The Duke Blue Devils played the Kansas Jayhawks on Tuesday. These are two great teams, and both should improve throughout the season, as these teams have freshmen who can improve over time. This game could have been a preview for a game in March, and possibly even a Final Four matchup. Both teams will look to compete for a championship, and both teams can. This game could also start a great rivalry between Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins.
The game didn’t disappoint with the level of basketball that was played. It was a great game, but Duke came up short at the end. It was a tie game with less than three minutes left, and from that point on Kansas dominated. Duke lost Parker in the final minute, and didn’t have enough scorers the rest of the game. This game showed how much Duke needs Parker, and how good he really is.
Duke didn’t play well in this game, and for parts of it looked like the younger team. The best thing about this game for Duke was Parker, Parker, and Parker. He showed that he is ready for the NBA today. He filled up the stat sheet and kept Duke in the game for most of it. When he fouled out it was all over.
Duke will have a number of things to work on before the season ends. Their backcourt, which was supposed to be strength with this team, looked lost. Quinn Cook didn’t play as well as he could have. He contributed some throughout the game, but appeared lost defensively and offensively throughout this game. Tyler Thornton has the same problem he had since he was a freshman, he fouls way too often, and he can’t stay on the court.
Amile Jefferson played well for the most part, but didn’t contribute enough on the boards, which no one really did. This game really showed the Blue Devils’ weakness–they had no one to guard the paint. The Jayhawks got the ball down there at will, which also contributes to the ball pressure, but when they got it down there, Duke was doubling down and then scrambling out to try to get to shooters. The defense is going to have to adjust to not having a post defender unless Marshall Plumlee decides to contribute this season.
The other thing is their rebounding was horrible without Parker in the game. No one was really rebounding the second player with the most rebounds was Thornton. He barely got any minutes compared to the starters because of foul trouble, which can show how much this team needs a center.
Going forward this team really needs to focus on defense and rebounding. They need to give Parker some help. This is a team going forward that will have to play like the experience group they are for the most part, and also play together as a team because that is the only way to make up for not having a true center that can contribute in a game.