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A Closer Look At The First Half Of Duke-Lafayette

Basically Duke let up on the Leopards and paid a price for it.

Lafayette v Duke
 DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 19: A.J. Griffin #21 of the Duke Blue Devils battles Leo O’Boyle #33 of the Lafayette Leopards for a loose ball during the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 19, 2021 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Some of our favorite and not-so-favorite plays from the first half Saturday night vs. the Lafayette Leopards.

  • 18:51: Watch Roach slow the Lafayette break down all by himself
  • 18:44: Williams comes from behind the foul line to block this shot - and recovers it.
  • 18:29: Keels gets a three but look at the Irish kid, Fulton, get over on defense. Nice effort.
  • 18:07: Nice to see Banchero dive for this ball.
  • 17:51: Williams has a real knack for reaching in for the ball ad this time it pays off with a dunk. Keels was fouled before he passed it to him though.
  • 17:12: Roach to Williams to Moore for the three attempt. But Williams slips in for the board and gets a nifty basket.
  • 16:57: Keels almost forces a backcourt here and then harasses Fulton into a turnover.
  • 16:32: Keels applies more pressure.
  • 16:17: Williams is a wonderful defender but he could never do what John does here. Quinn still scores but John will win this kind of battle more often than he loses it.
  • 15:28: Small thing, but look how prepared Baker is when the much larger Quinn shoots. And misses. And then Baker gets the board.
  • 15:03: Moore just fakes and watch Griffin head to the basket. Love it. Gets the board and draws the foul.
  • 14:14: Ya know, this Moore fellow has a bit of a knack at knocking rebounds out to a teammate…
  • 13:49: Roach is way ahead of the passer here and strikes! Bad shot but Baker cleans it up. Roach may have been expecting a whistle and trying for a three-point play though.
  • 13:17: Keels draws a charge in the paint but look how well Lafayette had set up Sondberg for an open three.
  • 13:07: There’s no official stat for this - Duke may chart it - but look how Keels fights for this rebound and look too how fast he and Griffin both head to the rim when Baker starts to shoot. Fundamentals are contagious.
  • 12:53: Again, no one charts slowed progress officially but Banchero messed up Lafayette here. Took nine seconds to cross half court. Then Griffin tips the ball and Banchero grabs it. Not to knock Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren but he doesn’t always get up court fast enough to do something like this. Baker gets an easy three.
  • 12:22: Keels forces Fulton to pick up the dribble up high and then Baker helps leave him on an island. Get a TO, baby!
  • 12:03: Continuing the theme, Duke forces a shot clock violation. Pressure is intense on Lafayette at this point.
  • 12:03: Honestly, with the focus on the three - we’ve seen a bunch of teams lately nearly ignore the paint - why not just have your point guard run a modified four corners and see if you can’t hit cutters for layups? You can always chunk the three.
  • 12:00: You cannot ignore a 7-0 guy under the basket.
  • 11:25: When you see Williams spread his wings like this it’s just like a condor. And with his hand already up he gets the shot despite Fulton’s move to jump away from him. And can we say this for Fulton? For a kid who grew up in Belfast, he has a very savvy game. He’s no Euroweenie. Plays like he grew up in Jersey. Another shot clock violation in the end.
  • 11:11: Williams is a very smart player but this wasn’t his best moment as the ball rolls off his leg out of bounds. Meanwhile, on the bench John is coaching up the freshman Griffin.
  • 10:40: Moore sees Quinn about to screw up and pounces! Duke’s defense is so dominant early it looks impossible for Lafayette to rally. And yet they will.
  • 10:12: Nice hustle from Williams. No ballhandling this time.
  • 9:33: Nice hustle play from Banchero to get the block.
  • 9:14: Lafayette ran this play perfectly and nearly scored but Banchero saw what was developing and called it out. Duke didn’t stop it, they just missed.
  • 9:03: You know, this whole spin move thing is working out well for Duke.
  • 8:52: Sondberg burns Griffin on the back door. It only takes a second to really disorient a defender who turns his head.
  • 8:30: That whole Griffin-looks-like-Phil-Ford-on-the-court thing peaks right here.
  • 7:03: You can almost feel Krzyzewski seethe on this whole sequence as Baker pushes his luck then freshman Moore drops by to reminisce.
  • 6:35: If someone gives you a chance to come back, Jenkins says: why not? And nails another three. Lafayette has now hit four straight shots to cut the lead to eight.
  • 6:11: After the TO, Keels nearly gets in trouble, on the K logo no less, but recovers and hits a jumper from near the foul line.
  • 5:45: Lafayette’s Hines drives past Keels here but one thing we like about Keels is that he’s almost always under control. He’s out of position but doesn’t panic and do something stupid. Next play.
  • 4:50: Banchero’s having a quiet night offensively but hits a three here to push Duke’s lead back to 11.
  • 4:07: Banchero thought he was feeling it. He wasn’t feeling it.
  • 3:28: Keels pops it loose and Moore scores on the break. Duke’s ballhawking so far this season is really impressive. One thing we’ve noticed: almost no one is using their other hand on layups. In other words, if they drive, left, they shoot right and probably vice-versa though we haven’t seen that specifically. It’s just odd. These guys are all highly skilled. Someone is going to make them pay for that but it’s not going to be Lafayette.
  • 2:57: Williams had like six offensive rebounds on just two plays. This was one of them.
  • 2:50: Jenkins is too good to be this open.
  • 2:25: Unusually, Keels forces this shot.
  • 2:12: Fulton catches Roach napping. Lead is down to 30-24.
  • 1:55: Moore says: enough! I’ll show you how it’s done.
  • 1:12: When Williams muscles up, he’ll dunk plays like this. Until then? People will shove him around when they can.
  • 1:11: Williams misses both free throws but Moore makes a nice hustle play on the rebound.
  • 51.3: Baker gets a goaltend? Wow.
  • 36.3: Keels puts Duke back up by eight.
  • :01: Moore misses as Duke goes to the locker room up 35-27. Coach K looks really annoyed as he leaves the court.