Five gifts the Duke basketball program needs for Christmas

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball Christmas gift: More consistent perimeter shooting

Entering the 2020-21 season, many thought this version of Duke would be an old-school Blue Devil squad in the sense of 3-point shooting.

Recent teams had many struggles trying to shoot from beyond the arc but the group of freshmen Coach K was bringing to Durham and the group of returnees was set to change that and become a much more reliable outside shooting team.

However, that has not been the case as Duke is shooting just 35.4 percent from 3-point range through five games.

The Blue Devils shot 33.3 percent against Coppin State, 21.7 percent against Michigan State, 50.0-percent against Bellarmine, 22.7 percent against Illinois, and 53.3 percent against Notre Dame.

That’s too much of a mixed bag of shooting woes from the perimeter for a team that doesn’t have a reliable option to score in the post.

Freshmen Jaemyn Brakefield and DJ Steward lead the Blue Devils in shooting from deep as Brakefield is posting a scorching 61.5 percent (8-of-13) clip while Steward is at 41.7 percent (10-of-24).

Sophomore forward Matthew Hurt just trails Steward by one shot, sitting at 37.5 percent (9-of-24) from 3-point territory.

Duke will need those three players to continue their impressive shooting from deep while others, like junior forward Joey Baker, a proclaimed 3-point shooter entering Durham, will need to step up after only making 1-of-9 shots from downtown this season.