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It’s A Bit Early For Duke Fans To Worry About Three Point Shooting

Who cares after one exhibition game?

Virginia Tech v Duke
 WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots a three point basket against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the second half in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

As we explained all last week, Northwest Missouri State was going to be a tough out for a number of reasons. We didn’t really see three point shooting as being one of them but there has been a lot of angst over the fact that NWMSU hit 15 of them and Duke hit just two.

We’re not particularly worried about it frankly.


Well, first of all, despite our admiration for the program, the Bearcats were down 19 and had 21 turnovers for the game. At times they just got flustered by Duke’s pressure.

Second, Duke built a 19 point lead essentially without three pointers.

Third, Duke had a 19 point lead despite blowing a ton of chippies it will hit later in the season.

Fourth, it’s an exhibition game against a very good team that plays tons of zone.

Most importantly though is this: It’s the first time this team has taken the court and it has some excellent shooters. Partly because of the zone and partly because the team is still taking form and partly, no doubt in some cases, because of freshman nerves, guys didn’t shoot that well.

Let’s look:

  • Wendell Moore - 0-3
  • Matthew Hurt: 1-3
  • Vernon Carey - 0-1
  • Cassius Stanley - 1-1
  • Tre Jones - 0-3
  • Jack White - 1-1
  • Jordan Goldwire - 0-1
  • Alex O’ Connell - 0-1
  • Justin Robinson - 1-1
  • Joey Baker 0-0

The freshmen were 2-8 while the returnees were 2-7.

We don't know how reliable Moore’s shot is yet but he shot with confidence. Hurt and Carey are both skilled shooters and there’s no reason why Stanley shouldn’t be. We’re not quite sure why O’ Connell kept shooting inside against a zone but presumably he was doing what he was told to do. He’s got range and White can hit threes as he showed last year. Robinson and Baker are not as likely to get tons of court time but both of those guys can nail them too. And as far as we’re concerned, Jones and Goldwire have earned the right to shoot them also.

If it’s December and Duke is still shooting 12.5 percent from three range then we’ll be worried. Let’s see how things look in Wednesday’s exhibition game before panic sets in.