Duke basketball: 4 studs, 3 duds as Blue Devils highlight flaws

Duke basketball center Mark Williams (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball center Mark Williams (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forward AJ Griffin (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball players who were studs against Lafayette: 

AJ Griffin

For the second straight game, AJ Griffin showed why he was a five-star recruit.

Griffin continues to look healthy as he played 21 minutes off the bench with 18 points, two rebounds, and two steals on 7-of-10 shooting and 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

The freshman has continued to forwardly progress after his preseason knee injury, and this week has been the best the White Plains, New York native has looked all season.

As a highly coveted NBA prospect, Griffin brings another dimension to the Blue Devil squad as he continues to come off the bench.

AJ Griffin is one of the biggest X-factors for Duke this season as his effectiveness and health will be the biggest factors in determining how long the Blue Devils will play into March.

Mark Williams

It was another step in the positive direction for Mark Williams as he posted a double-double 14 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocks on 7-of-13 shooting.

Williams has feasted on Gardner-Webb and Lafayette, and will presumably do the same to The Citadel on Monday night.

However, after struggling mightily in the season opener with the Kentucky frontcourt, Williams will soon have a chance to prove he can deliver as a sophomore against the talented big men of Gonzaga and Ohio State.

Wendell Moore

The Wendell Moore Takeover Tour is still in progress as it was the junior captain who led the charge for Duke in the second half.

Moore poured in a season-high 23 points in the victory along with six rebounds, four assists, and two steals on 9-of-14 shooting from the field.

The Charlotte, North Carolina native already has a triple-double this season and has scored at least 12 points in each of Duke’s first five games this season.

Not only has Wendell Moore emerged as a nice role player for Duke, but he has also turned into an invaluable leader, and player, for the Blue Devils this season as the captain has flourished in his third season in Durham.

Theo John

The stat line will not make you think Theo John had a great game, but the Marquette graduate transfer was superb in the paint and defensively on Friday night.

John had four points, six rebounds, and two steals, but he and Williams anchored Duke to a 50-33 win on the backboards.

John struggled after his Blue Devil debut against Kentucky, but his presence in the paint as a reserve will be vital this season.