A couple of important things of note from the Central Arkansas matchup was Dukes improved shooting from the outside. In their first two games the Blue Devils shot around 26% from beyond the arc they were able to knock down a lot better average against the Bears at 50%.
The Blue Devils also improved their free throw shooting. The first 2 games of the season saw the Devils shooting it at under 61% from the free throw line although there were very slight improvements from game 1 to 2 (very slight). This 3rd game saw Duke shoot 86% from the charity stripe. Duke also shot their best percentage overall at 56.8%, in game one against the Jayhawks the Blue Devils shot around 36% from the floor overall.
This way have been Wendell Moore's best game so far as a Blue Devil, and although Moore shot a poor percentage from the field, he looked much more at ease on the floor and ran the offense for the better part of the second half with Tre Jones being out. Moore ended the game with 3 assists and 4 steals and only 1 turnover in 25 minutes of action. If he and Goldwire can become formidable backups for Jones it should definitely increase Duke's chances come March. Having a competent second unit will go a long way toward keeping the sophomore point guard not only fresh but able to continually pressure the ball.
Javin DeLaurier notched his best offensive output of the season putting up 11 points, grabbing 8 rebounds and shooting 3 for 3 from the foul line. Nearly delivering on his double-double formula. Of Note that DeLaurier did this in only 16 minutes of action.
Matthew Hurt had his best offensive effort off the young season as well scoring 19 points in 22 minutes and adding 3 assists, 2 blocked shots and 4 rebounds.
Duke's most efficient offensive player to date is still Cassius Stanley. Stanley is averaging 15 points a game, shooting 81.8% from the field with a Player Efficiency Rating of 28.2 which is very good, second highest next to Vernon Carey Jr. at 28.4.Duke Player Stats to Date
DUKE HEAD COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI
“Really pleased with our team. We didn’t overlook anybody. We came out hard, played hard the whole game. We should have won and did. We played hard and well. That makes it even better. Tre [Jones] when he had that collision – he got hit. They butt heads and he got hit on the temple. He was pretty good at halftime, but we decided to obviously not play him. He looks pretty good now. I don’t think there will be a problem. He’s laughing and joking. I asked him if he knew my name and he said ‘Michael’, which was kind of bold on his part. Maybe he’ll get even more assertive as a result of that. Good stuff. I thought Wendell [Moore Jr.] he’s getting better. He’s driving better. Matt [Hurt] – good minutes. Vernon [Carey Jr.] – double-double. Pretty balanced. [Jordan] Goldwire did a really good job. Even before Tre got hurt. We’re pretty athletic on the perimeter. Overall, good job. Quick turnaround… Georgia State and got to keep it going. Our kids keep working hard.”
On the starting lineup: “Questions about starting lineup with this team are not the same as if you asked them last year or the year before or the year before. We’re just looking at different combinations. I thought having a veteran in with Vernon could get him off better. Then Matt came in and he played really well. We’re looking at a lot of different things. The things that stay consistent are defense. Whenever they come in the game it really doesn’t matter. They’re playing the same defense. Offensively they’re playing on the group they’re in… might change a little bit of what they’re doing. If they just play hard defensively… we’ll be in good shape. We’ll have a good chance.”
On Wendell Moore Jr.’s game development: “A few years from now [point guard] might be what he plays… cause he’s that big guard he’s not ready to be a point guard at that level. I don’t want him to think of himself as a point guard. He’s got a body that can drive and finish… but I want him to be able to with a ball instead of calling him a point guard. If he’s got the ball on top then you can look at some things offensively… where you can post him or take him off of stuff. To get that experience is good. We’re not trying to get him to play behind Tre. The normal organizational things… I’m not trying to do those things. There isn’t a plan like that. The plan is to play good defense. That’s what we’re going to keep attempting to do… and we’re doing it.”
When asked about having a relentless approach: “I don’t know if relentless is the right word. I think it’s the point of pick up that makes it appear that way. We want to pick up full court and we feel that we can use our depth and athleticism better and maybe wear down a team. If not wear them down, put them in positions where it’s not the normal point of deployment for their offense. It’s a little higher. It may be with a different handler. There’s ways of disrupting an offense besides turning them over. Point of pickup. Point of attack. Put them in different positions because of how you… secondary ball handlers... all those kinds of things. Those are the things I’m trying to get across to our team. When they see those match ups I want them to be aware of defensive matchups even more so than offensive matchups… that’s how our team is going to be built.”
CENTRAL ARKANSAS HEAD COACH RUSS PENNELL
“We were clearly overmatched, as you could see. When teams like us play teams like Duke -- Top 25 teams -- what you hope as a coach is that you can see a similarity of what your team should be. I didn’t think we had enough of those possessions, and that’s a credit to Duke. The pressure defense they applied took us out of a lot of things. Some of our inexperienced players didn’t handle that really well. What I’d like to compliment Duke on, this is my first time playing them in my 30 years, my first time competing against them; I think what’s missed on Duke is how hard they play. People talk about their All-Americans, and NBA guys, and Coach K, and all of that is certainly really a bonus and a big thing, I’m not downplaying that. But I think the thing that separates Duke from a lot of basketball teams is how incredibly hard they play every play. They just simply don’t take plays off, and I think all the rest of us are trying to mimic that the best we can, the way we can get our team to sell out and play hard, the way Coach K gets his team to.”
On UCA’s plan to combat Duke’s pressure:
“You fight pressure at the rim, and I thought we did the opposite. I thought we tried to pop out. We have a rule – we don’t throw bounce passes on the perimeter and we threw four that got intercepted, and I think that’s what pressure does to you. It makes you do things that are uncharacteristic to your team. We wanted to back-cut more, we wanted to attack the rim and share, but what we did every time we attacked the rim, it seemed like we took a bad shot. We were not able to execute what we wanted to.”
When asked if it was Duke’s length, quickness, or scheme that threw them off: “I don’t think it was the length. I think it’s just the relentless pressure. Everything you do is an adventure, whether it’s dribbling, trying to make your entry pass, and I think the thing you have to do with a team like that – well first of all you have to have some of the horses to match up. But second of all, you gotta just put them on their heels, you gotta make plays toward the rim, and when you play, as we say, East-West, sideline to sideline, they’re gonna eat you up. Once they did that early in the game, at timeouts I’d see some sagging chins, and they’ll take your heart from you.” When asked if they saw better success in the second half and why: “We did early on, I thought. It helped that they took the full court pressure off. I’m not silly to think that we just all of a sudden solved the issue. But we did look a little bit more like our team. We don’t have the physical post players, so we do a lot of five out, dive, back-cuts, that kind of stuff. So, in the second half, we found a little bit of a rhythm for the first seven-eight minutes.”
DUKE STUDENT ATHLETES
DUKE FRESHMAN FORWARD MATTHEW HURT
“Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] has really emphasized defense, and our defense leads to our offense. We started the game off really well, and I think everybody did a good job tonight.”
On how he approached the game tonight, coming off the bench instead of being in a starting role: “Just to keep doing what I’m doing – keep fighting, playing harder, be better on defense. I think everybody did a great job tonight, and for me, [I wanted to] just try to compete on every play.”
When asked what it was like to see so many players contribute for Duke tonight: “It was great. Everybody’s really close on this team and seeing everybody succeed on this team is really a good feeling for me and probably for everybody else.”
DUKE FRESHMAN FORWARD WENDELL MOORE JR.
“Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect from today. With Tre [Jones] going down, it kind of hurt us, but I feel like I kind of stepped up, and I tried to take over the role [of point guard] as best as I could.” “Defense is really our main focus for everything we do. [Coach Mike Krzyzewski] wants us to keep being aggressive and always just attack the ball because our offense really comes from our defense. So the better defense we play, the more points we can score.”
When asked how important Duke’s depth has been and will continue to be for the team’s success this season: “It’s great because we can all play extended minutes and we can give our all for maybe three or four minutes and then there’s another guy that can do the exact same thing coming in right behind us.”
On what the loss of Tre Jones to injury meant for Duke: “Not having Tre on the floor is always very difficult for us because he’s the leader of our team. Not having him on the floor, we don’t really have that coach on the floor with us. I really did my best to try and take over that role. Still having him on the bench [helped], kind of telling you what to do, really just how to lead the guys.”
DUKE FRESHMAN CENTER VERNON CAREY JR.
“We’re just trying to have a calling card, especially on the defensive end. If we take care of things on defense, it will take care of everything else. That was one of our main focuses in the summer – we started with defense. That’s just what [Coach Mike Krzyzewski] has been focusing on, and it’s paying off in the games. [Having so much depth] definitely helps because we have people rotating in and out so we just keep our energy up.”
When asked what it was like to not have Tre Jones on the floor after he left the game with a first-half injury: “It’s a little different but we just have to talk more because he’s really our leader. So just communicating more.” “I feel like I’m just getting better and better each game. That’s the goal for everybody really, just taking baby steps.”
• Mike Krzyzewski is in his 40th season as Duke’s head coach, and his record is now 1,062-285 at Duke, and 1,135-344 overall in this, his 45th season overall.
• This season marks Duke’s fourth appearance in the 2K Empire Classic Benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Blue Devils are now 9-2 in the event.
• Duke hosts Georgia State on Friday in a second campus game in the Empire Classic, before two games at Madison Square Garden in New York next week.
• Tonight’s game was the first meeting all-time between Duke and Central Arkansas.
• Duke reached the 100-point mark for the 192nd time in the program’s history and improved to 187-5 when scoring 100+ points in a game.
• The margin of victory of 51 points (105-54) marked the 29th 50+ point win in the Coach K era, and 42nd all-time.
• Duke registered a season-high 14 steals in the game and now has 37 steals through three games – its most steals through the first three games of a season since 37 to start the 2006-07 campaign.
• Duke held Central Arkansas to 21.7 percent shooting from the field, marking the 15th consecutive opponent to shoot less than 50 percent against the Blue Devils.
• The Blue Devils extended their non-conference home winning streak to 149 consecutive games – the nation’s longest active streak.
• Tonight’s game marked the 457th consecutive sellout at Cameron Indoor Stadium, dating back to Nov. 16, 1990 -- the longest active streak (by time) in either men’s college basketball or the NBA.
• Freshman Cassius Stanley entered the game as the second-leading shooter in the ACC at .765 and finished the game 5-for-5 to improve his shooting on the season to .819 (18/22).
• It is the fourth-highest field goal percentage by a Duke freshman through the first three games of a career – trailing only .833 (25/30) by Jahlil Okafor in 2014-15, .824 (14/17) by Cherokee Parks in 1991-92 and .821 (32/39 by Zion Williamson in 2019-20.
• Stanley finished with 13 points, four rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots.
• Duke had six players reach double figures for the first time since last season’s 113-49 win over Stetson at Cameron Indoor (Dec. 1, 2018).
• Freshman Vernon Carey Jr., recorded the first double-double by a Blue Devil this season with 17 points (8/10 FG) and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes.
• Freshman Matthew Hurt scored a game-high 19 points and was 3-for-3 from three-point range with four rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
• Freshman Wendell Moore Jr., matched his career high of 10 points and added a game-high four steals and three assists..
• Twelve Blue Devils played in the game, and 10 scored.
• Duke hosts Georgia State on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. ET on ACC Network