After each Duke men’s basketball game this season, check back here for the Player of the Game and more. The Blue Devils dominated Georgia Tech on the road Saturday, and the Blue Zone breaks down their success:
One player: Kyle Filipowski
Kyle Filipowski was once again the driving force in Saturday's decisive victory. Duke’s star freshman filled the stat sheet, putting up 18 points and seven rebounds. He also helped out in other aspects on the floor, adding two assists and two blocks. If the Blue Devils' lead wasn’t already so large towards the end of the game, Filipowski likely would have had the chance to grab yet another double-double. Despite being taken out with 10 minutes still to play, the center was able to post his seventh-straight game scoring 14 or more points.
Filipowski was once again the team’s leading scorer as he continues to make his case for ACC Freshman of the Year honors. With classmate Dariq Whitehead sidelined for the time being, Duke will have to rely on its star center with such an important stretch in conference play looming, starting with its date with Wake Forest on Tuesday.
One word: Complete
In one of its most impressive performances of the year to date, Duke received contributions from nearly everyone en route to the big victory. The Blue Devils had five players reach double figures and 10 players post a point total on the stat sheet. They also dominated the glass, out-rebounding Georgia Tech 43-22, including 13 offensive boards.
While Duke posted a very respectable 55.7% shooting mark from the field and 39.1% from three, its most effective trend on Saturday was its defensive tenacity. The Blue Devils held the Yellow Jackets to just 43 points on 30.9% shooting from the floor, one of their worst offensive performances of the year. The defensive command started in the paint, where freshmen bigs Dereck Lively II and Filipowski combined for five blocks. If Duke can continue to lock down and hold teams to only one shot on most possessions through their rebounding prowess, the Blue Devils will be tough to beat going forward.
One stat: 24-9 assist to turnover ratio
Duke has had its fair share of offensive struggles throughout the season, especially when it comes to turnovers and three-point shooting. However, these woes seemed to disappear on Saturday. When faced with Georgia Tech’s zone defense, the Blue Devils did not flinch, posting their best assist to turnover ratio of the season. In particular, freshman Tyrese Proctor was masterfully initiating the offense, tallying eight assists with no turnovers. Duke only had three turnovers by its guards, allowing the ball to move smoothly and players to find open shots. The Blue Devils must build on this success in the tough stretch ahead.
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