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 (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball needs to find a center Coach K can trust

From the first buzzer to the last, except for four minutes with freshman center Mark Williams in the lineup, there wasn’t a true center on the floor, even though Mike Krzyzewski has two fantastic options to choose from.

Instead, Coach K chose Matthew Hurt, who is a more efficient shooter, to guard the basket on the inside.

Even though Hurt is 6-foot-9, he isn’t the built and athletic type of player you want protecting the basket. No, his assets are more skillful and fundamental, which explains why he’s better at shooting.

The best options are found in the 7-foot Williams, who was a top-five center as a recruit, and Patrick Tapé, a 6-foot-9 grad transfer who scored in double figures for Columbia as a junior. With the height of Williams and both the experience and build of Tapé, it’s unclear why one barely played and the other not at all when there seems to be a need at their true position.

It will be important for Coach K to find the perfect rotation for this position so that he can reserve players like Matthew Hurt solely for shooting to make up for the team’s lack of 3-point efficiency.

There’s still ample time for Duke basketball improvement

It’s important to keep in mind that we are only two games in, and have the best coach in all of college basketball to lead this team. Growing pains are inevitable, but if there’s anything Duke fans know, it’s that Coach K knows how to help his guys, young and old, break through the adversity.

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