The previous week showed how well the Duke Blue Devils could play: they won both games they played after having a whole week off for finals. They looked like they took that time off to improve as a team. They won both games easily, and should be able to improve even more going forward. Jabari Parker is still playing at a high level, and looks like one of the best players in the country.
They have another long break to get through first. They will have had nine days off when they play on December 28th. They will play Eastern Michigan, another team they should be able to easily handle.
This time off can only help them going forward. Marshall Plumlee, after having a great game against Michigan, had a long week off and hasn’t had to contribute since starting then. He should be fresh and hungry for playing time.
There are three players now that look like they understand their roles, and what is expected of them. Parker, Rodney Hood, and Quinn Cook look like they understand their roles now. All three of them have been big factors in the previous three games. This week will be about improving for everyone and the team as a whole.
The good thing about this week off is that Rasheed Sulaimon can continue to improve his role with this team. After their week off for finals, Sulaimon started playing better, and had a good game against UCLA. He wasn’t his normal self, but he was much better after the break than before it. He should continue to get better, and hopefully he will get back to his form from last season and be a great contributor when the ACC season starts.
This week off should only help them this time. The players who were playing well before the previous week off are either playing well still or haven’t been the same. Plumlee is the only player who started to play well that didn’t really show up last week. They will need to get him to start playing well again, and the week off should only help him collect himself. This should help him in the long run get back to his performance during the Michigan game.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski will push this team to get better, and get them playing well coming in to the ACC part of the season. This will be an important stretch for this team, and with two losses already they will not be able to have a letdown to an ACC team this season. They will have to be more focused coming off of this bye week, and start getting prepared for the NCAA tournament.
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