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Game Preview Recap by @RandyDunson – Duke vs. Yale – Wednesday, November 25, 2015

By November 26, 2015No Comments

Game Preview Recap – Duke vs. Yale – Wednesday, November 25, 2015

By Randy Dunson

[Note: This is something new for me. If I find that people find these recaps worthwhile, I will continue to write them as time permits.]

Four Factors to Winning

[If you wish to learn more about how the four factors are calculated and implemented, a description can always be found here, https://www.dukeblogger.com/four-factors-winning/.]


Four Factors Overall (Duke vs. Yale – %) This Game
Shooting (eFG%) 54.4 vs. 50.6 54.3 vs. 42.9
Turnovers (TO%) 15.3 vs. 19.4 13.6 vs. 17.5
Free Throws (FTRate) 53.0 vs. 46.4 41.4 vs. 19.0
Rebounding (OR%) 45.6 vs. 40.2 37.5 vs. 33.3

In terms of the Four Factors to Winning Duke had the edge in this game as compared to all games played to date prior to this.

  • When it came to shooting the ball more efficiently, the edge was 54.3% vs. 42.9%
  • The edge in taking care of the ball (TO%) was 15.3% vs. 19.4%
  • When it came to getting to the free throw line (FTA/FGA), Duke had a demanding edge at 41.4% vs. 19.01%
  • Finally, where Yale had the edge coming into this game in terms of offensive rebounding, Duke had the edge (37.5 vs. 33.3%).

Key Points

  • Offensive Rebounding
    • This game features two of the top offensive rebounders in the nation. Duke’s Amile Jefferson averages nearly six offensive rebounds per game, while Yale’s Justin Sears leads the Ivy League with 17 offensive rebounds. There is the potential for many second chance points.
      • As pointed out in the Four Factors above, Duke & Yale were even in terms of actual number of offensive rebounds (12), but held a slight edge in OR% (37.5 vs. 33.3)
  • Three-Point Shooting
    • If there is one area where Duke has shown some vulnerability, it’s defending the three-point arc
    • Opponents are shooting 41.4 percent on treys against the Blue Devils
    • Yale has made nine three-pointers in three straight games and will likely need to at least match that to have a chance to pull the upset
      • Yale was 4/15 on shots behind the arc for 27% so Duke did its job well; on the other hand Duke was held to 32% on 7/22 shooting
  • Free Throw Shooting
    • Yale missed some key free throws in the second half Sunday against SMU
    • The Bulldogs cannot afford to squander those opportunities against the Blue Devils
    • Duke has shot 70 more free throws than its opponents, however it is shooting at a very low rate (69%; 141st in the nation
      • Yale only shot 58% (7/12) while Duke did get to the line more & shot a much better percentage rate than its previous games at 71% (17/24) [In terms of history, Duke has always been a good FT shooting team shooting, averaging 70%
  • Duke Has to be Smarter
    • Foul trouble, bad possessions down in the final minutes and missed free throws prevented Duke from pulling away after a strong start to the second half against Georgetown
    • Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee fouled out, leaving three of Duke’s star-studded freshman on the court for the final minute of play
      • The inexperienced showed as Georgetown was able to hang around until the final horn
        • Jefferson & Plumlee had 3 & 4 fouls, respectfully & were able to play through the second half with little help from the bench
  • Grayson Allen is Better When Derryck Thornton is Playing Well
    • Grayson Allen’s offensive production alone is going to be enough to give Duke a decent chance to win in most of its games this year, but for the Blue Devils to be ACC title contenders there’s got to be another step forward offensively from where the team is at right now
    • Right now, it looks like that next step will come with the continued development of freshman point guard Derryck Thornton
      • Thornton finished w/14 points against Georgetown, mostly at the line, but most importantly when he was in the game Allen was able to play off the ball and the entire offense operated about a click (or two) faster with both players in the game
        • It is apparent that Thornton is now being looked to as Duke’s starting PG, however he didn’t play as well in this game, scoring 6 points on 2/4 shooting, one being a 3-pointer; he also had only one assist against one TO
        • Both Jones & Allen played at this spot during the game with Jones being the MVP in my opinion
        • Thornton will continue to develop in this role & become an active floor leader
  • Tight Games Like Georgetown Early in the Season Will Help Duke in Conference Play and Beyond
    • When you’re recruiting at a high level like Coach K is right now and reloading every season, these early season contests against quality opponents feel like watching a chef toy in the kitchen
    • Krzyzewski is finding out how this particular Duke team reacts to different styles, and Georgetown is good enough so that the Blue Devils’ talent was not enough to win on Sunday
    • Duke had to get out of its comfort zone and make some in-game adjustments to win
      • The fact that this young team responded well is a great sign for the Blue Devils moving forward
        • Overall, this point held true for this game except for the lack of bench production with the notable exception of Ingram who did not get the start


    • Krzyzewski did go eight deep however Jeter only saw 6 minutes of play with a 0.364 effectiveness rate, which is very good
    • The remarkable thing, in my opinion, is that Pagliuca (a walk-on) saw 1 minute of action whereas Obi never took his warm-ups off!
    • Please see my editorial comments on Obi’s lack of playing time in the full preview, if interested

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