Three humble pies Duke basketball overate at NC State

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Duke basketball
Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

1. Bullfighting is no defense

The evidence suggests the Duke basketball coaches invited a matador to teach the post players to defend as if they are holding a red cape. If not that, then the safeguarding against foul trouble must have led to a misunderstanding. And if not that, then issues with effort exist.

Surely, nobody on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff instructed the Blue Devils to regularly wave a white flag like they did, right?

After all, essentially the only positive column on the box score against NC State was Duke’s individual foul totals: no player finished with more than three, and big men Vernon Carey Jr. and Javin DeLaurier committed only two apiece. Granted, the latter saw only 11 minutes, but such playing time has proven more than sufficient for the senior co-captain to foul out in the past.

Yes, the Wolfpack took advantage of opportunities at the charity stripe (16-for-21) and from 3-point land (8-for-13). That said, 42 of NC State’s points came off mostly uncontested scores in the paint.

Part of the problem, however, came before the ball ever entered the post via backdoors and open-alley drives. Much of the issue was the absence of defensive pressure prior to the Wolfpack crossing halfcourt.

Where was the fullcourt press that led to the unbelievable comeback win at North Carolina on Feb. 8 and a majority of the team’s other most impressive stretches this season? What’s the point of playing 10 guys if only one guy — typically sophomore point guard Tre Jones — is going to contest the opposing offense for all 94 feet?

ALSO READ: Duke’s five most heartwarming Dean Dome wins

And what in the world was the point of stubbornly sticking to this next strategic failure?