Following a tough loss to conference rival North Carolina State, the Duke Blue Devils bounced back in a big way Saturday night, dismantling Virginia Tech by a final score of 88-64. The Blue Zone gives you three key takeaways, stats and takes a look ahead:
Three key takeaways:
Shoot to get hot, shoot to stay hot
The Blue Devils caught fire early from beyond the arc, and were unrelenting throughout the 40 minutes of play. Duke was a combined 11-of-26 from 3-point land, beginning the game with a pair of treys each from Tre Jones and Cassius Stanley to take an early 16-7 lead, one it did not relinquish for the remainder of the contest. While the Blue Devils shot only 43.5 percent from the field overall, their mark from range was able to carry them to an easy home win.
Justin Robinson sees the floor, and makes his presence felt
Graduate student Justin Robinson usually only finds himself substituted into the game in blowouts. Last night was no different. But what he did with those three minutes in garbage time against the Hokies put everyone in Cameron Indoor Stadium on their feet.
Robinson was 2-of-3 from the field in Saturday night’s game, including a bomb from beyond the arc. Just before that, he sent a Hokie shooter packing with a monster block, and then raced down the floor to catch a lob from Matthew Hurt that gave the Crazies yet another thing to cheer for. With Robinson making plays like this, perhaps the Blue Devil faithful will see a little more of the veteran big as Duke gets toward crunch time.
Cassius has a career night
Duke fans thought they had seen everything Cassius Stanley had to offer. Solid all-around play, marked by a few occasions of high-flying theatrics in the paint, are what the Crazies look for from the Los Angeles native, night in and night out.
What they got last night, however, was something just a little different.
Stanley dropped in 21 points on the night, with 15 of those coming from distance. The freshman guard found twine on five of his seven attempts from beyond the arc, for a ludicrous 71.4 percent mark. Of course, draining shots at this rate is somewhat unsustainable over the long term, but Duke may need this Cassius to appear in a game or two come late March.
Three key stats:
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Wendell Moore Jr. finishes 0-of-5 from the floor
Freshman Wendell Moore Jr. struggled on the offensive side of the ball Saturday night, failing to find the bottom of the net on any of his five attempts during 26 minutes of court time. He finished with just three points, all on free throws.
Virginia Tech shoots just 37.3 percent from the field
The Duke defense did a terrific job of contesting shots on the defensive side of the court, holding the Hokies to makes on just over a third of their attempts. Tyrece Radford had a decent night for the visitors, making seven of his 15 looks, but the rest of the Virginia Tech squad was simply a bit off in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
DeLaurier with zero points and two fouls
Perhaps it is bold to assume that Javin DeLaurier’s primary purpose on the court is to score—he is a force defensively and on the glass, picking up both a defensive as well as an offensive board in 14 minutes of play Saturday. But it is strange to consider that in those 14 minutes, he failed to pick up a point, and was called on two personal fouls. With Jack White getting only sparing minutes as well, it will be interesting to see who head coach Mike Krzyzewski looks to in the closing stretch.
The Blue Devils will return to action Tuesday night, traveling to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest. Duke will then look to three important games to finish up its regular season slate against Virginia, N.C. State and North Carolina, respectively.