Duke has struggled to defend all season long. Take of the week: Zone not the answer for Duke's imploding defense Every week, the Blue Zone will make a take on Duke basketball—whether that take may be hot, cold or lukewarm. This week's take is in from men's basketball beat writer Ben Leonard: The take: Zone defense will only hurt Blue Devils in the long run With Duke's defense more porous than an open door, many fans have clamored for head coach Mike Krzyzewski to play more zone, which has succeeded at times. That might work for now, but if the Blue Devils want to make a deep run in March, a zone won't cut it. Duke showed flashes of success in a zone in its second conference loss to N.C. State Saturday, but an early January victory in Raleigh isn't what Krzyzewski's primary focus should be. Instead, it should be building a team that has a realistic shot to bring home national championship No. 6—and forcing his players to work in a man-to-man defense for the time being will give the Blue Devils the best shot at that. It could look ugly for some time, but it's part of the process of building a team that will be a ready for March. More talented and well-coached teams will feast on a zone come tournament time. Yes, it could work in a pinch, but even with the nation's most efficient offense, there is no substitute for a tough man-to-man defense. This isn't Jim Boeheim's zone we're talking about here. In doing so, there will certainly be some more growing pains for a team that starts four freshmen, but a man defense will be best equipped to guard the perimeter, which has been their Achilles' heel for most of the season. Even so, Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. struggled to control the paint Saturday, especially off N.C. State's pick-and-rolls. With a target on the Blue Devils' backs, every team they will play going forward will bring more intensity than they do all year to try to topple them. And they need man to stop that.