After each Duke men’s basketball game this season, check back here for the Player of the Game and more. Miami got the last word as it took down the Blue Devils Monday night. and the Blue Zone breaks down the contest:
One player: Norchad Omier
Unsurprisingly, the headlining player in the devastation caused by the Hurricanes was indeed on the Miami side. Sophomore forward Norchad Omier dominated the court with his strong shooting, landing both of his three-point attempts and making 54.5% of his shots from the field. His 17-point total, partnered with 10 rebounds, earned him a smooth double-double and put him at the top of the score sheet for both Duke and Miami.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the Bluefields, Nicaragua native was everywhere, making the best of second-chance shot opportunities and driving at the basket whenever the road looked clear. To top off his all-around performance, the Miami Prep product sealed an already dominant first half by slamming a dunk right as the buzzer sounded. Omier led the Hurricanes in blowing Duke away.
One word: Messy
Mondays are rarely anyone’s day—and apparently, that includes the Blue Devils. Despite heading into its matchup at Miami on a high after defeating North Carolina 63-57 Saturday night, Duke’s showing in the Watsco Center was a highlight reel of the team’s biggest flaws. It was clear from the start that Blue Devils' energy was not at full volume, turned down even more on account of the sharp turn from the roaring Cameron Crazies to a road game packed with fans screaming for the orange and green.
Duke’s shots just didn’t land. The usual suspects had no luck at the net, as even trusty freshman Kyle Filipowski was only able to get 4-of-12 field goal attempts to go. As the final buzzer sounded to put Blue Devil fans out of their misery, centers Dereck Lively and Ryan Young's scoring totals sat at the top of the stat sheet, albeit at a rather underwhelming 11 points each.
Duke’s messiness is reflected in the game’s stats, and certainly in its results, but the reality of Monday night is that the Blue Devils needed to pull themselves together, hold onto the ball and amp up their defensive energy. None of those things happened, and the consequence of that came in the style of a 2-5 true road record for Duke.
One stat: 21 turnovers
Starting guards Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor each had their time to shine Saturday night. Neither brought that same tenacity to Miami—as well as missing the vast majority of their shots, shooting a collective 4-for-13 from the floor, the two guards fumbled five turnovers each to contribute to a staggering total of 21—the worst mark Duke has seen in this column of the box score since it committed the same number in its crushing 24-point defeat at the hands of NC State. Duke’s point guards cannot carry all the blame, however, as Filipowski, Young and sophomore guard Jaylen Blakes each added three turnovers of their own to the mix. The Blue Devils were able to hold onto the ball, whether that meant preventing one of Miami’s 13 steals or simply losing the rock due to clumsiness.
Palindrome style, Miami committed a much more acceptable count of 12 turnovers, seven of which were caused by Blue Devil steals. The Hurricanes were also effective at stopping those turnovers from becoming opponent points: off of its 12 opportunities, Duke only managed to bank a meager nine points, while Miami racked up 23 from those 21 Blue Devil turnovers. 17 Hurricane points came from wicked-quick fast breaks that served only to reinforce one of the tenets of the game: Duke's defense fell behind.
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