Following a disappointing loss at Villanova, the Blue Devils will have to fix recurring mistakes Wednesday before hitting a grueling stretch of their nonconference schedule.

No. 16 Duke will match up against Old Dominion Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at Ted Constant Convocation Center, visiting Norfolk, Va., for its first true road game in the season's first four contests. The Monarchs have yet to win a game, but the Blue Devils will hope to regain confidence before returning home to play No. 18 Oregon State Saturday.

On paper, Duke outmatches a smaller Old Dominion team. The Monarchs' starting center, redshirt senior Odegua Oigbokie, is only 6-foot-1, three inches shorter than Duke senior Erin Mathias. But after struggling to dominate against Grand Canyon and High Point, head coach Joanne P. McCallie is not taking any team for granted. 

“At this point, the opponents are almost irrelevant. They’re a scrappy, athletic team that is playing very hard,” McCallie said. “We’re just thinking about playing our hardest and our toughest basketball...we’re focusing on our defense and our rebounding.”

Playing a team like Old Dominion (0-4) gives the Blue Devils a chance to add in some new rotations and experiment with ways to get their bench more involved. In its past three games, Duke’s reserves have averaged just 9.3 points per game, causing stagnation once the starters have to rest.

“[Getting the bench involved] is something that’s controlled by the players in terms of being able to get into the game and be effective and aggressive,” McCallie said. “We definitely had some development off the bench against Villanova. Maybe not as much as we’d like, but we definitely made some progress.”

Graduate student leaders Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell will also hope to bounce back from subpar performances against the Wildcats to feel dominant again Wednesday. In Sunday's loss, the duo combined to shoot just 37.0 percent from the field.

“We just need more overall execution on defense and on offense in order to play at our level,” McCallie said. “I was very disappointed in how we played last time out. We want to do a whole lot better.”

Even if Duke (2-1) jumps out to a big lead against the Monarchs, McCallie may keep Brown and Greenwell in a little longer than usual in a blowout to help get them into more of a rhythm with their shots. Because Old Dominion may not be able to keep up athletically with Duke's pace of play, the Monarchs try to slow the game down, a technique that has been somewhat effective against the Blue Devils. Duke’s reliance on its fast-break offense and transition game has come at the expense of its halfcourt efficiency.

“It’s very important to work the basketball and to reverse the ball to look for our shots, and at times we have not done that,” McCallie said. “Patience on offense and working the basketball are important.”

Impatience on offense has led to Duke’s Achilles' heel this season: turnovers. In their first three matchups, the Blue Devils averaged 16.3 turnovers but only 14.0 assists per game. 

“We have to actually slow down, try to make the easy pass, and just stay connected as a team,” McCallie said. “It’s about playing smarter, better together and finding our teammates in their spots and giving them the right pass.”

The game against the Monarchs is a prelude to Saturday's showdown with the Beavers, which will be an early test to see if the Blue Devils have enough talent and poise to top other nationally-ranked opponents. But Duke must take care of business on the road Wednesday first.