Five Duke basketball players highlight the formula for success

Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball formula for success: Matthew Hurt

As I mentioned earlier, every Duke game this season has come down to the wire. The Blue Devils had chances to win each game during their three-game skid. But foul trouble has made it difficult for the team to close out games and earn victories.

Jalen Johnson was having a magnificent game against Pitt before fouling out in the final minutes. Matthew Hurt was carrying Duke against Louisville before fouling out in the final minutes.

Having both Hurt and Johnson in the game is what allowed the Blue Devils to close out the game against Georgia Tech.

Hurt, who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, hit a tough fadeaway from the corner to give Duke a two-point lead with 2:13 to play. He was also able to hit free throws to secure the win.

The following tweet from the official Duke basketball stats account sums up the most consistent producer on the team and All-ACC candidate:

This squad is still a ways away from being a threat to win the ACC Tournament. But the latest win did show the formula for how Duke can continue to have success.

The Blue Devils have to be in attack mode, getting closer to the basket and settling for fewer outside shots.

At the same time, they have to keep opponents off the foul line. Before drastically improving in this regard against Georgia Tech, Duke had been prone to fouling and giving opponents chances to earn easy points.

Most importantly, Johnson and Hurt have to be on the floor in the closing minutes of a game. They both made key plays late Tuesday night to help pull out the much-needed win.

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