A couple of takeaways from last night:
Tyus Jones & Amile Jefferson will always find ways to impact the game.
Tyus may not always be on with his shot but what he does do is force the issue, Jones was 9-10 from the free throw line. That is a huge stat and shows that with the ball in his hands even in a low scoring game he will find a way.
Amile is a guy that is going to fight, he is not the most offensive minded play but he does pick his spots and when he does it usually works out well for Duke. What he lacks in bulk be makes up for in an uncanny ability to get his hands on the ball, or worm his way to the rim for a put back.
Adjust and Prepare:
Duke will have plenty of film to look at in preparation of different defenses. UConn certainly did a good job of throwing in a lot to different looks, as did Elon in the previous game. There are lessons to be learned from these games and the freshmen especially as much as we want to see them excel at everything it may benefit them to go through some of these struggles. So far they are passing the tests.
I hate the holidays:
Not really but when it comes to teams getting out of sync, losing rhythm this is the time for it. Nothing, in my opinion, helps a team – especially a young team – like repetition and routine. It is not at all surprising that they are struggling some and with another week off we’ll see how the next outing goes but I’ve been looking at the schedule since before the season worried about this stretch.
Some people seem to think that Jahlil Okafor has to put up 20 points every game to live up to the hype surrounding his recruitment and the accolades he has received. I don’t agree at all. I’m not one to be concerned about draft stock or hype or points per game. This is about Duke and college basketball to me, it’s about Okafor continuing to learn the game and about being put in situations where he may not be able to do the things he normally does. What is he going to do when he is double or triple teamed? Is he going to make a good pass? Is he going to turn the ball over? Is he going to let his emotions get the best of him?
As much as I love to see him dominate, I want him ready come March, I want him battle tested, angry and having the knowledge that this is what I’m going to do when this happens, and if not I will do this. I want a Jahlil that knows the game, and that is exactly what is happening so far this season. The youngster is soaking and absorbing knowledge and that will make this team dangerous come March.
Lastly on my wish list:
2 things one is for Justise to get himself a little floater, I hate to see him get called for so many charges and teams are starting to play him that way, a nice pull up or floater will serve him well and keep defenses honest against him.
The other thing I want is for Marshall Plumlee to be instinctual, I want him to be ready for a pass underneath the basket. I want his hands be able to gather and for him to be able to go up strong. Not asking for him to be Hakeem Olajuwon but a serviceable low-post guy. He brings is a-game to hustle and he defends, but I would love to see him catch and finish a few.
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