Around the ACC: Week 10

Around the ACC: Week 10

Only one team remains unbeaten in ACC play, and Duke fell below .500 through at least five conference games for the first time since 2007.

No. 20 Notre Dame (16-2, 5-0)

The luck of the Irish continued into this week, as Notre Dame has now trailed or been tied in the final two minutes of all five of its ACC games but still managed to win all of them. On Thursday, the Fighting Irish trailed by four with less than three minutes remaining at Miami but ended the game on a 10-1 run to win 67-62. Two free throws by forward Bonzie Colson tied the game with 1:35 left, and a terrible pass on the Hurricanes' ensuing possession resulted in a turnover and a layup by V.J. Beachem to give Notre Dame the lead for good.

Two days later, the Fighting Irish trailed Virginia Tech by one with less than two minutes left, but scored two quick buckets to take the lead and then sealed the victory with one of the best defensive plays of the year. The Hokies rolled the ball inbounds down by three with 46 seconds left, but Notre Dame point guard Matt Farrell caught Virginia Tech guard Justin Robinson napping and dove for a steal before he could pick the ball up. Farrell got up and passed to Temple Gibbs for a fast-break layup to put the Fighting Irish ahead by five, and they iced the win with four free throws down the stretch. Read more »

Chronicle postgame: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

Chronicle postgame: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

Following Duke's 78-69 loss on the road against Louisville, The Chronicle's Amrith Ramkumar and Sameer Pandhare worked through some technical difficulties at the KFC Yum! Center to break down what the Blue Devils need to do to stop their tailspin moving forward.

0:23—How the Cardinals forced Duke into 18 turnovers and made just enough perimeter shots to get the win

1:05—How foul trouble affected the Blue Devils' rotation and offensive rhythm

1:20—A brief update on Amile Jefferson's injured foot from interim head coach Jeff Capel's postgame press conference Read more »

Beyond the arc: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

Beyond the arc: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

Duke's tailspin continued with a 78-69 loss at Louisville Saturday to fall to 2-3 in ACC play. The Blue Devils failed to handle the Cardinals' pressure defense and struggled to defend without fouling all afternoon in the loss.

Revisiting the three keys to the game:

  • Force the Cardinals to shoot from the perimeter: Duke jumped out to an early 19-12 lead as Louisville missed its first six 3-pointers, but the Cardinals knocked down three triples in the middle of a 20-5 run to make the Blue Devils pay for using a zone and create openings later on in the paint. Duke not the same team without Amile Jefferson, who missed his second straight game with a right-foot bone bruise, and it showed. Louisville had 36 points in the paint and still hit two more triples than the Blue Devils to extend Duke's defense, with Quentin Snider and Donovan Mitchell each knocking down three 3-pointers.
  • Rebound: To the surprise of many, the Blue Devils held their own on the boards the whole game, with each team grabbing 32 rebounds. That stat doesn’t tell the whole story, though, since the Cardinals still turned an 11-7 advantage on the offensive glass into 13 second-chance points.
  • Go up strong inside: Duke limited Louisville to just two blocks, much lower than its season average, but still scored just 26 points in the paint—10 fewer than the Cardinals. The Blue Devils shot the ball well from the field at 46.8 percent, but just didn’t attack the basket enough without Jefferson's presence in the post, often settling for low-percentage midrange jumpers instead.

Three key stats:

  • Duke misses five of seven late free throws: With the Blue Devils trying to mount a comeback, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Grayson Allen combined to miss five free throws that could have made it a one-possession game. Louisville was making every effort to keep Duke in the game with sloppy fouls, but the Blue Devils could not capitalize.
  • Anas Mahmoud leads Louisville with 17 points: The seven-foot center had a career high in points against Duke’s shorthanded frontcourt. The Blue Devils had no replacement for Jefferson’s missing production and rim protection, as Mahmoud had a stellar game. Every shot he made was either a dunk or a layup, and he did an excellent job on defense of denying entry passes to Giles, Chase Jeter and Marques Bolden.
  • Duke commits 18 turnovers: The Blue Devils turned the ball over 18 times Saturday—a new season high. Louisville’s staunch defense wore down Duke’s short rotation, which led to mental errors and sloppy play as the game wore on. The Cardinals' opportunistic defense turned the Blue Devils' errors into 13 points off turnovers.

Three key plays: Read more »

Halftime: Louisville 34, Duke 30

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—After getting run off the court in the second half of Tuesday’s loss to Florida State, Duke has shown much more fight in the first half against the Cardinals.

But to notch its first road win in conference play, the Blue Devils will need to take their play to another level.

No. 7 Duke trails No. 14 Louisville 34-30 after 20 minutes of play Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. Despite playing without Amile Jefferson for a second consecutive contest, the Blue Devils led for much of the half before allowing the Cardinals to go on a 20-5 run and regain control of the game.

Duke came out with more intensity on the defensive end and deflected a number of passes, along with a pair of blocks by freshman Harry Giles. The Blue Devils clamped down on the perimeter for much of the opening period, but three consecutive triples by Louisville in the last four minutes of the half highlighted Duke’s inability to defend consistently. Read more »

Chronicle pregame: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

Chronicle pregame: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

The Chronicle's Amrith Ramkumar and Sameer Pandhare broke down the seventh-ranked Blue Devils' upcoming matchup at No. 14 Louisville Saturday with graduate student Amile Jefferson likely to miss his second straight game.

0:26—What adjustments Duke will have to make against another pressure defense after struggling against Florida State Tuesday

1:23—The challenge the Blue Devils will face inside against a team with a size advantage against them for the second time this week

2:38—How the Cardinals have used their defensive toughness to stay near the top of the rankings this year despite not shooting well as a team Read more »

X Factor: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

X Factor: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

No. 7 Duke hits the road again Saturday to face No. 14 Louisville, looking to salvage its week after an 88-72 blowout loss at No. 9 Florida State Tuesday night. The Blue Zone takes a look at a player from each team who could be the difference-maker in the game:

Duke: Guard Grayson Allen

A little less than a year ago, the first of Allen's three tripping incidents took place when the 6-foot-5 junior stuck his leg out to send Louisville forward Ray Spalding sprawling to the floor. And after Allen faced repeated jeers throughout Tuesday night's game at Florida State, it is certainly likely that he will face a similar level of hostility Saturday afternoon.

Since returning from his one-game suspension, though, the Jacksonville, Fla., native has found a bit of an offensive rhythm, filling a new role for the Blue Devil attack. After averaging 16.0 points per game through Duke's first 12 contests, Allen has averaged just 12.0 points in ACC play, but he has also averaged nearly eight assists a night. With the Blue Devils lacking a true point guard, the junior has stepped up as a distributor at just the right time. Read more »

Key three: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

Key three: Duke men's basketball vs. Louisville

After getting dominated inside in a blowout loss to No. 9 Florida State Tuesday, the seventh-ranked Blue Devils will face another elite frontcourt Saturday at noon at No. 14 Louisville. Here are three keys to success for Duke.

Force the Cardinals to shoot from the perimeter

Louisville has the size advantage in the interior, especially if Blue Devil forward Amile Jefferson misses his second straight game with a right-foot bone bruise. But if Duke packs it in and forces the Cardinals to beat them from the 3-point line, Louisville is prone to long stretches of cold shooting.

The Cardinals are shooting just 34.0 percent from beyond the arc this year—14th in the ACC—and the Blue Devils are second in the conference in 3-point defense, holding opponents to 29.1 percent shooting from deep. That could be a recipe for a strong defensive performance for Duke after it allowed three of its first four ACC opponents to score more than 80 points.


The Seminoles dominated Duke on the boards and had 19 second-chance points in its comfortable victory Tuesday, and things will not get any easier for the Blue Devils Saturday. The Cardinals are third in the ACC in rebounding margin and have four players averaging more than five rebounds per game. If Duke big men Harry Giles and Chase Jeter cannot keep Louisville's frontcourt of Mangok Mathiang, Ray Spalding and Anas Mahmoud off the offensive glass, it could be another long night for the Blue Devils. Read more »

How would you do on this year's tenting entry quiz about Duke men's basketball?

How would you do on this year's tenting entry quiz about Duke men's basketball?

Because of the huge interest in starting to sleep outside in Krzyzewskiville tents Thursday night leading up to the home North Carolina game Feb. 9, Duke's line monitors used a trivia test about this year's Blue Devils to determine who could start right away and who would be put on the waitlist. 

The test is below—tell us how you fare in this blog's comments section or on Twitter @dukebasketball.

Black Tenting Entry Test 2017 by thedukechronicle on Scribd