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Carter will need to stay out of foul trouble heading into ACC play.

Key three: How can Duke bounce back against the best 3-point shooting team in the country?



After a lengthy break for final exams, Duke will look to get back on track against Evansville Wednesday after a stunning loss to Boston College in its last outing. The Blue Zone gives three keys to the game: 

Get Duval going 

Following a tough outing against Boston College last weekend, the Blue Devils could use a boost from freshman point guard Trevon Duval against Evansville. Despite not being the focal point of the offense, Duval is key to the consistent flow of Duke’s offensive unit. With his exquisite ball control and an ability to explode to the rim, Duval is a constant threat offensively, but the variation in his play has affected the team greatly. 

On one hand, Duval is the team leader in assists with an average of 6.7 per contest, but the New Castle, Del., native has also put his team in a hole at times as well. Duval is shooting a dismal 15.2 percent from beyond the arc this season on 33 attempts from downtown. In order for Duke to get back on track, they will need Duval to drive and kick the ball out to Trent or Allen on the perimeter and begin to ease off contested shots from beyond the arc.

Defend the three ball

Evansville's Dru Smith has been as efficient as it gets in the early going. Through ten games, the 6-foot-3 sophomore is second in the team in scoring at 12.4 points per contest, but what is even more impressive is the rate at which he’s been able to convert from the field. Smith has knocked down an astonishing 64.1 percent of his attempts thus far, practically unheard off for a guard.

In addition, Smith has been on fire from deep thus far, draining more than 57 percent of his shots from beyond the arc—good for 13th in the nation. But it hasn't just been Smith that's been on fire—the Purple Aces lead the nation in 3-point percentage. 

This makes it an intriguing matchup for Smith and Evansville, playing against a Blue Devils team that has struggled defending the perimeter. Duke allowed Boston College to convert of 15-of-26 attempts from downtown last weekend, and will need to close in on the Purple Aces from the perimeter to stop them from making the contest much closer than the Blue Devils would like. 

Stay out of foul trouble

As the Blue Devils start to play bigger teams as conference play approaches, Duke will need to do a better job of staying out of foul trouble.

Grayson Allen missed a large part of Duke’s comeback win over Texas, Wendell Carter has been taken out of the game offensively when he is put in foul trouble on numerous occasions, and the Blue Devils lost two of their best defenders in Javin DeLaurier and Trevon Duval for stretches against Boston College due to foul trouble. Although they like to play aggressively, they will need to be smarter and avoid reach-ins in the early minutes in order to have an effect during crunch time. 


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