Duke Basketball this past weekend was ranked number 8 in the country in the AP polls. Anyone with common sense, regardless of the name across the jersey, would tell you that Duke was not the number 8th ranked team in the country. The play on the court has lacked offensively. The notion that a win is a win is just that – a notion. Ugly offensive possessions, questionable shot selection, and times where the chemistry seems off have all been issues that have plagued the Blue Devils. Not to mention top recruits Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively having to recover from injuries has also affected growth and consistency.
Sunday, in the Nike PK Legacy Tournament, Duke was completely blown out by Purdue in a game that showed the inefficiencies of Duke’s perimeter scheme, youth, and lack of having a focal point on offense. The Blue Devils are known to have a perennial offensive juggernaut at small forward. Someone when you need a bucket, their number is called upon. In years past that player has been Paolo Banchero, RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum and Marvin Bagley – to name a few. This year that player may be from a collective of schemes, as Whitehead and Lively’s injuries have deterred their progression to start the season.
Tyrese Proctor has shown flashes of what is to come in Durham, with his elusiveness and ability to get into the lane. His issue has been consistency from the field. Shooting just 25 percent on the year, at the guard position, in an offense missing two key pieces will not get you wins in Jon Scheyer’s first season as head coach. Proctor’s best game so far was in a 19-point drubbing to Purdue on Sunday, where he finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists – with a single turnover.
A bright spot for Duke has been freshman Kyle Filipowski, who has been been the Blue Devils’ MVP to begin the season. On the year, Kyle is shooting 36.4 percent from deep – averaging nearly a double-double with 15.4 points per game and 9 rebounds. From the field Filipowski is shooting 42.4 percent.
Jon Scheyer will have his work cut out for him with this roster. The pieces are there. The coaching is there. There will be some growing pains with a first year head coach. More losses are bound to happen. Eventually players will get healthy and get up-to-speed with the collegiate game, but patience is needed with Coach Scheyer and his squad.
Up next for Duke is a home match up against the Ohio State Buckeyes, who a season ago defeated the then top-ranked Blue Devils in Columbus 71-66.
- No. 17 Duke closes the season’s first month by welcoming No. 25 Ohio State to Cameron Indoor Stadium in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday night.
- In what will be the 24th and final year of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Duke owns the Challenge’s most wins — by six — and best winning percentage (19-4). Duke is 9-1 at Cameron Indoor in Challenge games and 2-2 versus Ohio State.
- Ohio State represents Duke’s second of three Big Ten foes over a four-game stretch. Next Tuesday, Duke battles Iowa in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden after opening ACC play Saturday vs. Boston College at Cameron Indoor.
- Duke has ushered in the Jon Scheyer era with a priority on defense and rebounding, ranking 19th nationally in scoring defense and 23rd in rebounding (41.9) after out-rebounding seven of its first eight opponents — the eighth best rebound margin in the nation (+11.9).
- The ACC Rookie of the Week in each of the season’s first three weeks, Kyle Filipowski has scored in double figures in all eight games. His 15.4 points and 9.4 rebounds lead the team.
- Only four players over the last decade have been ACC Rookie of the Week in three straight weeks – all have been Blue Devils: Filipowski, Paolo Banchero in 2021-22, Jahlil Okafor twice in 2014-15 and Jabari Parker twice in 2013-14.
- Freshman Tyrese Proctor poured in a career-high 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting against Purdue while also tying for a team-high five rebounds against the Boilermakers.