Duke Escapes Texas 85-78; Bagley goes for 34 Points and 15 Boards

Brian HoraceGame Results, General Information, Results/Thoughts1 Comment

And so it goes with freshmen, you get your ups and you get your downs – and they can all come in one basketball game. Duke looked like a team going through the motions against Texas in the first half, much in the way they did against Portland State. Apparently Duke decided that playing defense is only for second halves of game. Texas exploited Duke’s defense in the first half and for much of the second half of this game. Duke went zone but Texas seemed to beat Duke in both man and zone and Dukes transition D was completely atrocious and by atrocious I mean non-existent. Kerwin Roach was a monster against Duke, taking his talents to the rim and dunking on Duke multiple times – you’ll see them on Sports Center…trust me. Roach scored 18 in the game for the Longhorns but it was junior Dylan Osetkowski who would lead Texas in scoring. I mentioned in my pregame that Duke could have problems with his versatility and his ability to make plays on both ends of the floor was key for Texas building their lead.¬†Osetkowski added 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Texas took advantage of the Duke’s youth, driving the Devils and simply out-toughing Duke in the first half. Duke was lost and completely devoid of any defensive communication. Texas pushed the lead to 12 at the half. The Longhorns out rebounded Duke in the first half 21-17 and used that advantage to add 6 second chance points to 0 by Duke. Duke would trail by as much as 16 points in the second half before climbing back into the game to tie the ballgame. Grayson Allen fouled out with 2 minutes remaining in the second half with the score tied, shortly after Texas retook the lead. Duke played 5 freshman and forced the game into overtime where they outscored the Longhorns 12-5. Duke out rebounded Texas in the second half and outscored them in second chance points as well. While Dukes defense was better in the second half they were aided by bad decision making by the longhorns who settled for jumpshots far too often. Duke could not pull away in regulation even after gaining a lead on the Longhorns because of a lack of guarding the paint and a transition defense that had everyone in blue watching and not reacting. Mo Bamba vs Marvin Bagley did not live to the hype, Bamba scored 9 points, pulled down 10 boards and had 2 blocks but was saddled with foul trouble. Bamba is still very raw offensively but his potential is very easy to see. Bagley for Duke is much more of a focal point for the Duke offense at this point in the season.

Marvin Bagley led the Devils in scoring with 34 points, going 12-19 from the field and 9-13 from the free throw line. Bagley also pulled down 15 boards for his 5th double-double. Bagley missed a 3 in regulation that would have won the game. Wendell Carter Jr. also earned a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, he also added 2 blocks.

Once again Duke got good bench minutes from Alex O’Connell and Marques Bolden. O’Connell in particular was productive adding 6 rebounds and 2 assists. It’s clear there are several things that Duke must get better at during the course of this season defensively Duke must shore up the holes. Free throw shooting must also be better if this team is to get as far as their talent suggests they should and also 3-point shooting. Grayson Allen and Gary Trent have cooled considerably since their hot start. Duke must take better shots and somehow get Trent and Allen going. Trevon Duval has had back to back poor floor games for the Devils. Duval, after a hot start, has turned the ball over 11 times in the past 2 games and only has 8 assists. Coach K will stress better decision making by the freshman.