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Once again, and for what seems like the trillionth time this season, Duke would go into a game with a vital player inactive. Injuries, just as they were last season have been a big impediment to the Blue Devils having the continuity that Jon Scheyer has spoken of since his time taking over in Durham. Today it would be Tyrese Proctor, who was out for the Florida State game as he recovers from a concussion. 8 of Duke’s 25 games have had the Blue Devils minus a member of their top 6 rotation guys. Tyrese Proctor has now missed 4 games, Mark Mitchell has missed 3 games and Jeremy Roach has missed 1 game.

Duke’s floor game certainly could have used some help from Tyrese Proctor as the Blue Devils turned the ball over 17 times leading directly to 21 points for the Seminoles. Duke’s sloppiness could have very well overshadowed what was an explosion by freshman Jared McCain. McCain had a first half for the ages scoring 25 points on 9-10 shooting and 7-8 in the half on his way to 35 for the game. McCain’s ridiculous offensive game kept the Seminoles just out of reach of the Blue Devils who would go on to win 76-67.

Despite the impressive offensive weaponry showed by McCain he was 1 of 3 Duke starters with 4 or more turnovers for the game. Kyle Filipwoski led the Blue Devils in that category with 6 turnovers and just 8 points and 4 fouls in 27 minutes. Once again Filipowski’s floor game left a lot to be desired for the Blue Devils. Jeremy Roach was the only other player in double figures for Duke with 17 points and 4 assists but also 4 turnovers.

McCain’s 35 points matched Zion Williamson (Jan. 14, 2019 vs. Syracuse) for most points scored by a freshman in program and represents the most points scored by a freshman in a road game. McCain also set a new Duke freshman record for made 3-pointers (8), surpassing Cam Reddish, who made seven versus Army.

The Good:

  • Duke was able to win this game minus a starter and never really were threatened too badly in the second half.
  • The Blue Devils shot 63% from the 3-point line shooting 10-16. 8 of those 10 were Jared McCain.
  • Duke out-rebounded the Seminoles 36-27

The Bad:

  • Duke’s defense at times left a lot to be desired against Floria State allowing the Seminoles to shoot just a shade under 50%.
  • Duke turned the ball over entirely too may times leading to fast break opportunities and 21 Florida State points
  • As good of a player as Kyle Filipowski is, he continues to do some head scratching things on the court – the majority of his turnovers can be considered unforced errors, errant passes, unaware of defenders and offensive ineptness. It seems like the staff has yet to push the right buttons for the sophomore who is clearly and visibly frustrated – assuringly at himself.


The Blue Devils are certainly winning games but are they progressing? In some ways yes, they are learning to win on the road in tough environments and gritting out victories. But, this team are continually making the game harder for themselves. Don’t gert me wrong, overall Duke has been a good team taking care of the ball but their last two victories they’ve turned the ball over 13 and 17 times. If this is a trend it’s a troubling one. The Blue Devils margin for error is smaller than it has been in years and they are not going to be able to battle the opposition in addition to themselves. With the injuries that seem to plague this team and the short rotation that Duke currently has – the Blue Devils simply have to play better and smarter basketball. Those turnovers in addition to being momentum killers are impediments to building leads which directly effects the rest your best players get. Tired basketball is often bad basketball, Duke not able to build on 6, 8 and 10 point leads and making them into 12, 15 and 20 point leads means you have to play your starters more minutes. These types of things matter – especially in March.