A younger Duke staff had some stumbles alongside the way in which towards Miami to make certain, however finally did what it couldn’t do towards Clemson and closed the Hurricanes out, 68-66. It was an necessary milestone for the Blue Devils in some ways.
And make no mistake: Miami is a tricky and well-coached staff. All Jim Larranaga groups are.
To an extent, you may argue that this recreation got here right down to Miami’s very good perimeter vs. Duke’s inside energy. Nigel Pack saved the ‘Canes within the recreation with 14 within the first half and 18 for the entire recreation whereas Jordan Miller completed with 19. However, Pack shot simply 6-15. Miller was higher at 7-13 however Isaiah Wong, their greatest participant, was simply 2-8 for seven factors. Duke actually put a blanket over him.
Norchad Omier, who has been an enormous asset for Miami since transferring in, is a very neat participant. Just 6-8, he’s powerfully constructed at almost 250 and is aware of methods to leverage that power.
Still, he had a variety of photographs that have been towards both Kyle Filipowski or Dereck Lively, and he could not get a lot going towards both man. Omier completed 3-9 and had simply 9 factors. However, he pounded the boards as ordinary, ending with 14 rebounds.
Duke held Miami to 34.9 p.c general though the Hurricanes did hit 10-21 on threes, led by Miller, who was 3-4 and Pack, who was 4-9.
Miami additionally had simply six turnovers.
For Duke, though it appeared like greater than that at occasions, the Blue Devls had simply 10 turnovers, which is not too dangerous, notably given latest stretches the place they appeared to only throw the ball to the opposite staff.
The greatest information was that not solely was Jeremy Roach again after his toe damage setback, he performed very effectively. Roach completed with 14 on 6-10 from the ground. He was additionally extremely tenacious and hit a number of key baskets.
Filipowski had 17 factors and 14 boards and shunned a few of the errors he is made just lately the place he both spun into visitors and obtained stripped or lowered his shoulder for a cost.
Tyrese Proctor had a stable recreation as effectively. He shot effectively and ran the purpose very properly when he was in.
But the nicest shock, to an extent, was Dereck Lively. He’s struggled to seek out his recreation after an early damage and clearly he isn’t as robust as he must be. And he did get in a spot of foul bother early.
But he did not choose up a fourth, and he had 5 blocks, six factors and 10 rebounds. He was actually immensely worthwhile inside.
Duke’s offense was excellent, though there have been some issues that the coaches will in all probability dwell on within the subsequent couple of days. And there have been some errors that would have been essential however happily weren’t.
All in all although, it appeared a lot better.
The key although was the protection. Wong was clearly a important goal and, as we mentioned, he was just about shut out till late. Miami is a smallish staff so they should rating in transition. Duke took that away and compelled them to take contested photographs. Pack saved them within the recreation within the first half however within the second, Duke put critical stress on the ‘Canes.
Good factor as a result of the Blue Devils did not hit a subject objective for the final 5 minutes or so. Yet the protection held. Miami missed three straight photographs down simply 66-64. Ultimately Ryan Young obtained the rebound and Filipowski was fouled and despatched to the road, the place he hit each.
Miami obtained the ball again with :13 left and Jeremy Roach, in a ballsy transfer, stole the ball from Pack close to the half court docket line. Wong, having no alternative, fouled him.
Roach might have put the sport on ice however missed the entrance finish and Miami obtained a layup from Pack to chop the lead again to 2. Proctor went again to the road and missed his.
If you are counting, that is 4 factors Duke gave up within the final :09, which, once more, might have been deadly – however wasn’t.
No one goes to do not forget that in per week or two. What they will bear in mind is that Duke confirmed coronary heart and character in beating an older, extra skilled staff.
They nonetheless have to learn to execute in crunch time, however that is coming. It’s enjoyable to observe this staff develop. And with Roach again, that pattern is more likely to speed up.