Duke’s final play in Monday’s 77-75 loss to Miami practically summarized the night.
It was an uncomfortable 4.3 seconds. Duke routed by 2 points. Miami standout Isaiah Wong was at the free toss line with a one-and-one. He stepped to the line having made all three of his efforts no on the night.
With only Duke players lined up for the rebound, Wong missed it. Freshman Jalen Johnson ripped the rebound from his colleague, pushed the ball up the flooring and had no plan of what he was going to do when he crossed the mid-court line.
So what did he do? He stressed.
Johnson, in among the worst psychological lapses of the season for a Blue Devil, tossed the ball like a hot potato to Matthew Hurt with simply a few tenths of a 2nd on the clock. Hurt had no time to react and get a shot off.
Instead of getting one swan song effort to connect or pull off the win over Miami, the Blue Devils failed to beat the buzzer.
” I’m disappointed in our team,” Mike Krzyzewski stated after the video game. “I do not know if in the fast turnaround our guys thought that this was going to be simple. We did not play well. Bottom line. We can go through an entire bunch of things. I didn’t believe we competed. I believed we were soft.
” I’m truly disappointed in our group. They did not play like a Duke basketball team tonight. And undoubtedly I’m responsible for that.”
With 4.3 seconds staying, there was enough time to get the ball up the flooring and get a good look at even a two-point shot attempt, let alone a desperation 3.
Simply put, there was no factor to be in a situation to require a shot. They were. And regrettably, they weren’t even able to make that occur.
Johnson made a vital mistake. But this loss wasn’t just on his shoulders. The one play didn’t lose the video game.
The group’s lack of focus, appetite and effort lost this game. It lost heaven Devils a video game against the No. 162 team in the nation, according to NCAA net rankings.
That’s 100 spots lower than Duke’s, also worrying, ranking.
” Coach was actually on us from the dive about how important this video game was to us and how important the game was to the program,” Wendell Moore Jr. stated. “I just believed the whole team, we didn’t approach it the way we should. And as a group when you don’t approach it like that, outcomes like this occur.”
Maybe the most stunning part of the loss is that Duke seemed turning the corner over the last week and a half. The offense seemed to be finding itself. The defense was getting. For the first time this season, there was optimism that Duke was beginning to use its capacity.
Whatever was established for Duke to get a third straight win. Miami entered the contest with a depleted lineup. They were widely kept in mind for their horrible capabilities on offense, especially behind the 3-point line where they ranked last in the ACC and 323 rd in the country in shooting percentage from deep.
There’s no great method to put it. Miami was very little of a threat shooting the basketball. Apparently Duke’s gamers bought into the idea too, and as a result were as passive on defense as we’ve seen in over a month.
” I informed them if you come down to Miami to play, we will lose.
Duke didn’t complete.
Elijah Olaniyi, who was a game-time choice due to an injury, scored 21 points, missing just two shots on the night.
He felt there was more opportunity there, and Duke did not take benefit.
” I think they struck some big shots, but at the same time the shots they did strike they were pretty open,” Moore stated of Miami’s success shooting the ball.
Offensively, Duke was not terrible.
That was pretty much it for offense. Duke’s other 4 players that saw video game action scored a combined 9 points.
” When it came to the offensive end, we type of regressed a bit – back to the team we were before we started playing so well,” Moore stated. “I do not believe the blame is on anyone in particular, we simply have to do a better job moving the ball.
” We have to delight in playing the way we did versus Clemson and versus Georgia Tech. We can’t be contented even if we get two wins in the ACC. We need to come every night to play.”
That takes us back to what got Duke here in the very first location. Complacency. Lack of appetite. Lack of energy. No drive or competitiveness.
If there is one positive to come of this, it might be a more assertive emergence of a leader. While Jordan Goldwire, Moore and even Injured at times have actually been praised for their management, there hasn’t been complete consistency because either.
With that in mind, there is a voice that stepped up following the game.
Moore, who talked to the media after the loss, did not duck concerns tossed his way. He didn’t offer a company line or toss clichés out, or deflect blame.
He owned it. He put it on his shoulders, however he likewise positioned it on his teammates. If there’s any great to come from this loss, it might be Moore’s more noticable voice within the group.