The Duke Blue Devils may have just lost to the Arizona Wildcats, but they have another tough game coming up. Their first lost of the season came against the Kansas Jayhawks, but the next game was against Florida Atlantic. This game was at home, and was against a team that wasn’t as good as the Blue Devils. The game after Arizona is against the Michigan Wolverines, a team ranked in the top 25.
Michigan is a good team this season, but not the same team as last season. This is still a respectable team, and with Duke coming off a loss needing a win, it’s a tough one. The game is a home game for the Blue Devils, but Michigan has the post players to challenge Duke inside. The Blue Devils should have mismatches in this game if some of the players step up in the backcourt.
The Blue Devils will come in to this game at 6-2, not something Duke fans are used to. This isn’t the start many fans or experts thought Duke would get out to. It is still early, but it looks like they need to shore up some of their inefficiencies. However, Michigan hasn’t been very impressive either.
Michigan has lost two games in this young season as well, and theirs haven’t been against quality opponents. Their two losses have come against the Iowa State Cyclones and Charlotte 49ers. This team had injury problems this season, but they do have Mitch McGary back from injury. He will be the biggest threat to Duke in the upcoming game if they let him get the ball in the paint.
Duke has a number of things to fix before the end of the season, and hopefully they can start to correct these things in the game against Michigan. They need to fix their defense, which has been improving lately, but is still giving up to many easy baskets to be a Final Four contender.
Another thing that the Blue Devils are going to have to find is the third scorer on this team. Quinn Cook has been inconsistent, and Rasheed Sulaimon hasn’t been near the level he was last season. Finding this third consistent scorer could help them make up for not having a post player.
The last thing is the defensive pressure for this team. They are applying pressure but they are getting beat off the dribble. They are switching, and what was going to be an asset for this team isn’t showing up with their athleticism. Quinn Cook looks slow on defense, and it looks like Duke knows that they don’t have anyone to protect the basket this season. These things are important to work on, and they have gotten better already this season, but will need to improve even more to compete with the great teams in the country.
The game against Michigan is against a good team, but not one of the best. This will give them a chance to get a look, and see how much they have improved. Michigan has great post players, but lack a good backcourt. This will be an important game for Duke to get back on track, and hopefully become a better team going forth this season.
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