5 observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against Bellarmine

Jeremy Roach led a balanced first half for the Blue Devils against Bellarmine.
Jeremy Roach led a balanced first half for the Blue Devils against Bellarmine.

Duke hit the court Monday night with the hot hand, shooting the lights out in the first half on its way to an 41-33 halftime advantage. With one half to play, the Blue Devils look well on their way to their fourth win of the season.

Filipowski continues to shine

Seven-foot freshman Kyle Fillipowski continued his hot start to the season early in the first half. Although he took an ill-advised shot to start the game, he followed with back-to-back triples to get Duke ahead early. It is clear he has become one of Duke’s go-to weapons, accounting for five of Duke’s first six shots. However, his playing time was limited to nine minutes in the first half after the opening minutes. It helps that Duke’s offense was in perfect sync, so Filipowski’s one-on-one dominance was not vital. He entered the half leading all scorers with 10 points.

Raining in Cameron

If anything was eye-opening for the Blue Devils through the first half, it was their 3-point shooting. Duke shot 8-for-17 from beyond the arc, accounting for 58.5% of their 41 points. It has not been a one-man barrage, either, as five players have already gotten a triple to go, keeping the offense balanced.

Defensive masterclass

It may not show up in the box score, but Duke has had some suffocating possessions on the defensive end. They have forced multiple shot clock violations and caused long possessions for the Knights’ offense. With so much energy being exerted to get open looks, the Bellarmine players have lost a step on defense, making it all the more easy for Duke to exploit.

Depth apparent

Duke continues to show that it is one of the deepest teams in the country; this was as balanced of a half as it gets. The Blue Devils’ bench accounted for 17 points and no one on the team took more than five shots. Freshman forward Dariq Whitehead came off the bench for the second-straight game and his presence was felt the second he stepped on the court, making an already competitive bench look even scarier. 

Player of the half: Jeremy Roach

His scoring does not pop out, but junior captain Jeremy Roach did exactly what he needed to do as the leader of this team in Monday’s first half. As the primary facilitator for the Blue Devils, he has done a phenomenal job at getting everyone involved and now, the whole team is on fire. Roach himself had five points and a team-high three assists. He only took four shots, but his presence was felt on both ends of the court with his playmaking and defense.


Share and discuss “5 observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against Bellarmine” on social media.