No. 16 Duke scored the first 15 points of the game when he was punched in the mouth in opening hours of Wednesday night’s game at North Carolina State. In the remaining half of playing at the PNC Arena, the visiting Blue His Devils are trailing the Wolfpack 44-22.
Blakes starting streak
For the second game in a row, sophomore guard Jalen Blakes is head coach John Scheer’s starting five. Wake Scoring his 17 points in his second straight game against Forest and Florida State, Blakes played just as productively on the other side of the floor, building on his reputation as a talented defender. I back it up. He struggled in the first half against a tenacious Wolfpack unit that was all over Duke, but Shire’s continued confidence in his sophomore shows that floor time will increase in the coming weeks.
Both teams took over three minutes to place a point on the board at Raleigh. Blue’s series of Devils shots didn’t reach the rim. Home The first to hit on his court was the Wolfpack’s Redshirt his junior Greg His Gantt took full advantage of Duke’s mistake in the end and used it for his layup in the opening. I hit back. It took him nearly eight minutes for Scheier’s team to move, with his usual scoring standout Kyle Philippowski, Jeremy Roach and Mark Mitchell all struggling to set the fast tempo.
Turnovers and tough looks
Duke struggled to control the ball throughout the first half, turning over 13 times and shooting just 7-for-24 from the floor. These turnovers were directly involved in 13 of North Carolina State’s 44 total points and contributed to Blue’s hectic opening period for the Devils. Duke struggled to perform even simple things like dropping easy passes and getting the ball out of bounds.
A tale of two teams
Whereas the Blue Devils struggled to turn possessions into points and rebounds into shots, the Wolfpack did not. The team, led by his coach Kevin Keats, beat Duke, held down rebounds, and consistently increased both chances. The duo of DJ Burns Jr. and Turquavion-Smith plagued Blue his Devils throughout the first half, during which he had 18 points. Duke’s towering defense of Derek Lively II, Filipowski and Ryan Young rendered his setup impotent.
Half Player: DJ Burns Jr.
Neither team was particularly efficient off the floor, but the replacement forward caused many problems for the Blue Devils. We bullied Duke in paint using a large frame to take advantage of its shaky defense. The alumni transfer from Winthrop has started just six games this season but is averaging 9.1 points. Helped North Carolina State roar lively against the sleepy Duke unit with Smith, who made half of his basketball, including back-to-back threes, his giant half.
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| | blue zone editor
Andrew Long is a sophomore at Trinity and the Blue Zone editor of Volume 118 of The Chronicle.