With a few fixes, Duke basketball can do some banner-hunting this go-round.
In terms of the all-encompassing stat, the 2021-22 Duke basketball team sits pretty with a 3-0 record. The No. 9 Duke Blue Devils reached that mark with Saturday’s 67-56 home victory over unranked Campbell (2-1) in the second of back-to-back night games.
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Altogether, it’s tough to complain about the Blue Devils’ winning efforts thus far, especially when considering the heightened pressure from this being Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s final season at the helm before retiring in the spring and passing the torch to Jon Scheyer.
Plus, anything is better than the program’s 13-11 debacle last season, in which the Blue Devils failed to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in more than a quarter-century. Still, if Duke is to reseize its throne this season as college basketball’s premier powerhouse, well, a few areas need addressing.
Preferably, the squad will find a permanent fix to the most glaring issues in the next three games, all at home and against seemingly inferior foes. After all, the schedule then reaches a grueling stage with a bout against current No. 1 Gonzaga in Las Vegas on Nov. 26 and an actual road battle at No. 17 Ohio State four nights later.
Now, most of Duke basketball’s recurring shortcomings in the early going tend to involve, in one way or another, at least one of three stats. Let’s dissect each of them.