The Blue Devils welcomed the Seminoles of Florida State into Cameron with a packed house full of former Duke greats and proceeded to lay an egg defensively for the first 14 minutes of the first half. Duke scored the basketball fairly well but the Seminoles, down several starters and playing walk-ons at time, seemed to just live in the lane with very little resistance from the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils surrendered a whopping 28 paint points in the first half while only scoring 18 themselves as Florida State shot nearly 59% from the field.
It felt like walk-thru defense at times for the Blue Devils. Despite being short-handed the Seminoles played the Blue Devils even up until the 5:28 mark. Duke flexed their muscle offensively with 9 points from AJ Griffin, and 2 three-pointers from Joey Baker. They queued a 22-11 Duke run in the last 5:32 of the half. The Blue Devils shot their way to a working margin of 11 at the half.
The second half started slowly for the Blue Devils and despite being up 11 went on a nearly 4 minute scoring drought to begin the half. The Blue Devils didn’t score their first point until the 16:39 mark of the second half and didn’t score their first bucket until the 15:46 mark. Once the Blue Devils took the lid off the bucket a 15-5 run ensued and Duke opened up an 18 point lead that would eventually grow to 24. Duke sealed away the game with very little game pressure in the second half making several halftime adjustments on the defensive end. Coach K alluded in this post game remarks that his Blue Devils sacrificed defensive position for steal attempts and then were blown by in the first half and that in the second half that needed to change. The adjustments shifted the points in the paint numbers in Duke’s favor to the tune of 20-16, the shooting for the Seminoles also came back down to Earth dipping down to 40.7% from the efficient 58.6% in the first half.
Despite only scoring 4 points in the first half, freshman Paolo Banchero scored a team high 17 points on 6-12 shooting. Banchero also pulled down 8 rebounds. When the Blue Devils were struggling and needing an offensive spark in the first half Joey Baker’s shooting was just what the doctor ordered. Baker finished the game 4-7 from the field and 4-5 from beyond the arc. The senior forward finished with 12 points and 3 rebounds. Wendell Moore Jr. was mister everything for the Blue Devils, scoring 16 points on aggressive drives to the bucket, the junior swingman also dished out 7 assists and added 5 rebounds and 6 steals.
Duke boasted three other double-figure scores in AJ Griffin (15), Trevor Keels (13) and Mark Williams (10). Rebounding was not an issue for the Blue Devils against the Seminoles this time around as Duke out rebounded Florida Sate 41 to 23. In the first meeting between the two where the Blue Devils lost a 1 point game in overtime, FSU out rebounded the Blue Devils 42-37. The Blue Devils gain a game in the ACC standings with a losses by both Notre Dame and Miami.
Rebounding for Duke was tremendous in this game, the guards especially did a great job with Trevor Keels and Jeremy Roach pulling down 4 each. Wendell Moore Jr. added 5 as did AJ Griffin.
Assists: 25 assists on 32 makes is a good number for the Blue Devils
Coach K was pleased with how the players responded to second half adjustments – especially on the defensive end. Coach K was able to calm his players down and they were able to follow the second half game plan.
Aggressive Banchero. The second half saw Paolo Banchero play much more aggressively offensively and saw the Blue Devils make a concerted effort to get him the basketball.
In the first half the Blue Devils were atrocious defensively for large portions of the half. Florida state had no issues waltzing into the lane scoring 28 points in the paint in just the first half.
Energy. Like a lot of young teams when Duke struggles to score its seems to leak into how they defend. This team needs to learn that defensively you have to create your own energy, it isn’t always going to be there offensively.