With the first four wins of the season Duke looked completely unbeatable, but with the first Division 1 opponent that same team looked vulnerable.
Duke had to expect that a Herb Sendek coached team would slow things down, and that is just what Duke got, it didn’t help that Duke was sloppy on offense committing 14 turnovers, the same number they forced from ASU.
It was hard to tell whether the Arizona State defense was that good or if Duke was that out of sync offensively. Duke missed too many easy shots in this game, quite a few points left on the floor.
A-State played the switches on offense and looked for the switch that created the favorable matchup and would drive to the basket exploiting the Duke big men who were foul prone in this game and did not provide the offense that Duke needed to separate themselves.
Duke did not get the inside scoring that was supposed to be an asset on this years team, Brian Zoubek was only able to manage 5 points, with just as many fouls and 3 turnovers. His footwork in the lane against smaller defenders was an issue. Lance Thomas and Miles Plumlee didn’t fair much better scoring 4 points each and racking up fouls. On the defensive end Miles Plumlee had 4 blocks against the Sun Devils, with one impressive looking block that caused Miles to have to duck under the backboard.
Duke was carried by the perimeter players in this game, neither Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer or Kyle Singler had great games but did enough to secure the win. Duke shot just under 42% from the field and only 22% from 3-pt range. The shots that fell so easily in Cameron were definitely not falling in this game. Most were not taken in rhythm and were under duress from a stingy ASU defense that blanketed the arc.
Duke needed a second half run (17-4) to squeeze past the Sun Devils in this game, at the 43-43 tie they seemed to turn on the afterburners and get open on the inside.
Duke will have to find other ways to score against big time opponents, those games are coming soon. If Duke can’t find more offense from the 4 and 5 position there will be a definitive blueprint on how to beat them going forward. UCONN is going to a very tough out for Duke after dismantling LSU in impressive fashion.
|DUKE BLUE DEVILS|
|Miles Plumlee, F||18||1-2||0-0||2-5||2||6||0||0||4||0||4||4|
|Lance Thomas, F||23||1-2||0-0||2-2||2||3||1||0||0||3||3||4|
|Kyle Singler, F||40||5-16||1-5||2-2||1||5||3||1||0||3||3||13|
|Nolan Smith, G||40||6-14||0-6||2-2||0||3||1||0||0||3||3||14|
|Jon Scheyer, G||40||6-13||1-4||3-3||2||4||5||0||0||1||1||16|
|Andre Dawkins, G||17||2-5||2-3||2-2||0||2||1||0||0||1||1||8|
|Ryan Kelly, F||5||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|Brian Zoubek, C||17||2-3||0-0||1-2||3||7||0||1||0||3||5||5|