The Duke Blue Devils once again finished a week of ACC basketball with a 2-0 record. That’s the good news. The bad news? After winning a statement game against N.C. State on Thursday, the Blue Devils laid a bit of an egg on the road at Boston College for one of the weirder two-game stretches in college basketball.
While Boston College has proven to be a tough beat at home (Losses to Miami by one, N.C. State by five) that does not excuse the inconsistent effort showcased by Duke. Mike Krzyzewski recognized it as a trap game but at the end of the day, you have to play everyone on the schedule no matter when the game might be and Duke managed to escape with the win.
Both games were once again won on the backs of the seniors and inexperience in a unique situation showed through on Saturday, but a few of the young men made memorable impacts this weekend.
Here is this week’s edition of the Duke Basketball Rookie Report.
1) Rasheed Sulaimon
After a rough offensive showing against N.C. State on Thursday, Sulaimon struggled again on Sunday against Boston College. So instead of his offense earning him the top spot, it is his defense.
Sulaimon made one of the biggest plays of Duke’s season as he locked down Olivier Hanlan on the last possession against B.C. to help protect a one-point lead and get Duke back to Durham at 2-0 for the week. He finished with just four points, but it was the two he prevented that ended up being the biggest.
Sulaimon’s production offensively wasn’t there but he was still able to impact the game in a positive way. That’s what veteran players do and Sulaimon has certainly proved himself in the class through the first 23 games of his career.
2) Alex Murphy
After 11 strong minutes against N.C. State, Murphy got the call early on in the B.C. game. Unfortunately, his homecoming was cut a little short after six tough minutes put him on the bench for much of the second half.
But we will always have this awesome dunk. This alone pushed him into second this week.
3) Amile Jefferson
Amile once again had a solid showing on Thursday against N.C. State but could not carry that momentum over to Sunday. After just 11 minutes on the floor in Chestnut Hill the freshman was benched by Coach K who looked visibly displeased with his effort.
Perhaps it was the weird travel schedule that threw him off, but a week in which you net just seven points in two games earns you a ticket to the bottom half. Sorry, Amile. Get ‘em this week.
4) Marshall Plumlee
Poor Marshall can’t find a way to squeeze into the rotation unless there is some sort of disaster. However you can tell he isn’t discouraged and was one of the last players left on the floor for shootaround at B.C.
Here’s to hoping Duke can blow some people out this second half of the ACC season and we get to see Marshall a few more times.