Matthew Hurt did not have one of his best games against Clemson.
He did make his lone field goal attempt but he was slow on defensive rotations and thus only playing 15 minutes in the loss.
Hurt showed the ability to knock down perimeter jumpers but teams have shown that they will get physical with the freshman and he has not displayed the toughness Mike Krzyzewski would like to see on a consistent basis.
While still shorthanded, Duke needs the scoring output from Matthew Hurt in order to be successful.
The performance of Alex O’Connell was very similar to Matthew Hurt on Tuesday night.
O’Connell scored just four points on 2-of-6 shooting while seeing the floor for just 12 minutes.
The duo both had two turnovers but it was the lack of awareness and intensity on the defensive end that put O’Connell on the bench, the same issue that has plagued him throughout his Duke career.
Alex O’Connell has proven that he can be effective on offense, but it is his defensive prowess that trips him up and lands him on the bench.
With a defensive juggernaut as a team, O’Connell needs to figure things out on that side of the ball in order to see more time.
Defense / Rebounding
Duke has been a stellar team on the defensive end of the floor this year but Tuesday night couldn’t have even any worse for the Blue Devils.
Clemson was able to get any shot they wanted on any part of the floor and more often than not it went in.
The Tigers also outrebounded Duke, 35-27, a statistical category in which the Blue Devils normally thrive and Clemson struggles.
Was Tuesday a trend of things to come or just an outlier in what has been a very good season for Duke in both categories? We will all find out on Saturday night.
Ah, we meet again.
Duke cannot shoot free throws well.
That is not a hot take or an opinion, it is a fact.
The Blue Devils were 10-of-20 from the charity stripe on Tuesday night and for the season, Duke is shooting just 66.5 percent from the free throw line.
This has to change, but I’m afraid it will not.
It’s more surprising when Duke makes its free throws instead of missing them and all fans can do is hope the charity stripe won’t come back and haunt the Blue Devils once again.