Duke basketball’s three biggest needs after fluke against Spartans

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forward Wendell Moore (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball needs to improve shot selection

With the entire team going 20-for-62 by the final buzzer, there is definitely some type of disparity in the team’s collective shot selection.

One of the biggest, and most confusing, disparities were seen in the shot selection of Wendell Moore. Of the nine shots that the sophomore forward took, six of them were threes. In his first season, Moore was never a long-range shooter; rather, he was always more efficient when pulling up at mid-range or driving to the basket.

Even under pressure, as we saw in his game-saving shot at UNC last year, Moore is more than capable of scoring in the post with the game on the line.

It’s possible Coach K hasn’t designated a surefire shooter for this team, being that the Blue Devils are so young. So it makes sense he would send out a returning player, more confident in his game, to take up a majority of the team’s three-ball.

Other players like Jalen Johnson and DJ Steward were also making poor decisions on the floor. After their last performances against Coppin State, fans were confident in their ability to perform night in and night out on behalf of their freshman class.

The freshmen were in for a very rude awakening, though, when they had their first chance to play a highly talented and ranked team. Combined, Johnson and Steward went 4-for-18, due in part to their inability to put up anything other than highly contested shots.

It’s clear that, in the future, the team needs to find a way to iso guys like Johnson and Steward so they can make up for the 3-point impact the Blue Devils are so desperately needing. And with Duke’s defensive performance in the first half and towards the final buzzer, that is completely possible.