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) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball players who improved their stocks vs. Bellarmine

Matthew Hurt

Matthew Hurt played his most aggressive game as a Duke Blue Devil on Tuesday night against Michigan State.

On Friday night against Bellarmine, Matthew Hurt played his best overall game as a Duke Blue Devil.

Hurt was scorching from the field, netting a season-high 24 points, one shy of his career-best set in that matchup against Boston College last year.

The sophomore also set a career-best with six made 3-pointers, surpassing the five 3-pointers he hit against the Eagles last season.

Shooting 9-of-12 from the floor and 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, Hurt has been the most consistent player for Duke this season as he added on six rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal.

Given the change in the starting lineup where Matthew Hurt shifted from the center to the power forward position, the 6-foot-9 forward looked much more fluid, comfortable, and confident on the offensive and defensive side of the ball in his natural position.

Mark Williams

Mark Williams finally saw sustained playing time in a game this season, and the freshman center delivered.

Williams posted five points, seven rebounds, three assists, and four blocks in 15 minutes played while shooting 2-of-3 from the field and looking very smooth knocking down his only free throw attempt.

Duke had been missing a paint presence in its first two games this season, and it finally found what it was looking for in its five-star prospect.

Expect to see a lot of Mark Williams as the 2020-21 season progresses. Tuesday will be a major test against Illinois star Kofi Cockburn.

Jaemyn Brakefield

After being one of the only standouts against the Spartans, Jaemyn Brakefield starred yet again on Friday against Bellarmine.

The freshman forward showed off his smooth shooting stroke with 12 points after going 4-of-6 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point territory.

Brakefield also added six rebounds in his 16 minutes of action.

Coming off the bench, Brakefield displayed his energy, scoring production, and defensive versatility, which will all be critical going forward for the Duke Blue Devils.