More negatives than positives in Duke basketball loss to North Carolina

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball guard DJ Steward (Scott Utterback-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball players who improved their stock against North Carolina

Henry Coleman

Prior to the North Carolina game, four-star freshman Henry Coleman had played a total of 22 minutes for the Blue Devils. The power forward logged a career-high 12 minutes against the Heels.

As for the aforementioned bursts of energy Duke showed, all seemed to come with Henry Coleman on the floor as he was able to match the size and physicality of the talented Tar Heel forwards.

Coleman ended the game with four points, two rebounds, two assists, and a block on 2-of-2 shooting while only recording one personal foul.

The only negative from the freshman was that he was 0-for-2 from the free throw line.

Duke needs to see more of Henry Coleman and the physicality he brings to the court going forward. That has been lacking from the Blue Devils for the majority of the season.

Jeremy Roach

The spotty play of Jeremy Roach continues as Saturday was a positive for the freshman point guard.

Roach was reinserted in the starting lineup and saw 27 minutes of action, resulting in 16 points, five assists, and three steals on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor and 2-of-6 from three-point range.

Perhaps he took the matchup with Caleb Love personally, or the game plan that was put into effect was perfect for the freshman guard, but he thrived in his first meeting against the Tar Heels offensively.

It’s been said before, and it’ll be said again: Jeremy Roach has to be aggressive and get downhill to be at his peak effectiveness for the Blue Devils to be successful. It’s a major piece of trying to fix what is wrong with Duke.

DJ Steward

DJ Steward is in somewhat of the same boat as freshman counterpart Jeremy Roach.

Steward needs to be more aggressive but in a different sense.

When the freshman shooting guard catches the ball on the wing, he needs to let it fly instead of shot-faking, taking two dribbles, and passing.

That’s what he showed against North Carolina.

He was looking for his shot, knocking down one three-point ball, which then allowed him to shot-fake, take midrange jumpers, and drive to the basket.

Steward finished with 11 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block on 5-of-10 shooting from the field.

Duke needs shooting, and the Chicago native has to be looking to provide his as his freshman year quickly comes to a close.