After each Duke men's basketball game this season, check back here for the Player of the Game and more. The Blue Zone breaks down the Blue Devils' controversial overtime defeat at Virginia:
One player: Tyrese Proctor
One standout playmaker in Duke’s narrow 69-62 overtime loss to No. 8 Virginia was Tyrese Proctor. Along with four assists, the freshman guard shot 50% from the field to get 14 points and was instrumental in keeping Duke in the fight late in the game. He was crafty at the end of the second half with three assists, including the look to graduate transfer Jacob Grandison, who then hit the game-tying three with 51 seconds left in regulation. In overtime, when junior captain Jeremy Roach fouled out with more than three minutes to play, Proctor stepped up. Down 63-58, Proctor nabbed a layup to put Duke within one-score range. After missed shots from both teams, he took control again and created his own scoring opportunity, driving to the hoop and making another layup as the shot clock expired to put Duke within one point of Virginia’s 63-62 lead with a minute left. Though Virginia pulled away as time expired, Proctor was on the floor for 41 minutes, the longest of any Duke player, and was pivotal in keeping the Blue Devils in the game down the stretch.
One word: Defense
Virginia’s dynamic defense effectively locked down freshmen centers Kyle Filipowski and Dereck Lively II, two of Duke’s key big men, as well as freshman forward Mark Mitchelll. Filipowski averaged 15.5 points per game coming into the matchup but was held scoreless Saturday, shooting 0-of-6 from the field and missing two free throws. Mitchell had three points on 1-of-4 shooting, and Lively had two points, both from free throws. It was up to freshman Dariq Whitehead and Grandison to come off the bench and combine for 21 points to keep the Blue Devils in the game with their usual scorers struggling under tight coverage. Virginia, on the other hand, was efficient below the basket with a whopping 42 points in the paint compared to Duke’s 24. Missed scoring opportunities plagued the Blue Devils, and the frontcourt lost momentum in overtime when only 33.3% of field goal attempts were converted. This matchup proved to be a defensive battle and Virginia emerged triumphant.
One stat: 22 turnovers
Monday's 21 turnovers against Miami ended up not being a stumble, but a pattern. The Blue Devils failed to protect the ball Saturday, notching a season-high 22 turnovers, led by Roach and Filipowski with five apiece. Virginia’s defense applied pressure that led to poor decision-making by Duke’s ball handlers. The Cavaliers tallied 10 steals and capitalized on the other end to score 20 points off turnovers. Duke posted a 32.4% turnover percentage heading to Charlottesville, Va., per KenPom, so upsetting a top-10 team would have been a tall task. Virginia kept its turnovers in the single digits at nine, limiting Duke’s points off turnovers to eight. The Cavaliers were very effective in slowing the Blue Devils down, as Duke had no fast-break points and was forced to play at Virginia’s speed. An inability to hold the ball on the offensive end resulted in defeat by a conference foe and a slide to a 2-6 away record.
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