Stock Up, Down: Duke basketball has room for improvement after Pitt win

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball guards Tre Jones and Cassius Stanley (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball guards Tre Jones and Cassius Stanley (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team pulled out a win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday night but the win was way too close for comfort and the Blue Devils have significant room for improvement.

First and foremost, apologies for not having a ‘Stock Up, Stock Down’ column after the win over Miami last week, but with a 30-point victory at home, most of the readers should have been able to figure out that the entire team played well.

With that being said, we pivot to Tuesday night and the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils looked like they were going to roll over the Pittsburgh Panthers, holding an 18-point lead in the second half, but Duke took its foot off the game and saw its lead dwindle to as little as three points.

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In the final four minutes, Duke was able to respond with Cassius Stanley hitting a 3-pointer that brought its lead back up to ten points and the Blue Devils held on for a 79-67 victory.

The Blue Devils definitely looked rusty to start the game after its week off but closed the first half strong, despite an outburst from Mike Krzyzewski directed towards the Cameron Crazies.

Duke took an 11-point lead into the locker room and when it was in desperate need of a basket in the second half, the Blue Devils fed its ferocious big man, Vernon Carey Jr.

Offensively, Duke was able to shoot 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from the field, but the Blue Devil defense was only able to hold Pittsburgh to a 43.9 percent field goal percentage (25-of-57) and Duke only forced nine turnovers on the evening.

The usual cast of characters led the way for Duke in Tuesday’s win but some serious concern is developing for the lack of production from the bench players, who showed great promise during non-conference play.