After the loss to the Kansas Jayhawks early last week, the Duke Blue Devils bounced back with a win against the Florida Atlantic Owls. A team that Duke could beat easily was a game they needed. A quick bounce back from a bad loss to Kansas was crucial. This can help them move forward, and work on improving.
A couple players who didn’t play well in the Kansas game but had a bounce back game against the Owls were Quinn Cook and Rodney Hood. Against the Jayhawks, Hood didn’t have a great game offensively, and Cook looked lost at times. Both players stepped up against Florida Atlantic, and helped Duke to a runaway win. They got up by 20 points early and never looked back.
The biggest change Coach Mike Krzyzewski made after the Kansas game was inserting Rasheed Sulaimon into the starting lineup. This is probably going to be a change you see the rest of the season. He is the better offensive player for the Blue Devils, and Tyler Thornton, who is prone to foul trouble, is better coming off the bench. This is a move that will benefit the Blue Devils the rest of the season and in the tournament.
These games are the ones that can help Coach Krzyzewski find the lineups that fit together best. This should help them going forward, and get better by the time they play Michigan.
This game gave a great look at two things that were missing in the Kansas game: team rebounding, and the fact that Rodney Hood looked like he took the Kansas game personally, and will look to play better the rest of the season.
The team played well together getting everyone involved, and hopefully that will give them confidence going forward.
The only bad thing that came from this game is that Amile Jefferson was in foul trouble again. He got two early fouls in the first half, and had to go to the bench. If he is going to be the focus post player for this team, he will have to learn how to defend without fouling. He had a problem with this when given extended minutes last season, and he will have to address this problem.
Going forward, the next two games for the Blue Devils will be easy wins for them. This will help them find their stride before they have to go to New York in the Preseason NIT. This team will bounce back from a loss to Kansas, and by the end of the year will still be position for a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.
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