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The ‘real’ numbers behind Duke basketball

The Devils took down the Florida State Seminoles, previously undefeated in the ACC, Saturday at Indoor Cameron Stadium
The Devils took down the Florida State Seminoles, previously undefeated in the ACC, Saturday at Indoor Cameron Stadium

To understand a team it takes a look beyond the typical numbers.

Austin Rivers leads Duke in scoring with 15.0 points per game, while Mason Plumlee paces the team with 9.7 boards per contest. This, however, is not groundbreaking.

But, we at the Chronicle Department of Advanced Statistical Sciences have analyzed this team inside and out, and here is some of the most in-depth number crunching available with modern science.

68% — Duke fans who scream, “No, Austin, don’t shoot that!” when he takes long 3-pointers.

95% — Duke fans who say, “I knew he was going to make that!” after he inevitably nails it.

1,084 — The number of long distance minutes Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton have had to use combined to keep in touch with Kyrie Irving. Since the team took a Twitter hiatus at the end of January, they’ve had to resort to different methods of communication for staying in contact with their former teammate and best friend on the team.

3n — The final number of points Andre Dawkins ends up with in any given game. Well, he has actually made 24 2-pointers this season, apparently, but that hardly compares to his 59 3-pointers.

6-feet — The listed height of Quinn Cook. That’s like when my grandmother tells me I’m a “Jewish” 6-feet.

100% — The chance that ESPN shows the picture of Miles, Mason and Marshall Plumlee wearing those conical Asian hats in front of the Great Wall of China. Apparently only one stock photo exists of the trio wearing goofy hats.

1,093,485 — The number of dunks Miles has missed over his four years at Duke. (Wait, is that one real?)

1 — The number of put-back slams it took to atone for all those misses. Did you see that against Boston College?

0 — The number of unicycle tricks performed by Miles this year. Probably the most disappointing part of the 2011-12 season.

74% — The percent of games at which Chris Collins wears Burberry ties. I’m dying to go shopping with him.

3 — The number of years it took Ryan Kelly to recognize the power of the beard. And they call Miles “Zoubek 2.0”?

1:34 — The average time head coach Mike Krzyzewski waits in the locker room after the team goes onto the court before he joins them. I wonder what he’s doing back there.

15 — Both the number on the back of Josh Hairston’s jersey and the average number of times he pounds his chest and yells during the course of the game. The 15 chest pounds are the highest number in the country by at least 14.5. He might be fighting for minutes as a part of this year’s frontcourt, but he never has to fight to be heard. This year’s Duke team hasn’t had many injuries, but there has to be some significant bruising there.

72% — The percentage of Duke fans who know there is a “G” in Michael Gbinije. Real G’s move in silence like lasagna.

80% — The percent of Duke games Doc Rivers has attended this season. I don’t think anyone wanted the NBA lockout to end.

168 — The number of minutes in which Todd Zafirovski has been on the court this season without checking into the game. The 6-foot-9 former walk-on is known for edging onto the corner of the court from the bench while aggressively clapping. Hey, maybe that’s what it takes to get onto the Macedonian national team.

2.5 — The number of times per game that television broadcasts switch to a shot of Marshall Plumlee screaming at the top of his lungs, next to a clapping Zafirovski.

3 — The number of clutch 3-pointers Tyler Thornton has made this season.

0 — The number of other 3-pointers Thornton has hit this year. In reality he has made 14 more, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

53% — The chance of angry backlash from this column.


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