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San Diego State Unable To Slow Duke As Blue Devils Win 90-64

This despite considerable foul trouble for the Blue Devils

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Maui Invitational - Duke v San Diego State
LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 19: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils tries to take an off balance shot during the first half of the game against the San Diego State Aztecs at Lahaina Civic Center on November 19, 2018 in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

One of the questions about Duke coming into the season was outside shooting. That’s less the case after Duke took out San Diego State by 26 and shot 40% from deep (10-25).

With the threes and some other things Duke won fairly easily in the end. But it wasn’t a smooth game and that’s probably good.

Between foul trouble for Duke - Zion Williamson picked up two early and was limited to about five points in the first half - and hard-nosed defense by the Aztecs that disrupted Duke but couldn’t stop the Blue Devils entirely - the first half was kind of herky-jerky.

SDSU is much taller and tried to jam up the inside - smart move, but hard to do when the other team hits threes.

Even so, despite a solid defensive effort, Duke scored 46 points in the first half on a proud defensive program and finished the game with 90.

As far as fouls went, Javin DeLaurier fouled out, RJ Barrett finished with four while Cam Reddish, Marques Bolden and Antonio Vrankovic all finished with three.

After his early two, Williamson didn't get any more and Tre Jones was the only starter who never had any foul worries at all, drawing just one.

Despite some foul concerns, Cam Reddish probably had his best overall game with 16 points. Even if you don’t buy that, there’s no question that it was his most assertive game: he attacked relentlessly.

And Tre Jones, who has been wisely deferential to his scorers, had his best offensive game at Duke, shooting 6-7.

In the second half, as Duke began to exploit its quickness, it forced more turnovers and got on the break more easily.

Williamson didn’t have his typically explosive game and shot just 5-11. But he also had five steals and had one spectular dunk after one pick.

With Williamson not as dominant as he has been we got to see more of Reddish and Barrett, and aside from Barrett’s fouls, neither disappointed. So for those who thought that stopping Williamson (not that he was actually stopped here) meant stopping Duke...not really.

And it’s time to face one other fact about this team: it has six starters.

You can call Jack White a reserve if you want but the guy is averaging close to a double-double off the bench and Duke loses nothing when he’s in.

He’s become a superb rebounder, an outstanding shooter and a very good defender. Captain Jack is becoming a very, very good basketball player.

Duke adapted to another challenging defense and even got a bonus as no one played more than 28 minutes - White - and gets to rest for Auburn on Tuesday.

And while SDSU was smart to try to slow Duke and to make them win on shooting, we don’t think for a minute that a Bruce Pearl team will try to do that.

It’s going to be a very fast game on Tuesday so odds are the best defensive team will win.


Player of the Game vs. San Diego State

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    RJ Barrett
    (92 votes)
  • 30%
    Cam Reddish
    (187 votes)
  • 1%
    Zion Williamson
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Marques Bolden
    (2 votes)
  • 22%
    Tre Jones
    (138 votes)
  • 0%
    Javin DeLaurier
    (1 vote)
  • 29%
    Jack White
    (182 votes)
  • 0%
    Antonio Vrankovic
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Jordan Goldwire
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Alex O’ Connell
    (3 votes)
620 votes total Vote Now

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