It’s hard to quantify Duke’s comeback victory on the road at Miami – it’s a game that is both troubling and exhilarating at the same time. Obviously a win is a win, and it’s much more pleasing to learn from a win than a loss but 18 games into the season what does it mean?
Miami is always a tough out for Duke, that much is clear but what does it mean that this Duke team committed 19 turnovers? Miami is a good defensive team, that much we knew going in but many of the Duke errors were self-inflicted. The 7:45 second scoring and defensive drought was truly hard to watch. The miscues, the shot selection, giving up the lane – the lack of any sort of emotional response to the situation at hand. Then slowly a bit of friction became a spark and that spark became a run. Defensively as a whole Duke was better, not great but better and in the last 8 minutes of the game, nearly superb.
Is this a matter of a young team learning that, “just because we have the talent, we still have to play as a unit“? Is it just a young team needed to see the ball go in the hoop in order to gain a measure of confidence? The hope is that each of these experiences causes growth and that the coaching staff is able to figure out the buttons to push for a good team to become great. There are 12 ACC games and one more non-conference game left in the season and that means the window is shrinking rapidly for this team to figure out who it is before the games become one-and-done. Duke fans know all too well that a 7:45 minute drought can spell an early exit in the ACC and the NCAA Tournaments. The road to consistency, fortunately or unfortunately is going to be paved with games that leave us all scratching our head.
I guess I’m mostly asking is the ability to turn it on as reassuring as it is worrisome having to turn it on? I guess we keep following, watching and learning.