlee had 3 key rebounds, a big blocked shot and a nice lay-up off of a feed from guard Quinn Cook. This game saw Coach K using several different iterations of his normal lineups, sometimes playing Plumlee and Amile Jefferson together – this proved effective as the combo accounted for 9 rebounds and 8 points to go along with 2 blocks and 2 assists.
All in all it was a good team win for Duke, the positives Duke won (barely) the rebounding battle, the turnover battle and a plus 5 in 3 point makes. Defensively Duke was good enough, but clearly there is still room for improvement. Duke used Jabari Parker more on the block in this game which I think is a good look for the freshmen. Parker’s outside shot was not falling but I noted at the time the kid can eat all night long in the lane. There aren’t many players in college basketball that will be able to stop Parker with the array of moves he possesses.
The bad for Duke was losing the battle in terms of second chance points, Duke did not maintain the defensive pressure throughout – there were several instances of lazy transition defense (something I’m sure will be addressed in film study). Duke also did not do a great job with shot selection. Duke decided to play more of a half-court game but ended up having to take rushed shots with only a handful of seconds on the shot clock. It’s hard to say if this was by design but I noted that it was almost like having a 6th defender that Duke had to overcome. Shot selection as a whole wasn’t great but at very least Duke was for the most part aggressive.
|Glenn Robinson III, F||34||4-9||0-2||0-0||1||2||3||2||0||0||2||4||8|
|Mitch McGary, F||27||6-10||0-0||3-4||5||9||14||1||0||0||1||2||15|
|Nik Stauskas, G||34||0-2||0-1||4-6||0||3||3||4||1||0||3||3||4|
|Caris LeVert, G||36||8-18||1-3||7-7||0||4||4||2||0||0||1||1||24|
|Jordan Morgan, F||10||1-2||0-0||1-1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||3|
|Jon Horford, F||6||0-1||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Spike Albrecht, G||13||1-3||1-2||0-0||0||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||3|
|Zak Irvin, G||14||2-5||1-3||0-0||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||2||5|
|Derrick Walton Jr, NA||26||3-6||0-2||1-1||0||2||2||1||0||0||3||1||7|
Duke Blue Devils
|Josh Hairston, F||21||1-3||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||4||2|
|Rodney Hood, F||38||5-13||2-6||2-2||0||5||5||2||0||1||2||3||14|
|Jabari Parker, F||33||7-14||0-2||1-2||0||6||6||0||0||0||1||1||15|
|Tyler Thornton, G||20||2-4||2-4||0-0||1||1||2||1||0||0||1||2||6|
|Quinn Cook, G||37||6-11||2-7||10-10||0||4||4||9||2||0||2||1||24|
|Amile Jefferson, F||17||3-3||0-0||0-0||1||5||6||2||1||1||0||4||6|
|Marshall Plumlee, C||6||1-1||0-0||0-2||2||1||3||0||0||1||0||1||2|
|Andre Dawkins, G||10||3-3||2-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||8|
|Matt Jones, G||18||0-4||0-2||2-2||2||1||3||0||0||0||1||2||2|