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A Closer Look At The Winston-Salem State Game Part II

AKA the second half

Winston-Salem State v Duke
DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 30: Theo John #12 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts during their game against the Winston-Salem State Rams at Cameron Indoor Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 106-38.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Here’s our notes on the second half of the Duke-Winston-Salem State game. First half notes are here.

  • 20:00: Different starting lineup: Theo John, Jaylen Blakes, Bates Jones, Joey Baker and AJ Griffin.
  • 19:43: If John didn’t tip the shot he certainly changed it. ShotBlock U!
  • 19:20: We watched the Kentucky-Kentucky Wesley game earlier - ok we haven’t finished it yet - and the big guys were getting boxed out a lot. Check out Griffith on this play. That’s impressive.
  • 18:41: Watch Blake follow his own shot for the rebound. Also impressive. He missed both, but still.
  • 17:58: John goes down into a defensive stance at the top of the key like he’s going to take out 6-1 Isaac Person. The guard blows by him and he fouls. Not ideal.
  • 17:47: Blakes shows how to harass a ballhandler. Agent chaos! Blakes can build a role on stuff like this.
  • 17:10: You know, Person is going to be a good little guard for WSSU. Love his effort here. He’s from Kinston, by the way and you know that means trouble.
  • 16:30: Check out the vision and decision by John to pass to a cutting Blakes. Wow! Baker basically took the play off. We’d have liked it if he had run to the basket after the pass but maybe he saw the dunk coming.
  • 16:07: Michael Savarino, now on scholarship, checks in. Mom Debbie loses it upstairs! Just kidding but you know she’s thrilled and we’re sure Mickie is too (if by some chance you don’t know, Michael is named for his Poppy, Coach K). He’s not on the same level athletically as his teammates, but he’s making great decisions - and quickly.
  • 15:20: If you reversed the numbers on Griffin’s uniform he would look an awful lot like a bigger version of 1975-era Phil Ford.
  • 14:59: Check out the ball pressure by Blakes. He has work to do on offense but his defense is not all that far off from Jordan Goldwire’s. Nice footwork.
  • 14:02: Not to beat a dead horse here, but Duke’s players - in this case Jones - are generally doing a great job of going to the basket after shots. Jones is not hugely athletic but he’s very sound and may have some key moments this season. Better than his Davidson stats would indicate. Also fairly rugged.
  • 13:55: John is a superior passer especially in the lane. But note that Griffin didn’t just stand in the corner: he came to the ball. Savvy young player.
  • 13:40: Time to bring the starters back.
  • 13:26: Paolo Banchero puts on a nice spin move - on a guard. You’d think the guard would be quicker than the 6-10 Banchero but not in this case.
  • 12:54: Nice turnover forced by Moore and Keel but Roach threw it back to WSSU on a break attempt.
  • 12:42: Williams is a shark. A shark! He didn’t get that one but he’s hunting blocks and driving shooting percentage down.
  • 12:33: Look how Moore asserts his authority.
  • 12:15: We’re not knocking it but a lot of Banchero’s rebounds in this game were pretty easy rebounds. Just sayin’.
  • 11:08: Williams goes out to the corner and bites on a fake but the other defenders collapse to the middle although Banchero is a bit slow to get there. WSSU scores but that was a good impulse.
  • 10:46: Roach and Banchero do a nice pick and roll as Banchero demonstrates his range.
  • 9:32: Basic basketball: Don’t turn your head. Williams saw it and Keels got him an impressively assertive assist.
  • 9:18: He doesn’t get the pick but Roach was on this one really early. Worth a look. The hustle was great too. Tre Jones would be proud.
  • 9:04: Did anyone call out the pick? You can bet Nolan Smith will remind them! Again, another Blue Devil (Roach) running to where the rebound will be. Love it.
  • 8:44: Keels lines up a three and look at Williams react. He one-hands the rebound which would have annoyed John Wooden as bad fundamentals, but he could not have done that last year. Unfortunately he then gets knocked to the ground by smaller guys.
  • 8:32: Pressure from Roach leads to a backcourt violation.
  • 8:23: This is not how you do a pick, Mark Williams. He was lucky not to be called for that.
  • 8:22: Nice pass by Moore to an open Roach in the opposite corner. Roach drives and pushes his luck but gets the ball to Moore for a nice three. Both the pass and the shot were without hesitation. Banchero is calling for the ball but after the shot heads in for the possible rebound. Everyone is doing this. No one is watching. That’s great.
  • 8:08: Person drives on Williams and after a nice fake gets the ball to a teammate. No scoring but Person is a good player. Don’t be shocked if he ends up at a bigger school. He’s good.
  • 7:57: Williams hauls one down and passes to Banchero who passes ahead to Roach who passes back to Banchero for a dipsy-do-dunkaroo! (That’s for you, Dickie V). A pretty play no matter how you say it
  • 7:13: Person drives but John makes him sweat on the shot. He’s a really nice presence on this team.
  • 7:09: Jones is in the lane for another rebound. He’s not going to start but contribute? Yes he will.
  • 6:53 After a bad pass, WSSU is on the break. Watch Blakes time his steps for the block. He knows he can get it and he does. But right behind him is Griffin, sky high and Jones, who grabs the loose ball. Blakes misses the next shot - it’s a wounded duck - but he earned the right.
  • 6:09: Blakes picks up the ball and has eye contact with Baker for a fast break. And Baker nails the three.
  • 5:58: We don’t remember the inside-of-the-arm tattoo from last year and can’t tell for sure what it is, but if you want to see what Joey Buckets has on the inside of his arm, here’s your best chance.
  • 5:16: After Baker tries another three, Griffin is under the basket for the board but it bounces out. So he just goes to get it back. And for just a brief second, he channels Phil Ford again and looks like he might be about to run the Four Corners.
  • 4:15: Blocking shots in the lane is relatively easy. At the top of the key? Take a bow, Theo John.
  • 3:58: Freshmen sometimes take a bit to loosen up and play naturally. This is a sweet play between Blakes and Griffin.
  • 3:43: More instinctive play from Griffin with the nice fake n’ spin move. Duke by 70.
  • 3:03: Savarino getting rough in the lane! He’s limited physically but clearly not mentally. Smart player.
  • 2:20: Jones with a sweet move inside. Garbage time but even so. Jones at a party following the game: Oh, you’re from New York? My brother plays for the Giants. Hell yeah I can get tickets.
  • Handshake line: apparently Roach and the WSSU staffer know each other. Fun moment for them.