Now that was a game. A game like this where both teams fight like heck is always a great one and this was one of them, and Duke pulled out the win 69-58. The score is absolutely no testament to the game as Duke was behind 8 in the second half and didn’t get a lead until 10:36 and it was still very close. The game was the definition of adversity basketball speaking: we were plagued by foul trouble, the rim had a lid on it for most of the first half (0-12 on 3s, I believe), and a sometimes hefty deficit made this a downright gritty win.
THAT’S OUR CAPTAIN.
Yeah, I may have yelled this a few times in this game. Jack White and Javin DeLaurier might just be one of the most important captains in the past 10 years, and Jack sure showed it today (Javin got injured, update on that on the way). Jack White hit our first two 3s of the game (the first not coming until 10:36 in the second!), but more importantly, helped lead a FIELD-GOAL LESS DEFENSIVE STINT IN THE LAST SIX MINUTES. He played lockdown defense and when Zion went out (more on that coming, relax, he’s not injured) and I couldn’t be more proud to say we officially have veteranship. Jack White is getting national attention for being a difference-maker on a national stage, and deservingly so.
Tre Jones Being AMAZING
TRE JONES IS THE GREATEST THING ON PLANET EARTH RIGHT NOW. Tre played lockdown defense with six steals, dove to the floor, and led this team 100%. He found his open teammates to make some offense on a night when the shots were colder than it was outside MSG last night. That six-minute field goal-less stretch I said? Jack White was great, but Tre had a huge part in that too. Tre was magnificent.
RJ Barrett on the Pass
I want to highlight the growth RJ Barrett showed in this game, especially after Gonzaga almost a month ago now. In that game, RJ was shamed for not passing the ball to open teammates on the final possessions. In this game? Look at the top play above. He drew in the defense on that one to guard him, made an excellent pass to his teammate to drain the shot and I couldn’t be happier.
Let Him Play!
Is it Zion’s fault that he’s a freight train (in the most wonderful of ways, of course)? Well, unless you’re counting working his butt off in the gym, thank goodness, no! With the last call, an easy blocking call on a great play by Zion, I was having flashbacks to Wendell Carter and KU (probably the most traumatic memory I have as a Duke fan, perhaps saving Mercer 2014). He got called for the charge, but these things are going to happen, as unjust as they are. Referees are gonna try to perform a musical around him with their whistles and sadly, Zion will have to learn to play with that without losing the essence of basketball entirely.
Bleed blue. Duke will take a break for the holidays and wait until January 5 to play again, so in honor of this, happy holidays, Krazies!