Despite Austin Rivers’ effort Duke couldn’t match Miami’s intensity for 45 minutes and it cost big.
There is no joy in K-ville.
Mighty Duke looks completely and utterly lost as a team.
I have no words to describe this Duke team. I have absolutely no frame of reference for which to describe them.
Defensively they are bad, mentally they are shaky, and offensively they are inconsistent. They play with almost no energy at times and Cameron Indoor doesn’t appear to be the impenetrable fortress it once was.
All of that showed in Duke’s 78-74 loss at home to Miami. The loss drops Duke to 19-4 (6-2 ACC), out of first place in the conference, and marks the second straight home loss.
Anyone still want to say Cameron isn’t what it once was?
The Blue Devils allowed Miami to take a commanding 14 point half-time lead on the back of Reggie Johnson who finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
The Hurricanes also got major contributions from Kenny Kadji (15 points), Durrand Scott and DeQuan Jones (11 points each).
The Blue Devils had no answer on the defensive glass and Johnson had his way bullying Duke’s big men all game long.
A second-half rally allowed Duke to force the game into overtime but then Blue Devils decided to make poor decision after poor decision and missed free throws sealed their fate.
Several times Duke had a chance to set up for a good shot to take the lead and Mike Krzyzewski didn’t call a time out letting his team play on. That may have bee a decision he is likely to second guess as the Blue Devils made some mind bogglingly poor decisions with the ball.
Duke fans are left to scratch their heads and wonder what is going on with this team? Why are they so inconsistent? Why do they come out so flat, even in home games? So many questions, not very many answers.
At the beginning of the season I foresaw struggles with such a young, inexperienced team. I hesitated to believe this team could end up struggling as much as the one that lost 11 games in 2006-2007, but now I’m left to wonder.
This isn’t a great team, and at times they aren’t even a good team, but an average team. The frustrating part is there is talent for them to be good if not very good and for whatever reason they aren’t getting it done with any consistency.
Mason Plumlee, who has been so good lately, was no where to be found against Miami. Seth Curry was up and down. Ryan Kelly didn’t have a great game and Andre Dawkins was practically invisible and only played 14 minutes.
Austin Rivers stood up as the go-to-guy, but Duke’s inability to get rebounds and stop the Hurricanes made this an uphill battle once they were down big.
There were moments where Duke’s defense came together and made the second-half comeback possible, but everything seemed to fall apart in overtime.
This team is just plain frustrating. You can see it all over Krzyzewski’s face. Fans are frustrated the players are frustrated and things don’t get easier.
Duke has buried themselves in a hole. They are a full game back in the ACC race going into Chapel Hill who is tied with Florida State for first. If Duke loses that game the regular season ACC title isn’t out of reach but it is less likely.
The Blue Devils lost a lot Saturday and it may end up being a lot more than just the game.
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