The Difference Makers
- Illinois hitting 6 of 8 from downtown, compared to Duke 0 for 7 in the first half. *
- Matthew Hurt picking up his 3rd foul on an ill-advised over the back call on 3 Illinois players, once again demonstrating not being disciplined enough when your team is already struggling to score the basket.
- No offensive identity, half court offense, and struggling in transition were recipes for Duke trailing at the half by 14. Duke doesn’t have a consistent threat to get a bucket when needed. This will be a tough task for Coach K to figure out going forward this season.
- Outscored by Illinois 14-2 points in transition in first half.
2nd Half Notables:
- The fighting Illini attacked with an inside-out game going to Kofi Cockburn. The 7 footer, who was matched up against Jalen Johnson, started the second half on a 5-0 run pushing the lead to 17 points.
- Duke going on a 10-0 run, including Illinois shooting 0-6 during the stretch, with 4 turnovers helped them pull within 10 points.
- Coach K increasing the defensive pressure, calling full court traps with Goldwire and Steward leading the 2-2-1 set, helped Duke keep it respective, but with the cold shooting, the devils were never able to make a legit threat at winning the game.
- Overall, you could suggest Illinois had the best 5 players on the court at all times. They were more athletic, faster and bigger at all 5 positions. Disruptive in the half court sets, the young guards of Duke could never really set the tempo. It will take Duke time to improve its offense, but this team didn’t quit tonight.
- Duke may be ranked 10th in the country, with two losses in the last week to top 10 competition, but this young Blue Devil team is not worthy of their ranking in the early part of the pandemic season. What’s Duke identity? Who can give you a bucket on a consistent basis? It seems to be missing.
The last time Duke had multiple non conference losses in the same season was 1982-83. Ayo Dosonmu was the key performer for the Fighting illini finishing with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. Matthew Hurt led the Blue Devils with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal