Duke Falls Valiantly to Gonzaga, 87-89

Duke lost to Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational, 87-89, but there’s so little that you can genuinely be mad at. This team fought their butts off. Most of the game was awful, don’t get me wrong: at most, Duke trailed by 16 and Gonzaga just looked more composed, more experienced, and just a better team. Duke obviously wasn’t on their A-game but the fight and togetherness that the Blue Devils showed defeated anything Gonzaga could say about a November win, period. Get ready- there’s going to be a flurry of people saying that we’re too young, will Duke bounce back, the usual. But believe me when I say that they win that game in March, period.

RJ Barrett scored a game-high 23 points, with teammate Zion Williamson coming in second with 22. Tre Jones hit a career high (a career of 6 games, but still) 17 points. Zion also had 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 steals.

The only thing that I was really not happy with was the final minute. Duke missed seven shots in the final minute of this game, and late game protocol will come in time. This team is so young, but the shots weren’t well selected in that final minute and the one-on-two final shot taken by RJ Barrett with open teammates was not good at all. But it’s November, so I’m not terribly worried and Coach K knows how to deal with that sort of thing. That happens again, though, and we’ve got issues.

Duke plays Indiana at home in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday as they get a brief respite after a grueling three straight days of play in Maui. The biggest focus will easily be Romeo Langford, an athletic star who looks to light up the Big Ten this year. 

Bleed blue. 

Non-Conference Schedule is Out

Duke Basketball has officially released the non-conference schedule for 2018-2019 Duke Basketball, though a noticable dropoff for games at home, which absolutely sucks for us Crazies and Crazies-In-Training.A few highlights:

Champion’s Classic: Kentucky

The Wildcats, yet again, lost a lot of talent last year and will be arguably younger than Duke is this year. However, John Calipari is almost (but not really) as ingenious at the GOAT himself at reloading and firing into the front lines of the college basketball race. Except, the beginning of the season is almost always rough for the Cats as they aren’t quite exposed to college basketball and need a veteran to groud them. Vets like Javin DeLaurier, Marques Bolden, and Antonio Vrankovic will be able to help out the Blue Devils.

Maui Invitational

You can read more here, but basically, it’s Duke, Arizona, and Gonzaga as the big guys here. Auburn and Xavier are good, but Xavier’s lost Chris Mack and their former star, Trevon Bluiett, and Auburn is good but no Duke. Don’t underestimate either team, but barring a loss, Duke will likely take on West Coast giants Arizona and Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational Championship. Then again, Arizona crashed and burned in the Battle 4 Atlantis last year, going 0-3 and Gonzaga gets minimal exposure until the postseason. Who knows?

Texas Tech

I know a lot of Jayhawks fans. My family is comprised (on my dad’s side, at least) of Jayhawks fans, to whom I am grateful to for not rubbing in last year’s loss. And from what I’ve seen, these Red Raiders have given the Jayhawks a lot of trouble in the past. We’ll need to be wary here.

St. John’s

St. John’s. Sigh. Those guys have given Duke trouble for years. In 2015, they nearly beat us before Coach K garnered his 1000th win in Madison Square Garden, that being the only happy memory I can think of with St. John’s. Last year, the Red Storm beat us in MSG, a total embarrassment. I’ve got to be honest with you all, I hope we kick some behind in New York next year (no disrespect to St. John’s, who thouroughly kicked OUR behinds last year. Naturally, I was pretty unhappy and would like to return the favor).

Maui Invitational Bracket Set

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Courtesy: Maui Invitational.

Duke, 16-0 in the Maui Invitational, has been invited back to Hawaii for the first time since 2011 when Kyrie Irving played. The Blue Devils will be tested, with West Coast giants Arizona and Gonzaga also participating. You may remember that Duke faced SDSU in 2015 during the Round of 32, which the Blue Devils won, 68-49, and would go on to win the 2015 National Championship against Wisconsin. This year’s tournament will take place at the Lahaina Civic Center.

Bleed blue, Duke fans. Let’s get ready for the football season! I will cover Duke’s football season starting in August. Bull City Proud!