Duke Blue Devils: NCAA Tournament Team Preview

Duke

Duke Blue Devils (3 Seed Midwest Bracket)

Record: 26-7 (13-5 ACC)

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Tournament Birth:

 

Big Wins: Michigan, UCLA, North Carolina, Syracuse

Big Loses: Arizona, Syracuse, Kansas

Duke has had a good but not great season, based on their own extremely high standards. The season was a little rough early as they had a daunting non-conference schedule and came away from that with some tough losses. Early in the conference season was not kind to Duke either but they managed to finish third in the ACC during the regular season with a record of 13-5, and ranked seventh in the nation.

With the arrival of highly touted transfer Rodney Hood, and one of the highest rated recruits from high school Jabari Parker, the expectations were very high. They did not exactly live up to those lofty expectations but did hover around a top five ranking for most of the season. Early in the year they suffered tough losses to very good teams in Kansas and Arizona, but recovered nicely until the opening of the ACC schedule where they lost to Notre Dame and Clemson in two of their first three conference games. They cruised through the rest of the ACC as they lost only two games in a stretch of 13 and those losses were to Syracuse and North Carolina. This was until a very uncharacteristic loss near the end of the season to Wake Forrest. They recovered with a nice win against North Carolina to enter the ACC Tournament on a high note.

Top Players

POINTS

PPG

FG%

FT%

3PT%

J. Parker

19.2

.484

.740

.364

R. Hood

16.5

.474

.815

.414

REBOUNDS

REB

OFF

DEF

BPG

J. Parker

8.8

5.8

3.0

1.3

A. Jefferson

6.8

4

2.8

0.6

ASSISTS

APG

SPG

TO

AST/TO

Q. Cook

4.3

1.3

1.7

2.6

R. Sulaimon

2.5

.8

1.1

2.2

 

Starting Five

F – Amile Jefferson

F – Jabari Parker

F – Rodney Hood

G – Quinn Cook

G – Rasheed Sulaimon

Who’s Hot:  Parker and Hood have been two of the best scorers in the nation all season and they have not slowed down at all. For the Blue Devils to go far in the tournament, they will need the consistent all around scoring of these two. A big advantage all season for the Blue Devils has been their good three point shooting and they will need to stay hot from beyond the arc.

Who’s Not:  Duke does not necessarily have anyone who is not playing well but they do have a glaring weakness, their lack of a true post presence. Duke is known for being a very balanced team normally, but this year the lack of a post presence has really hurt them against bigger teams. Guard play and outside shooting will have to make up for them being a very small team.

Outlook:   The Blue Devils will go into the NCAA Tournament with high expectations as usual because of their past success. This year’s Blue Devil team will find it difficult to progress in the tournament, not because of a lack of talent, but because of their unbalanced roster that has hurt them all season long. A sweet 16 berth would be a likely result for Duke on paper, but the games are not played on paper, which is why the NCAA Tournament is so unpredictable.

Commentary By Max Petkevicius

Sources:

ESPN

Yahoo

Go Duke

 

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