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Blue Devils Have Been Going Deep Lately

Deeper than usual in fact

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NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Duke
Feb 11, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots a three point shot over the Clemson Tigers defense in the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

A quiet revolution is taking place within Duke’s offense. Or maybe it’s just a hot streak. Or an aberration.

Whatever you call it, something unusual is going on. Always uncommonly reliant on its 3-point offense, Duke has ratcheted up its scoring from long range to a remarkable degree since late January.

Across 25 contests this season the Blue Devils have achieved an average of 30.8 percent of their points via 3-pointer. That production is even more pronounced in Duke’s dozen ACC outings, to the tune of 33.7 percent of its scoring.

And the power of the perimeter was more noticeable still in four of the past five games – wins against Wake, Pitt, UNC and Clemson. (The Devils beat Notre Dame too during that stretch, a game in which they converted a piddling five 3-pointers and tried but 12.)

Over the Devils’ first 20 games, they scored better than a third of their points from the bonusphere on just four occasions, with a high of 43.6 percent coming in a 53-point rout of Georgia Tech. But none of those efforts came close to what’s been going on lately.

Against four of its five most recent opponents, Duke derived at least 45 percent of its scoring from 3-pointers. The downtown barrage distinguished an otherwise sluggish offensive effort against Clemson on Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium, as the Blue Devils hit 11 of 26 from beyond the arc.

Considering they only scored 64 points, two more than the gritty Tigers, that gave them a majority of their points (51.56) on threes.

Of particular note: Luke Kennard tried 28 threes across the five most recent games, making 15. Included was the winning shot at Wake.

Top Percentage of Duke Scoring Via 3-Pointer, 2017 Season
Pct. Date Opponent Points
By 3-Overall
3-Point Pct.
51.6 2/11 Clemson 33-64 .423 (11-26)
49.4 1/28 Wake 42-85 .452 (14-31)
45.8 2/4 Pitt 33-72 .393 (11-28)
45.4 2/9 UNC 39-96 .481 (13-27)
43.6 1/4 Georgia Tech 48-110 .516 (16-31)
36.9 12/19 Tenn. State 24-65 .333 (8-24)

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