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Duke Puts Away Louisville In Cameron, 79-62

It was a long way from perfect, but there was a lot to like in this game

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Duke
 Feb 20, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Mark Mitchell (25) dribbles up court after a steal during the second half against the Louisville Cardinals at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils won 79-62.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

As we’ve been saying, the Louisville we’re seeing in late February has nothing to do with the wounded Cardinals that shocked us in December. Louisville is not on a winning streak or anything like that, but they compete now and you couldn’t always say that.

It wasn’t enough in Durham, but you can’t write them off.

Durham native El Ellis exploded early, hitting 11 points in the first 5:06 and pushing the Cards to an 18-9 lead.

Then Duke responded with a 13 point run to go up 22-18 and though Louisville played hard, it wasn’t in the Cards to come back.

Duke went up by double digits when Kyle Filipowski hit a three at the 18:59 mark and the lead never got under double digits again.

For Duke, in many ways this game was about Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell.

Proctor played with a superb arrogance offensively. He shot just 4-13 but on a couple of those he just blew his defender off and got an easy shot. His three-point shots were really taken with confidence.

But that’s not what was so impressive about Proctor’s night.

Proctor committed to defending a very hot Ellis and did very, very well.

It’s not as obvious on TV, but Ellis is really quick. But Proctor did a great job on him (so did Dariq Whitehead when he was in).

Ellis finished with 21 points, hitting 8-16 and 3-5 on threes, but he really had to work for that. He also had seven assists.

Mitchell has at times been tenuous on offense but not against the Cards. Mitchell took the ball to the basket on several occasions and was aggressive. He’s been solid on defense, which has really solidified his starting position, but offense has been hit or miss, kind of literally. He really made an impression Monday night.

The big guys played well too. Kyle Filipowski shot 5-7 for 13 points and hammered the slimmer Cards inside. Dereck Lively hit 3-5 and was intimidating around the basket, though a more powerful Brandon Huntley-Hatfield maneuvered well inside against the much thinner Lively.

Ryan Young scored just three points but also had six rebounds, three assists, and a pair of blocks in just 14 minutes.

Jeremy Roach had solid game too, hitting 6-9 for 14 points. He also had six assists. It’s fun to watch a team that has two functional point guards. He and Proctor are working well together and were really good down the stretch.

Whitehead, who has been on a tear lately from three point range, hit just 1-5 but again helped shut Ellis down, or at least to limit him. Scheyer said afterwards that it was one of his best games.

The rest of the team didn’t perform as well as Ellis did, but Huntley-Hatfield and JJ Traynor did alright. Traynor shot 6-10 for 16 point and Huntley-Hatfield shot 3-4 and finished with 10. He is still getting over his recent injury but he’s going to help the Cards.

What we liked in this game was that Duke is playing with confidence. Sometimes earlier this season you could see the confidence slipping, almost visually. But that’s not the case so much anymore.

Duke has now won three straight, beating Notre Dame, Syracuse and Louisville and it would have been four straight if the officials hadn’t blown the last call at Virginia - assuming Filipowski hit one of the free throws he was denied.

Nonetheless, this team is healthy and appears to be rounding into form. The young players are maturing and roles suddenly fit. There are no guarantees, there never are, but things look pretty good from here.

Next up is Virginia Tech on Saturday and NC State next Tuesday before wrapping up the regular season in Chapel Capel Hill.


Player Of The Game vs. Louisville

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Mark Mitchell
    (149 votes)
  • 4%
    Kyle Filipowski
    (20 votes)
  • 2%
    Dereck Lively
    (12 votes)
  • 27%
    Tyrese Proctor
    (111 votes)
  • 21%
    Jeremy Roach
    (88 votes)
  • 0%
    Dariq Whitehead
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Ryan Young
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Jacob Grandison
    (9 votes)
405 votes total Vote Now