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Next Up: Stetson

The Hatters are 1-7 but that’s not what matters. What matters is how far Duke has advanced.

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Indiana v Duke
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 27: Rob Phinisee #10 of the Indiana Hoosiers collides with Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 27, 2018 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After a tough stretch, Duke gets a bit of a breather Saturday against 1-7 Stetson.

The one came first and the seven have come consecutively since.

The Hatters toughest opponent (Stetson hat, get it?) was probably USC and they lost that game 95-59.

Former Duke guard Derryck Thornton started, played 21 minutes and had seven points, three assists and three turnovers.

There aren’t many familiar names on the roster but one jumps out: Rex Walters Jr., whose dad played for Roy Williams at Kansas.

There’s no question that Duke will be favored over the Hatters and certainly should win but that’s not the only thing to look at.

The young Blue Devils didn’t give a consistent effort vs. Indiana and Coach K was so irked by his team in the second half that he did the jacket toss.

For Duke, the win will be important obviously - an upset by a 1-7 team at home would be brutal - but here’s what you should watch:

First, as always in games where Duke is heavily favored, watch the opening few plays to see what the focus is. Last time it was getting the ball inside to Zion Williamson.

Second, watch for a consistent effort. As we’ve said, along with a bunch of other people, as talented as Duke is, the core is still very young and has plenty to learn.

And third, watch the defense and body language. If Duke defends hard the entire game, then a lesson has been learned. That’ll be reflected in body language.

And finally, a small word for Duke fans.

Coach K periodically coaches us just as he coaches his team and in fact sees Cameron as part of his team.

Duke fans know what is expected of us. We didn’t really do that last time so all of us need to show up and act like, well, Duke fans and not spoiled UNC fans. We have a fascinating and immensely promising team but they still need our intensity. So let’s give that to them Saturday night.

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