Duke @ Louisville Game Notes

After a hard-fought win in Charlottesville on Saturday, Duke will turn around for another very good team in another hostile atmosphere: #16 Louisville. The Cardinals, while plagued by the issues of their past, are very good this year as Chris Mack has turned around a program that looked like it may just fall off a cliff. It will be a difficult game and we need to bring the same intensity that we did against UVA.

Also, RJ and Cam are blazing hot. Just FYI.

Game Notes: Duke Blue Devils at Louisville Cardinals

Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Time: 9:00pm ET

Venue: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY

TV: ESPN

Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network

Duke Listed #1 Overall in Early Committee Release

As March approaches, the Selection Committee released the top 16 spots s they would be if the Madness were to begin today. The contest for the top spot was limited to between Duke and Tennessee and as well as the Volunteers have played of late (17-game win streak), based on what we suspect was probably the incredible number of high quality wins that Duke has picked up throughout the season (Virginia, Kentucky, Auburn, Texas Tech), Duke is currently #1 overall. That would put us in Washington, D.C, for the first round and the current bracket has Michigan the #2 seed in our bracket, as well as Marquette and Iowa State at #3 and #4, respectively.

This is likely to change but would be relatively good path for the Blue Devils. Rankings are hardly important in March, though, and the grit necessary will be something that Duke will need to learn very, very quickly.

Duke. Virginia. Now. Bleed blue.

Preview: The Rematch in Charlottesville

**UPDATE: Most sources have said that Ty Jerome will suit up for Virginia tonight; however, the likelihood that he will be 100% is low.**

The last time these two forces of the NCAA met, the questions mostly swirled on Duke’s side, while UVA remained relatively in balance. Tre Jones had just been injured and the Syracuse loss was hot on everybody’s minds as we’d looked lost without him. Duke, however, pulled out a close 72-70 win and the offense rolled smoothly with RJ Barrett at point guard. Virginia looked disoriented despite having all of its troops; the electric atmosphere created by the Cameron Crazies was sure to have been a factor.

Duke will try to recreate some of that, minus the Crazies, in Charlottesville tonight as we meet the Cavaliers again. Unfortunately, Virginia may also be short a point guard tonight as Ty Jerome is listed as day-to-day after being held out for a “sore back” against Miami last week. Many have said that his presence changes thngs a lot, and for the ‘Hoos, yes, they do. But people do forget that Duke handled a fully healthy UVA just a few weeks ago without our most impactful player on the court. UVA has not seen what Tre Jones does to a game and I think that will be a big factor tonight.

One thing has to hold true for the Blue Devils today: despite the fact that RJ and Zion have shown that they’re able to handle the pack-line, we need Cam Reddish and Jack White to shoot the three well and intelligently today. Not forcing up shots– goodness no, as that’s how Virginia suffocates people– but good shots.

There is, of course, the home court advantage for Virginia. It’s not that much of a difference as Duke thrives in these atmospheres, but at least the Wahoos won’t have to hear deafening screams about UMBC and Kyle Guy’s hair for 2 hours nonstop.

Game Notes: Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Cavaliers

Date: Saturday, February 2, 2019

Time: 6:00pm

Venue: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA

Video: ESPN

Radio: ESPN Radio, Blue Devil IMG Sports Network

Bleed blue. Let’s get hyped: watch this a bunch today.

Game Notes: vs. Boston College

Duke faces yet another challenger that won’t bring back great memories for those of us around last year: the top-ranked Blue Devils were toppled by the Eagles in a shocking upset. It wasn’t a random thing: we had our flaws but Boston College shot miraculously well especially from range. This year, though, is a different story. BC does not return Jerome Robinson, who was easily the leader throughout the season and in the game with 24 points at BCV, but they do still have both Jordan Chatman and Ky Bowman, who combined for 52 points last year.

However, again, this is not the same Duke team coming into this game. The 2017-2018 Blue Devils were not the most profound defensive team at the time of the loss (we still love you guys, but let’s be honest). Different story this time: we’re currently ranked fourth in the country in defensive efficiency as well as tenth in the country in offensive efficiency. With those two statistics in mind as well as the atmosphere that is Cameron Indoor Stadium, always a difference maker, BC faces a challenge much different than last year.

Also, there happen to be these two guys named Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. Not that they’ll be a factor or anything.

Game Notes

Boston College Eagles at Duke Blue Devils

Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Time: 7:00 PM ET

Venue: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC

TV: ESPN

Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network

Bleed blue.

Duke Annihilates St. John’s, 91-61

Duke fans knew coming into this game that St. John’s was dangerous. Shamorie Ponds, especially: last year, he put up 33 in an upset in MSG against the Blue Devils. Tre Jones decided that history would not repeat.

Zion Williamson had 29, Cam Reddish had 16, and Duke shut down St. John’s main offensive weapons to get a smashing win in Cameron over the St. John’s Red Storm, 91-61. Cam Reddish was the spark early on with 11 first half points, and especially as the game went on, Zion couldn’t be contained. He stuffed the stat sheet with 29 points on 13-17 shooting, 4 blocks, 5 steals, and 6 rebounds. Believe me, there are highlights to come. Good Gods of Basketball, this isn’t fair.

Also, he, by himself, beat all of NC State today. Just sayin’.

The anchor of this win, however amazing Zion was, had to have been Tre Jones’ lockdown defense. Shamorie Ponds, the dangerous point guard that dropped 33 last year against Duke in an upset in MSG, did not hit a shot in the first half. He finished the day 3-11 from the field. This is no knock on Ponds as we’ve seen the great scorer that he is; it was all Tre today and he set the standard for the rest of the team.

St. John’s came in with an aggressive mentality, which showed during the game. In the first half, a flagrant 1 was actually assessed to St. John’s Marvin Clark and the physicality continued throughout the game, but the team handled it well, an important experience come late February and March.

The highlights (still to come) were great and all, but my favorite play of the game was when the ball went loose and every player on the court wearing blue and white dove to the ground at some point to get it. The call did not end up going in our favor as the referee called a held ball, mostly in order to keep the play under control. What are likely to be the #1 and #2 picks in the draft don’t care about getting the next highlight play or 40 point game: they care about the team win, even when it gets gritty, and that’s what makes them great.

Now, finally, for the highlights:

Duke Cruises by Notre Dame, 83-61

Zion Williamson scored 26 along with 9 rebounds and 4 blocks, RJ Barrett had 17, and Duke cruised by Notre Dame in South Bend without too much trouble. The Blue Devils garnered a 17-2 lead early and never really looked back. Notre Dame did fight the whole game, an admirable show of perseverance.

A lot of the news in college basketball this week were about how Duke was unable to shoot the three; Duke came out of the bat with 2 shots from distance, making both, an continued to shoot well and intelligently with well-placed shots on a 52.6% mark overall (10-19). Tre Jones shot well and very efficiently, his mark at 9 points on 4-6. Alex O’Connell played well, getting 7 points in 9 minutes of play. Both players made at least one three pointer.

The defensive effort was impressive as Notre Dame, a generally good shooting team with a lane presence in double-double machine John Mooney, shot just above 34% overall and 33.3% from beyond the arc. Mooney had a good game but shot a low 4-15, like many of his teammates that scored on the higher end.

Notre Dame tried to stay in it and even got it to 32-23 at one point but that hope was all but squashed by a Zion Williamson 3-pointer. From that point the lead stayed in the 20 range and didn’t move much.

Now, we get to the highlights! Zion had a Superman-like block (okay, it was technically goaltending, but it didn’t get called).

Bleed blue. Duke returns to Cameron next weekend to take on St. John’s.

Game Notes: Duke at Notre Dame

Duke travels up North this week to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish are in a down year after losing veterans Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell, but of course there’s no down game in the ACC and these guys are nothing to sleep on. Notre Dame does face a four-game losing streak at the moment.

Duke Blue Devils at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Date: Monday, January 28, 2019

Time: 7:00pm ET

Venue: Edmund P. Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center

TV: ESPN

Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network

Leading Scorer, Duke: RJ Barrett, 23.9 PPG

It should also be noted that Zion Williamson is literally right behind him at 21.7 PPG.

Leading Scorer, Notre Dame: John Mooney, 14.4

Streak, Duke: W3

Streak, Notre Dame: L4

Bleed blue.