DURHAM, NC. – The challenge of being the top-ranked team in college basketball is that everyone wants to knock you off. There is not going to be an easy game for the Blue Devils all season long.
On Friday night, the Duke Blue Devils continued their hot start to the season, beating the Southern University Jaguars, 78-61.
The Blue Devils remain perfect through four games in 2017-18.
After Duke’s big win over the 2nd-ranked Michigan State Spartans on Tuesday night at the Champions Classic, many expected this game to be a cake walk for the team. This wasn’t the case, though, as they had a season-high 15 turnovers and shot just 4-of-20 from three point range.
Freshman star Wendell Carter Jr. commented on the teams performance after the game; “We just didn’t come ready to play… We’ve got to take ever game seriously, and we did not do that tonight”.
Even though Carter finished the game with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field to go along with his 11 rebounds, he knows that if this was a stronger team, they may not have came away with the win.
Carter wasn’t the only one to notice this. Coach Krzyzewski also did. Following the game Coach K stated that “there was something missing tonight… [but in the end] we won. So that’s a good thing”.
That something may have been Grayson Allen.
After posting a career-high with 37 points against the Spartans the game before, many expected more from Allen on Friday night. Allen was just 3-of-9 from the field and a shocking 0-for-6 from three, in which he relies so heavily on.
Don’t expect this from Allen game in and game out. He is still averaging 21.8 points per game through the first 4 games of the season.
Allen is going to have a huge learning curve ahead of him this year. Being the only senior on the team and having the four other starters alongside him being freshmen.
With this being said, we should have expected an off-game from them early in their season.
Coach Krzyzewski will have to teach his team how to play in these types of games. Whether that’s through timeouts during the game, or after the game in practice and film session, I wouldn’t expect to see a repeat performance in their next game.
We’ve got to give credit to Morris Scott and his team for the fight they put up on the road. After a 28-point loss to Missouri State in their prior game, they could have easily had a repeat performance against Duke.
They were led by Jamar Sandifer, who finished with 14 points, and Torrey Mayo, who came off the bench to contribute 11 points.
Next up for Duke is a game against the Furman Paladins on Monday November 20th at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET
– R. Mohaupt