Duke basketball: Conference play report card for Week 1

Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) /

Overall Duke basketball team grade for Week 1 of ACC play: A

The Blue Devils made their way to South Bend, Ind., this week to take on Notre Dame in what was the first road and conference game of the 2020-21 Duke basketball season. With one of their top players out with an injury, the Blue Devils did a pretty exceptional job.

Freshman forward Jalen Johnson, who is one of three Duke players this season averaging double figures but is out indefinitely with a foot injury, seemed like a huge loss considering how much the team has been struggling this season.

ALSO READ: Analyst disrespects Duke by doubting Jalen Johnson injury

However, the Blue Devils (3-2, 1-0 ACC) kept their cool and took home the 75-65 road win in their most complete game of this season.

Let’s now grade Duke’s offensive performance…

Offensive assessment for Duke basketball in Week 1 of ACC play: A

When looking at Duke’s offensive efficiency this week, it’s most important to note the improvement, especially from behind the arc.

Collectively, the team shot 51.7 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from the three — a percentage this Duke team has been struggling to reach on a consistent basis.

In the games leading up to their first conference matchup, Duke was averaging about 32 percent from three — a number most Duke teams in the past have surpassed exponentially.

In Wednesday’s matchup, the Blue Devils shot 8-for-15 from deep in a collective effort, where four different players hit their marks.

Duke, however, did see a decline in bench points. In four games ahead of this matchup, the Blue Devils were averaging 26 points off the bench, whereas this week they only combined to put up 16 points.

This is expected when you have to replace a starter with someone off the bench, but it does show that this team is limited to just a couple of players when it comes to depth on offense.

Moving on, we’ll examine Duke’s effort on defense…