Blue Devils Ready to March | Sports
Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blue Devils Ready to March

Posted by on Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 5:45 PM

On Saturday the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils (24-5, 10-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) went into Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. to play the Virginia Tech Hokies (17-11, 7-7 ACC).  The Blue Devils left Blacksburg with a typical, gritty and down to the wire ACC road win.  They also left the impression that they're back to being the Devils of old, a team that can weather a poor offensive night and win a game with a strong defensive performance.

The Blue Devils entered the game 3-3 in their last six ACC contests.  In those games they allowed opponents to average 1.14 points per possession, a direct result of allowing them to shoot 58.4 effective field goal percentage (eFG%).  The Blue Devils were also failing to force turnovers.  They only posted a 22.4 turnover rate (TORate) in those six games, down from 25.4 TORate in their first seven conference games.  In a game played at the Devils' average pace that amounts to about three fewer turnovers per game.

Against the Hokies, the Blue Devils reversed all of those trends.  They held Virginia Tech to 44.6 percent eFG and forced a turnover rate of 27.3.  These key factors helped hold the Hokies' offense to 0.935 points per possession.  Comparing this game to the rest of the Blue Devils season illustrates why they're back to their  defensively minded ways of old.

click to enlarge unknown.jpg

Saturday's game against Virginia Tech compares much more favorably to the Blue Devils' early season run in ACC play than to their recent six-game stretch.  Since Duke played Clemson they have only held one opponent (Miami) below one point per possession.  In the seven games prior, the Blue Devils held every opponent to below 0.92 points per possession.

Playing poor defense was the Devils' main issue over their recent stretch of games.  Though many have blamed an average offense for those struggles, the Devils' lack of an offensive post threat and true point guard didn't prevent them from going 5-1 to begin conference play.  Solid defense anchored the Blue Devils' early dominance in league play and hid their less than stellar offense.

If Saturday's performance is any indicator of how Duke is going to finish out the month of March, then look for them to improve upon their recent NCAA Tournament history and return to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since they were the tournament's overall No. 1 seed in 2006.

Tags: ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports



Twitter Activity

Comments

If you need to hire a real hacker to help spy on your partner's cell phone remotely, change your grades …

by Stacey Jones on Duke vs. Villanova: Four Factor Preview (Sports)

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

If you need to hire a real hacker to help spy on your partner's cell phone remotely, change your grades …

by Stacey Jones on Duke vs. Villanova: Four Factor Preview (Sports)

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

what i gonna to do is to be my hero and be awesome, just like them, cannot change history and …

by heartnecklace on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

wwe is too violate, if some can fix it that will be okay.

by heartnecklace on Should North Carolina State try to suplex the WWE? (Sports)

Gaffe-r is right...he f8cks up all the time. "A lot of success over the last 3 years"....less smoke blows out …

by DonGarbageBlows on Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks (Sports)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation