After each Duke men's basketball game this season, check back here for the Player of the Game and more. The Blue Devils fell to Arkansas in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge, and the Blue Zone analyzes the defeat:
One player: Trevon Brazile
When the Razorbacks played North Carolina last Friday, the Tar Heels held Arkansas forward Trevon Brazile scoreless in the twenty minutes he played. Wednesday, however, Brazile decided to exact revenge on North Carolina’s biggest rival by scoring 19 points and having 11 rebounds against Duke. The Springfield, Mo., native and fellow teammate Khalif Battle wreaked havoc for the Blue Devils’ defense, combining for a total of 40 points. In particular, the 6-foot-10 redshirt sophomore was lethal from outside the arc, sinking a career-high four 3-pointers. This included a key triple with 2:18 left to put the Hogs up 12 points, paving the way for a raucous home upset.
One word: Chaos
A wild game in the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge saw the lead change 16 times between Duke and Arkansas. If that does not describe the chaotic nature of the matchup, then the fact that the Blue Devils somehow managed to turn a one-point deficit to trail 14 points in less than five minutes surely does — complimentary of Battle, who scored 13 points in that stretch. Down double digits, Duke pushed for a final surge by going to a full-court press in the last minutes of the game. This rally worked as the Blue Devils cut the deficit from 12 to just four points within two minutes of play, with senior captain Jeremy Roach and sophomore center Kyle Filipowski leading the charge. Ultimately, that was not enough as Arkansas held on to storm the courts after a monumental win.
One stat: 27.3% from deep
Unlike its opponents, Duke really struggled to score 3-pointers. This woe continued into the second half, when freshman Caleb Foster missed a crucial shot with eleven seconds left on the clock. All in all, the Blue Devils shot 35.8% from the field, astonishingly missing 16 of its 22 3-point attempts. However, contributing to the positives of this statistic was freshman forward TJ Power’s impressive stint on the court, where he hit two 3-pointers in the final seven minutes of the first half. Perhaps head coach Jon Scheyer will hand Power more minutes in the future to improve Duke’s 3-point shooting problems.
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