banner
Aaron Schoonmaker

Duke finding stability in starting five

Posted February 26, 2014

— It is hard to believe that a team that holds a 23-6 record and top-10 ranking would struggle with stability, but that has been the case for the Blue Devils this season. However, following an 18-point win over lowly Virginia Tech Tuesday night, head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he believes the team has found it.

Duke marched out a starting five of Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker, Rasheed Sulaimon, Tyler Thornton and Amile Jefferson for the fourth consecutive game and seventh time in the last nine games. Impressive considering they have used seven different starting lineups on the year, have had a player leave the team, and at one point, benched a key member in their now-starting rotation.

“I like our starting unit, they have developed good chemistry,” Krzyzewski said.

The starting unit has been able to do a number of things over the course of the last few weeks that have given Duke an identity. To name a couple, they are scoring less, but defending more and they are getting out to early leads and controlling the pace in a clamp-down style.

Over the last five games, Duke has not scored more than 69 points, but has gone 4-1. In the five games prior, Duke didn’t score less than 78 but also went 4-1. How? In a word, defense.

In the most recent five-game stretch, they have forced their opponent into double-digit turnovers four times, upping their season average in forced turnovers per game to 12. The five before, they forced 10 or less three times. On the flip side, they are protecting it. The back-court combo of Thornton and Sulaimon combined for 12 assists and zero turnovers against Virginia Tech.

On Tuesday, they opened the game in a full-court press and were able to build a 24-4 lead midway through the first because of their pressure. Of the start, Krzyzewski said, “Sometimes it’s not a good thing to get a lead like that because the guys start to let up.”

While that gripe might be valid, it is better than having to explain being down 24-4. Because of the fast start, Duke was able to go deep into their bench and play 10 guys in the first half. They took a lead to the break for the seventh time in the last eight games.

Another stability factor is finding the guys that can and want to play.

Quinn Cook, who started the first 20 games of the season for Duke at the point guard position before giving way to Sulaimon in the role, looked disinterested at times Tuesday. Multiple times he had his head in his arms while sitting on the bench. When he got on the court, he was beaten off the dribble multiple times and scored just three points, committing two fouls in 11 minutes without registering an assist.

Andre Dawkins, Josh Hairston and Matt Jones, all of whom have made multiple starts this season, were similarly quiet in nine, two and four minutes, respectively.

“We started out so great and we didn’t get that push from the bench,” Krzyzewski said. “We need to get Andre shooting again. During this period, Andre has not been a big factor and he should be a bigger factor. Quinn should be a bigger factor.”

After wrapping up a stretch Tuesday in which Duke played five games in 11 days, Hood admitted that it took a lot out of the team. They return to the court March 5 in their last tune-up before UNC on March 8. For the Blue Devils, their newfound stability could not come at a better time.

“What’s good is that a lot of our guys are playing well, we are getting better,” Krzyzewski said. “And the main thing is we are healthy.”

13 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • mittnfriends Feb 26, 2014

    RANDDJACOBS - I believe you have the most pertinent statement here - if Marshall can be some type of factor here down the stretch, Duke will be hard to beat. On top of that, they seem to be doing a good job at getting the ball into and attacking the middle of not only zone defenses, but defenses in general. Hood and Parker are both lethal when they get the ball free throw line extended.

    A month ago, I was thinking Duke wouldn't have much success in the post season, but with the emergence of Plumlee and their growth in reading defenses I have a sense of optimism.

  • mike honcho Feb 26, 2014

    View quoted thread



    It was only an eight point victory and Duke dominated for 30 minutes of a 40 minute game.
    Tired legs caught up with Duke and UNC rightfully took advantage of it. Duke will have some well rested legs come March 8th and I expect a much different outcome in Cameron.

  • vt94hokies Feb 26, 2014

    UVA and UNC are playing the best of all in the ACC right now. I did say Right Now. Duke lives on the 3, and it may catch them soon. UVA will beat Jim Blowheim, excuse me; I meant Jim Boeheim this Saturday.

  • mike honcho Feb 26, 2014

    I was at the game last night and Sulimon's on the ball defense is truly impressive. Cook is in a funk right now and is beaten off the dribble by everyone. I really like MP3's energy off the bench, 7 foot and athletic, theres has to be minutes for him. Duke's scoring has dropped off some, thats due to the energy they are expending on the defensive side.

  • Toddler10-21 Feb 26, 2014

    Duke fan told me that he isnt worried about but one team, Fla. Reminded him of the ECU and Vermont game. Agree they are not that good.

  • JPack Feb 26, 2014

    View quoted thread


    In most other conferences, that sub style would have worked. It goes a long way towards wearing your opponent down while keeping your players fresh. The problem that K didn't think about was the fact that most (not all) ACC teams are better conditioned and can keep players on the floor longer.

  • HEELSrocknU Feb 26, 2014

    It was just VT....it wasn't even a week ago the Heels dismantled them and needed a bail out by the refs to Cuse over the weekend. This team is not that good.

  • Toddler10-21 Feb 26, 2014

    Agree. Cook can score, but cant play defense. Thornton plays ok defense, but cant penetrate, but will hit a open three. Suliamon is a off guard, not a point. If parker and Hood leave (which I don't think so) Duke will be the same next year. Lack of depth.

  • heelsforever Feb 26, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Nothing personal, Kay pulled the Jedi mind trick on Aaron hoping that the rest of the world would believe it.

  • dooksucks001 Feb 26, 2014

    26-3? Who edited this garbage?

More...

 

 

  • NFL Preseason: Detroit @ Jacksonville

    Tonight at 8:00 on WRAL-TV

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: The Barclays

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL Preseason: Seattle @ San Diego

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: The Barclays

    Sunday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • RailHawks Soccer: Carolina @ New York Cosmos

    Sunday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • NFL: Houston at New Orleans

    Sunday at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • ACC: Wofford at Clemson

    Saturday, Sep. 5 at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. New England

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MLB: Chicago Cubs at LA Dodgers

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Chicago Cubs at LA Dodgers

    Sunday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35

    More Info
AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 3
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
16
 
2
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
 
7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
22
Fri, Sept 4
4
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
 
5
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
 
7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 北京时间7:15 MST9:15 EST
23
Sat, Sept 5
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
9
 
21
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
17
 
9:30 PT10:30 MT11:30 CT12:30 ET4:30 GMT12:30 北京时间9:30 MST11:30 EST
12
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
18
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
6
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
13
 
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
24
 
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
25
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
19
 
15
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
 
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
14
 
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
11
 
20
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
3
 
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
10
 
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
7
 
8:00 PT9:00 MT10:00 CT11:00 ET3:00 GMT11:00 北京时间8:00 MST10:00 EST
8
Mon, Sept 7
1
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
 
NFL Preseason
Friday, Aug. 28
New England 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Carolina 
 
Detroit 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Jacksonville 
 
Tennessee 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Kansas City 
Saturday, Aug. 29
Pittsburgh 1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET20:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST3:00 CT0:00 UAE (+1)16:00 ET19:00
Buffalo 
 
Minnesota 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Dallas 
 
Atlanta 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Miami 
 
NY Jets 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
NY Giants 
 
Cleveland 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Tampa Bay 
 
Washington 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Baltimore 
 
Chicago 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Cincinnati 
 
Philadelphia 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Green Bay 
 
Seattle 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
San Diego 
 
Indianapolis 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
St. Louis 
 
San Francisco 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST8:00 CT5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET0:00
Denver 
Sunday, Aug. 30
Houston 1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET20:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST3:00 CT0:00 UAE (+1)16:00 ET19:00
New Orleans 
 
Arizona 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Oakland 
 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Boston 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets 
 
NY Yankees 4:35 PT5:35 MT6:35 CT7:35 ET19:35 ET23:35 GMT7:35 4:35 MST6:35 EST7:05 VEN3:35 UAE (+1)6:35 CT
Preview
Atlanta 
 
Oakland 6:40 PT7:40 MT8:40 CT9:40 ET21:40 ET1:40 GMT9:40 6:40 MST8:40 EST9:10 VEN5:40 UAE (+1)8:40 CT
Preview
Arizona 
American League
Detroit 4:07 PT5:07 MT6:07 CT7:07 ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 MST6:07 EST6:37 VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 CT
Preview
Toronto 
 
LA Angels 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cleveland 
 
Kansas City 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Tampa Bay 
 
Baltimore 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas 
 
Seattle 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Chi White Sox 
 
Houston 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Minnesota 
National League
Miami 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Washington 
 
San Diego 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Philadelphia 
 
Colorado 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh 
 
Cincinnati 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Milwaukee 
 
Chi Cubs 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
Preview
LA Dodgers 
 
St. Louis 7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET22:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 7:15 MST9:15 EST9:45 VEN6:15 UAE (+1)9:15 CT
Preview
San Francisco 
 
ATP Scoreboard
Friday, Aug. 28
Winston-Salem Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(13) S. Johnson6 65 2   
P. Herbert3 77 6   
(2) K. Anderson 
M. Jaziri 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Friday, Aug. 28
Connecticut Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(4) L. Safarova6 77    
L. Tsurenko2 64    
(2) P. Kvitova 
(3) C. Wozniacki