The key three: Duke basketball vs. Elon

The No. 7 Blue Devils play a neutral-site contest against Elon on New Year's Eve to finish out their non-conference schedule. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. Here are three things to watch:

Take away the three-ball

Of late Duke has been the team opponents have to try to keep off the 3-point line, but on Saturday it'll be incumbent upon the Blue Devils to take away the triple from Elon. The Phoenix sport two guards who are more than proficient at draining the tre. Senior Sebastian Koch from Germany is shooting 45.6 percent from beyond the arc, drilling 3.2 threes per game. Sophomore Tanner Samson is even better than Koch, hitting his threes at a 51.7 percent clip and connecting on 3.5 per contest. The Blue Devils know that a well-timed three can totally change the momentum of the game, and so they understand they cannot let Elon gain that advantage.

Continue the good ball movement

Andre Dawkins is one of the best 3-point shooters in the nation, but it's no accident that he shoots so well from distance. It all starts with good ball movement. Against Eastern Michigan the Blue Devils assisted on 19 of the team's 24 field goals. While point guard Quinn Cook deserves praise for his distribution prowess, he is not alone in advancing the Duke offense. Tyler Thornton doled out three assists against the Eagles, as did Rasheed Sulaimon. Cook may have the ball in his hands most often, but everyone on the court needs to keep the ball zipping around the perimeter to ensure that the Blue Devils continue to get good looks at the basket.

Get Quinn Cook and Rodney Hood back involved

It was great to see Andre Dawkins and Rasheed Sulaimon emerge as options 'B' and 'C' to Jabari Parker last game, but when Duke is playing its best ball it is Rodney Hood and Quinn Cook who join Parker as Duke's leading scorers. Hood shot just 2-of-7 from long range against Eastern Michigan, but that could have been due to an illness that kept him out of the starting lineup. Cook just seemed to have some calibration issues with his jumper, making only one of his nine attempts. Both players have shown time and again that they can lead the team in scoring any given night, and it would be nice for Duke to see them get back on track before beginning ACC play with a road test at Notre Dame later this week.


Share and discuss “The key three: Duke basketball vs. Elon” on social media.