Despite shooting the worse they have all year, Duke managed to stay with Clemson throughout the game. But with about two minutes left, every Duke fan knew it was over. No storied comeback. No great story to tell. And no rematch with North Carolina, for a chance at a number one seed.
Duke didn’t seem in control for really any part of the game. Clemson seemed to be doing whatever they wanted on the offensive end, and forced Duke into tough shots on the defensive end. Duke shot a 6-26 from beyond on the arc. True that Duke does rely on the three for success, however I really thought they could of pulled this one out if they were able to make the right adjustments. I hate to question Coach K, but I really think if he would of put the red light on the three pointers early enough and told everyone to try to drive the lane and create, it would have made a huge difference. If the shots aren’t falling then we have adjust appropriately. I can understand letting the players try to shoot out of a slump, but the next game they try to do that it could be their last.
One of the biggest disappointment this tournament has been the play of Kyle Singler. Every Duke fan loves what Singler has down for us this year, but the last two games he has been a none factor. And unfortunately this time it cost us a win. Singler needs to find what he had in the Maui Tournament, where he put the team on his back, before the tournament starts.
Scheyer who has been one of the most consistent players in the past few games was a horrendous 3-11. He still managed 13 points, but he has to be more efficient. Nelson almost had a double-double, but went 0-4 from three point range. Paulus was the best player finishing with 17 points, and shooting great from everywhere.
-Duke only had 12 assists against 16 turnovers.
-Paulus was the bright spot, but didn’t have one assist.
-Duke needs to have much better defense if they want to get past the first weekend.
This definitely doesn’t do anything good for Duke’s confidence, the only plus is that the are at worse a 3 seed. Definitely an improvement from last year. And also Duke should have plenty of rest, since this game seemed like they weren’t playing at a high level, or near a 100%.
Should be interesting to see what seed the actually get, and what region they will be in. All I know is they have a lot of work to do, but luckily they have plenty of time to get ready.