Separation created among players as Duke basketball holds on for victory

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 3
Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Separation was created among players in the Duke basketball victory over Bellarmine.

In the three games the Duke basketball program has played in the 2020-21 season, none have been pretty.

Sloppy wins over Coppin State and Bellarmine were sandwiched around a home loss to Michigan State, but Friday’s victory over the Knights did create some separation between players on the court for the Blue Devils.

Mike Krzyzewski rolled out his third starting lineup in as many games, and the five that began the game on Friday seemed to complement each other much better than the other two groups.

ALSO READ: Career night from Duke standout propels Blue Devils to victory

Jordan Goldwire, Wendell Moore, Jalen Johnson, Matthew Hurt, and Mark Williams all were on the floor for the first time together this season, and Moore seemed the most out of place in the shooting guard role with his lack of offensive production, although his defense was a strong point on Friday.

All 11 players who stepped on the floor for Duke against Bellarmine scored, the first time that has happened since last season’s home matchup against Boston College, where the Blue Devils cruised to an 88-49 victory.

Duke basketball must continue to incorporate its forwards

Entering Friday, Krzyzewski rarely played Williams, Patrick Tape, and Henry Coleman, but each player saw some minutes against Bellarmine and produced, something that has to be a mainstay for the Blue Devils if they want success going forward.

The three players combined for 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, six blocks, and two steals in the 76-54 victory.

ALSO READ: Top Duke recruiting target suffers devastating and major injury

Things will not get any easier for the Blue Devils going forward as Duke saw its matchup on Sunday become postponed with Elon and will await the arrival of No. 5 Illinois to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday night in the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge.

We now look at players who helped and hurt their stocks ahead of the showdown in Durham…