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Slow Watching Duke-Notre Dame: The First Half

Duke v Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, IN - JANUARY 31: Bates Jones #34 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots the ball against Dane Goodwin #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half at Purcell Pavilion on January 31, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

It’s been harder to slow watch lately but we’re doing it when we can. This one was fun!

  • 19:49: Duke immediately goes to Banchero. He misses but nearly gets the rebound. Tone is set.
  • 19:30: Hubb gets past Roach for an easy basket. He’s probably feeling pretty good about it. There won’t be many more.
  • 19:15: Banchero again, this time a three attempt.
  • 18:55: Moore begins to teach young Wesley about Duke defense.
  • 18:29: Williams steps over the baseline for the second time in the first 91 seconds.
  • 18:18: Dane Goodwin begins to understand that the lane belongs to Williams who was extremely close to blocking this shot. He got the rebound too.
  • 18:08: Griffin attempts a three. Atkinson does a really nice job blocking out Williams. Meanwhile Banchero is out on the perimeter. Doesn’t go in, doesn’t move back. Stays still. We hate when basketball players stay still.
  • 18:00: Looking like he’s determined to make a mark on this game, Wesley comes off a little screen and launches a long three. Roach has a hand up. Wesley misses. Banchero, Williams and Griffin own the lane: everyone for ND is outside except for Atkinson but he’s too far away too. Williams gives him a semi-push attempt.
  • 17:46: Griffin attempts perhaps his strangest shot of the year. And makes it.
  • 17:23: Atkinson spins away from Williams in the lane and gets space but can’t connect. Clearly he sees Williams as a problem.
  • 17:12: Banchero sets a screen for Roach who moves in taking two defenders…then gives it back to Banchero for a very easy three.
  • 16:34: Griffin whiffs in the lane but John picks up the airball and scores. Duke pulls out in front by five.
  • 15:48: Moore misses this shot but check out Banchero crashing the boards. Well done. He missed, but still.
  • 15:25: Ryan drives and draws a foul on Griffin.
  • 15:11: Moore gets blocked here but he bobbled the ball first. Didn’t help.
  • 14:46: Laszewski drives and draws foul #2 on Griffin. Keels and Baker into the game.
  • 14:35: Watch Baker spin in traffic. Goodwin got it but damn! And Banchero, again, heading in for board work.
  • 13:58: Roach takes a really bad three. Coach K is not amused.
  • 13:37: Roach fouls Goodwin.
  • 13:36 On the inbounds, Goodwin goes up with Griffin, Williams and Keels around him. It’s another miss.
  • 13:25: Check out the communication between Moore and Williams as the big guy gets and easy basket.
  • 13:13: Wertz gets an easy attempt and whiffs. Mike Brey mentions missed layups postgame and this was a poster child for that.
  • 13:02: Banchero drives and Goodwin is surprisingly close to getting the block. But Banchero scores as Goodwin’s bad night unfolds.
  • 12:47: Griffin rushes at Ryan which stops the three attempt. Ryan drives and suckers Williams as Atkinson gets an easy layup. However: no three, which was the focus.
  • 12:20: Wesley gets an easy shot on the break. Won’t be many of those.
  • 12:04: Banchero is a really good passer but this was an unforced error.
  • 11:50: Wesley drives on Williams and, like so many before, finds that the lane belongs to the big guy. Look at his body language as he goes up: hopeless. He knows he screwed up. He tries again and Williams blocks it to Griffin who goes coast to coast and misses - then cleans up his own rebound and scores.
  • 11:19: A very rare sight: a ND player behind the line and unguarded. But it’s Atkinson who has not attempted a three all year. So…it’s cool.
  • 10:56: Griffin is being much more aggressive around the basket. He misses but everyone missed in this game.
  • 10:36: Two things here. First, Wertz gets away from Jones, but Jones catches up to him. He puts a hand up, not fast enough to get to the ball, but enough to distract Wertz and the ball bounces off his head out of bounds. Great effort by Jones. He’s getting more time because he’s earned it. He’s not going to be a star but he’s solid and occasionally dangerous.
  • 9:16: If you focus just on his length and shot blocking, Williams is underappreciated. He affects the ball almost any time he’s around it.
  • 8:48: Goodwin challenges Williams. Look how much he has to adjust his shot.
  • 8:36: Keels hits Williams for an alley-oop. Williams draws a foul. But look how high his leg goes up. It’s over his head - from behind!
  • 8:22: Atkinson has Moore under the basket. Easy two, right? Nope.
  • 8:00: Ryan’s turn to get stripped. Banchero does the honors this time. This Duke team has great hands on defense. All seven top players can just pick you blind.
  • 7:51: Watch Banchero tell John to move up and let him in the lane. And he nails it.
  • 7:21: John gives young Wesley another valuable lesson.
  • 7:04: Keels makes a poor drive decision but John has his back. Watch him get the ball back and hit Baker for a three attempt. Nice, instinctive basketball.
  • 6:28: Wesley gets a nice drive but a finger roll was not the way. John is playing a man’s game.
  • 6:03: Banchero misses a three.
  • 5:53: Atkinson tests Banchero but he’s too far under the basket to go straight up. Banchero junks the shot.
  • 5:28: Banchero spins recklessly into Laszewski.
  • 5:22: Duke is just not giving up threes. Period. Atkinson had a big night but that was the tradeoff for stopping the three point onslaught Notre Dame is capable of.
  • 4:59: Banchero makes his third error in a row, counting the missed three. Coach K has seen enough: Jones in. K speaks privately to Banchero on the bench.
  • 4:30: You could call this drive How Keels Got His Groove Back.
  • 4:12: Laszewski thinks he can take Jones but he forgot about John who is having a very nice game. The fact that he then bounced the ball out of bounds off of Roach’s head does not detract in any way.
  • 4:02: A very rare open three for the Irish and Laszewski whiffs.
  • 3:34: Goodwin gets an open layup but misses and nearly injures himself on the way down. Fortunately not.
  • 3:26: Look at Jones on the power drive! Underestimate him at your peril. We’ve learned.
  • 2:53: This sequence is ridiculous: Duke defends hard for 28 seconds. Hubb throws up a prayer with John in pursuit. Atkinson gets a second attempt under heavy pressure from John who denies Atkinson another rebound. The ball flies off right to Baker. Denied again!
  • 2:23: John rubs it in with an easy basket over Atkinson in the lane. Get a TO, baby! That’s for you, Dickie V. Get well.
  • 2:06: The pressure on this sequence is amazing. Notre Dame can’t breathe. Another possession deep into the clock, another rushed shot. And Williams isn’t in the game.
  • 1:14: Wesley, at this point, is ready to try anything. Freshmen, right?
  • :36: This pass from Keels to Moore is just beautiful basketball. Duke is on a 9-0 run.
  • :04: The pressure now is really intense. Hubb shoots from the shamrock. Wow. Not many better options though.