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Key three: Duke men's basketball can't chill out against Brown

Freshman guard Cassius Stanley can make a bigger impact for the Blue Devils with point guard Tre Jones only possibly returning from injury Saturday.
Freshman guard Cassius Stanley can make a bigger impact for the Blue Devils with point guard Tre Jones only possibly returning from injury Saturday.

Times are good for Duke men's basketball. Hot off of stomping a Wofford team that in turn squished North Carolina, the Blue Devils earned a long break to celebrate the holidays. Their break is almost over, though—they face Brown Saturday. The Blue Zone breaks down three keys to a Duke victory:

Pick up where they left off

Duke is coming off a very well-played game, in which it trampled Wofford 86-57, but a nine-day break awaited them before Saturday's matchup. It is crucial that every player dives right back into  action and replicates the beautiful play the Blue Devils displayed last time they took to the hardwood. With ample time to down holiday treats, it is very easy for any of Duke's stars to come out slow. The Blue Devils put on a show against Wofford, and if they want to be able to do that again, no one can be in vacation mode during this Winter Break basketball lull.

Limit Mr. Anderson

Brown basketball revolves around its point guard Brandon Anderson. The statistics speak for themselves when it comes the star senior. He plays nearly every minute of every game for them and averages 21.0 points and 3.8 assists per game. He shoots at a high percentage with the three-point ball in his back pocket, and above all, has the ability to break out at any given moment. If Duke wants to keep Anderson in check, it must smother him whenever he gets the ball, making him give it up quickly. 

With Tre Jones’ status for the game still uncertain, it will be key for Jordan Goldwire, Cassius Stanley or whoever is running point to prevent Anderson from getting hot. Although he only stands 6-foot-1, no one should underestimate his ability to tear through a defense.

Move the ball effectively

Against Wofford, the Blue Devils displayed efficient and effective ball movement without their main ball handler, Tre Jones. The quick shifting possession from player to player allowed for open looks for players like Joey Baker and some beautiful slam dunk finishes. Those open shots allowed the team to break open the game so vastly. They will need to do it again on Saturday if they want to dominate in the same fashion. Even if Jones returns to the lineup, the ball movement by the entire team can’t relapse into the team that lost to Stephen F. Austin two days before Thanksgiving.

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