One step forward, one step back.
A giant step back.
After last weekend’s big win over Virginia Tech Mike Krzyzewski again said that he wasn’t concerned with winning the ACC regular-season title. He was more concerned with getting his team ready for March.
Well, he’s certainly got some teachable moments now. Taking every opponent seriously. Getting off to a fast start. Valuing the ball. Staying out of foul trouble. Maintaining your poise on the road.
Most importantly, finishing a game.
The problem is Duke should have learned these lessons by now. Losing 113-101 to Wake Forest, one of the worst teams in a Power Conference, shows that this team is still a work in progress.
And the clock is ticking.
”I’m disappointed in our group,” Mike Krzyzewski said. “I didn’t think we came the way we should and the way we practiced. We show our youth so much. Tre is the veteran but then we’re young. This is our 28th game you’d think we’ll be older by now.”
Duke dominated the middle portion of regulation. But only after digging itself a 12-point hole. Down 32-20 Duke climbed back to tie the game 39-39 at the half.
Then, even with Vernon Carey seriously hampered by foul trouble, Duke built a double-digit lead, of its own. Freshmen Cassius Stanley and Wendell Moore keyed a run that put the Blue Devils up 62-50, with less than 11 minutes left.
At that point Duke had outscored the Deacons 42-18 and seemed to be in complete control. Duke still led 78-69 with 1:21 left.
That’s the kind of game that the trailing team can’t win without some help from the leading team.
Duke gave Wake that help. Three turnovers, two fouls, a missed free throw, allowing a 3-point play on an offensive rebound and a 3-point shot by Brandon Childress to tie the game at 79-79 with 17 seconds left.
Not blocking out the big man. Trying to dribble through a double team. Setting a solid screen.
”The last minute we just gave the ball up,” Krzyzewski said. “There’s no excuse for those two turnovers we had. You’ve got to be strong with the ball. They took advantage and Brandon (Childress) who’d has just been a stud for them for four years, hit a big time shot. We should’ve been stronger with the ball.”
“We let up on defense a little bit,” Tre Jones added. “There was a while there we extended the lead and were playing our defense and not letting them kind of get to what they wanted, but then they started getting back into their offense and then we missed a couple free throws and had a couple turnovers.”
Still, Duke still had a chance to win at the end of regulation.
But Duke turned it over.
And yes, there were some curious calls and non-calls. And a significant foul disparity.
Krzyzewski took the high road.
”I’m angry with us for fouling so much. They had 18 free throws in the first half. We fouled, I’m not blaming the officials and then we didn’t foul and that’s the key for us to beat them. We didn’t get messed over or anything. They just started to be really aggressive.”.
An Alex O’Connell 3 and a pair of clutch Tre Jones foul shots enabled Duke to take it to a second overtime. But by this time Duke had lost Carey—he played 19 minutes, Javin DeLaurier-he fouled out in 4 minutes and surprise contributor Justin Robinson to fouls, while Krzyzewski curiously declined to go to some bench options. Duke was clearly running on fumes. The Deacons dominated the second overtime, scoring the first seven points. Duke never challenged.
Some of the stat lines are stunning. Duke was whistled for 34 fouls, Wake 25. Duke was 31-for-34 from the line but struggled from beyond the arc, making only 6-of-23.
And Duke turned it over 16 times, not an awful total for a 50-minute game. But the timing certainly was awful.
Wake went to the foul line 50 times and made 37 of them. They hit 6-of-11 on 3s, the same number of makes as Duke in 12 fewer attempts. And they only had 12 turnovers.
So they did some good things.
It doesn’t get any easier for a Duke team that has laid two straight eggs on the road. Duke travels to Virginia Saturday. This isn’t the same Virginia team that cut down the nets last season but they’re on a roll and they’re clearly more talented than Wake Forest.
Gut check time for Duke.
Moore had a career-high 25 points. Jones added 24, with 7 rebounds and 9 assists. But Moore had 5 turnovers, Jones 4.
All five Wake starters scored in double figures, led by Oliver Sarr’s 25 points and Chaudee Brown’s 24. Brown missed the first Duke game with an injury.
Duke is now 23-5, 13-4 in the ACC. Wake improved to 12-15, 5-12.
- One wild night in Winston-Salem, Wake Forest upsets No. 7 Duke in 2OT
- WAKE-UP CALL: Duke men’s basketball stunned by late Wake Forest rally
- No. 7 Duke Comes Up Short in Double-OT
- BOX SCORE (PDF)
- POSTGAME NOTES (PDF)
- COACH K QUOTES (PDF)
- Wake Forest upends No. 7 Duke in double overtime behind Childress’ late-game heroics
- Childress, Demon Deacons stun No. 7 Duke 113-101 in 2OT
- Childress makes most of Wake Forest’s ending vs. Duke
Player Of The Game vs. Wake Forest
This poll is closed
Alex O’ Connell