The main question surrounding Duke as they headed into the postseason was how would the young Blue Devils respond the high-pressure, one-and-done tournament environment of March? All of those questions were answered within the first five minutes of their ACC Tournament quarterfinal matchup against Pitt. The Blue Devils jumped out to a 12-0 lead and never looked back – defeating the Panthers 96-69.
Kyle Filipowski led all scorers with 22 points, Dereck Lively matched his career high with 13, Mark Mitchell added 12 and Tyrese Procter finished with 11. The Blue Devils had their best shooting percentage of the season, ending the game 36-56 from the floor for 62.1%.
Duke made the statement Thursday afternoon that this isn’t your average young team heading into tournament time. They handled the Panthers with poise, moving the ball to ensure open shots – leading to a season high 27 assists. On the defensive end, the Blue Devils’ stifling defense made their making their opponent one-dimensional and every shot attempt was tough.
“I looked out there and we’ve got five freshmen on the court today,” head coach Jon Scheyer said after the win. “We started four of them, and five of our eight freshmen are in the main rotation. I don’t know if anybody else has that in the
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence how we’re putting it together on both ends,” he continued. “Where we’ve had the continuity with lineup, we’ve had the continuity with our health. Each one of our guys had the perseverance and the toughness to block out any noise, block out anything else and just stick together as a team. I think that’s what you see on the floor on both ends – defense and offense.”
It will be hard to follow up season highs in field goal percentage and assists, but the Blue Devils will try in the ACC Tournament semi finals against a Miami team they split home game with in the regular season. Tip off Friday is scheduled for 7pm.
- Duke is now 108-46 (.701) all-time in the ACC Tournament, including 45-18 in the quarterfinal round – Duke’s 108 wins and .701 winning percentage in tournament play each lead the ACC.
- The win was Duke’s 100th all-time at the Greensboro Coliseum as Duke is now 42-18 in ACC Tournament games at the venue and 100-40 in the venue all-time.
- Duke’s 96 points, 27 assists and .621 field goal percentage were each season highs. The 27 assists set an all-time ACC Tournament record. The previous mark of 26 was held by North Carolina in the 2001 quarterfinals vs. Clemson.
- Duke’s 96 points were its most in an ACC Tournament game since beating North Carolina, 96-73, in the 1999 championship game in Charlotte. It was tied for the sixth most all-time for Duke in the ACC Tournament.