Duke’s final play in Monday’s 77-75 loss to Miami rather principal summed up the night.
It became as soon as a painful 4.3 seconds. Duke trailed by two choices. Miami standout Isaiah Wong became as soon as at the free throw line with a one-and-one. He stepped to the line having made all three of his makes an are attempting no on the night.
With absolute top Duke gamers lined up for the rebound, Wong uncared for it. Freshman Jalen Johnson ripped the rebound from his teammate, pushed the ball up the bottom and had no notion of what he became as soon as going to perform when he crossed the mid-court docket line.
So what did he accomplish? He panicked.
Johnson, in one in every of the worst mental lapses of the season for a Blue Satan, threw the ball like a sizzling potato to Matthew Damage with only about a tenths of a second on the clock. Damage had no time to reply and accumulate a shot off.
Fairly than getting one final shot are attempting to tie or pull off the steal over Miami, the Blue Devils failed to beat the buzzer.
“I’m upset in our crew,” Mike Krzyzewski acknowledged after the sport. “I don’t know if in the short turnaround our guys thought that this became as soon as going to be easy. We did now not play wisely. Bottom line. We can battle thru a total bunch of things. I didn’t maintain we competed. I believed we own been soft.
“I’m no doubt upset in our crew. They did now not play like a Duke basketball crew tonight. And clearly I’m accountable for that.”
With 4.3 seconds final, there became as soon as ample time to construct up the ball up the bottom and accumulate a tight study even a two-level shot are attempting, no longer to mention a desperation three.
Merely set up apart, there became as soon as no motive to be in a advise to force a shot. Nevertheless they own been. And unfortunately, they weren’t even ready to construct that happen.
Johnson made a extreme error. Nevertheless this loss wasn’t fair on his shoulders. The one play didn’t lose the sport.
The crew’s lack of focal level, hunger and energy misplaced this game. It misplaced the Blue Devils a game in opposition to the No. 162 crew in the nation, in accordance to NCAA rep rankings.
That’s 100 spots lower than Duke’s, also touching on, ranking.
“Coach became as soon as no doubt on us from the soar about how valuable this game became as soon as to us and the way valuable the sport became as soon as to this draw,” Wendell Moore Jr. acknowledged. “I fair thought the total crew, we didn’t way it the manner we would possibly per chance well also fair serene. And as a crew ought to you don’t way it like that, outcomes like this happen.”
In all probability basically the most shapely section of the loss is that Duke perceived to be turning the corner over the final week and a half of. The offense seemed as if it will be discovering itself. The protection became as soon as selecting up. For the first time this season, there became as soon as optimism that Duke became as soon as beginning to faucet into its potential.
Every thing became as soon as plight up for Duke to construct up a Third straight steal. Miami entered the contest with a depleted roster. They own been broadly famed for his or her dreadful talents on offense, critically in the help of the 3-level line the set up they ranked final in the ACC and 323rd in the nation in shooting share from deep.
There’s no nice way to position it. Miami became as soon as no longer principal of a threat shooting the basketball. Curiously Duke’s gamers bought into the postulate as wisely, and as a consequence own been as passive on protection as we’ve considered in over a month.
Krzyzewski warned his younger crew in opposition to that mentality. He advised them to no longer let their own most up-to-date success, and Miami’s struggles dictate how they approached this game on the boulevard.
“I advised them ought to you advance down to Miami to play, we are in a position to lose. If you advance down to Miami to compete, we are in a position to steal.
“Don’t be pleased (with the previous two wins). Be hungry. I advised them, we accomplish the job, be pleased on Tuesday. Lets fair purchase Tuesday and be no doubt pleased and giddy and no subject. So none of that labored.
“And again that’s on me. I’m no longer fair asserting that. It is on me to construct up your message all over. I became as soon as no longer ready to construct up my message all over.”
Duke didn’t compete. The result became as soon as a loss. A loss to a Miami crew that shot 53.8% from 3-level fluctuate for the sport, together with 83.3% in the second half of. Three Hurricanes fully torched Duke, and the Blue Devils protection by no way challenged them.
Elijah Olaniyi, who became as soon as a game-time resolution ensuing from an hassle, scored 21 choices, lacking fair two shots on the night. He became as soon as 8-of-10 from the subject, and 3-of-5 from previous the 3-level line. Then there became as soon as Isaiah Wong, who went 6-of-10, and 1-of-1 from three, for 16 choices. Anthony Walker also scored 16 choices on 6-of-9 shooting and 1-of-2 from deep.
Most of their appears to be like to be own been uncontested. Even after Duke realized the Hurricanes own been on their game, and locked in, closeouts by no way took set up. Open handle initiate look became as soon as the fable.
Krzyzewski tried to reply in the first half of with a zone protection, and it labored for a second. Duke went on a 10-2 scramble to attain the first half of and journey into the locker room with a two level lead. That, too, became as soon as a disappointment though.
He felt there became as soon as more opportunity there, and Duke did now not purchase serve.
“Our man-to-man became as soon as wicked,” he acknowledged. “The zone no doubt became as soon as effective. We obtained the lead, and no doubt would possibly per chance well also fair serene’ve been up four or six choices. And then that petered out in the second half of attributable to we weren’t taking half in with the aggressiveness that it’s a long way valuable to play with. It didn’t subject what we performed, we didn’t play it wisely.”
Moore also attributes it to the crew’s lack of focal level and vitality.
“I maintain they hit some tremendous shots, however at the identical time the shots they did hit they own been rather initiate,” Moore acknowledged of Miami’s success shooting the ball. “That goes from us no longer rotating, and as well our verbal change on protection, which all reverts help to the vitality we confirmed in the beginning of the sport. So advance out more filled with life in the beginning it carries over to the halt.”
Offensively, Duke became as soon as no longer frightening. They own been on par with the final two video games in regard to subject scheme share, making 46%, however struggled to shoot the three hitting absolute top 27.8%.
Damage scored 21 choices on 7-of-15 shooting, however became as soon as fair 1-of-6 from long fluctuate. Moore scored 18 choices on 7-of-9 shooting. DJ Steward scored 14 choices, however became as soon as fair 5-of-13, and Johnson scored 13 choices on 6-of-12.
That became as soon as rather principal it for offense. Duke’s numerous four gamers that saw game motion scored a blended 9 choices.
“When it came to the offensive halt, we roughly regressed moderately bit – help to the crew we own been sooner than we started taking half in so wisely,” Moore acknowledged. “I don’t maintain the blame is on any one critically, we fair own to perform a bigger job bright the ball.
“We own to construct up pleasure from taking half in the manner we did in opposition to Clemson and in opposition to Georgia Tech. We can’t be complacent fair attributable to we accumulate two wins in the ACC. We own to advance help every night to play.”
That takes us help to what obtained Duke here in the first set up. Complacency. Lack of hunger. Absence of vitality. No power or competitiveness.
If there is one certain to advance help of this, it’ll also fair be a more assertive emergence of a straggle-setter. Whereas Jordan Goldwire, Moore and even Damage at cases own been praised for his or her management, there hasn’t been total consistency in that both.
With that in suggestions, there is a express that stepped up following the sport.
Moore, who spoke to the media after the loss, did now not duck questions tossed his way. He didn’t give a firm line or toss clichés out, or deflect blame.
He owned it. He set up apart it on his shoulders, however he also positioned it on his teammates. If there’s any beautiful to advance help from this loss, it’ll also fair be Moore’s more pronounced express all over the crew.