What to make of the loss to Wake Forest?
Probably not too much. It was a tough night in many ways. Duke left Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead at home due to illness while point guard and captain Jeremy Roach, we learned during the broadcast, had not practiced between December 10th and Monday, which makes nine days he was out.
As we’ve noted before, it’s not a big shock when any team comes out of exams and is a bit ragged. Add in missing two of your best players and your captain not being 100 percent and that’s, well, less than ideal.
On the bright side though Jaylen Blakes had his best game at Duke. He shot 6-7 including 3-4 on three pointers, had two rebounds, both offensive, had three steals, three assist and a block. The only real negative is that he fouled out.
Blakes did have one turnover, which is acceptable in 26 minutes, but Duke did have a turnover problem with 14 including some that, from the cheap seats, looked pretty bad.
However, when you look closer you see that five of them were by Roach, who hasn’t practiced in nine days, and five were by Kyle Filipowski, who, no matter what he has accomplished, is still a freshman and so prone to erratic play.
Duke’s defense has been pretty good all season, but not so much Tuesday night. However, there was one interesting thing that didn’t make the boxcar somehow, and we’re sure we saw it: Tyrese Proctor had two blocks.
It’s a small but telling thing. Duke has periodically had guards who could blocks shots - Quin Snyder had a knack for it. Thomas Hill was great at it.
It’s not something you see all that often, so it’s pretty cool to see Proctor show that he can do it too.