Duke basketball: Studs and duds leave many clamoring for more

Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Duke basketball team returns to the court with a mixed bag of results. 

It was another two weeks without seeing the Duke basketball program on the court, and the return of the No. 2 Blue Devils (12-1, 2-0 ACC) was shaky.

Mike Krzyzewski was able to lead his team past struggling Georgia Tech (6-7, 0-3 ACC) on Tuesday night, but by no means was it a splendid display of basketball like this team has shown earlier in the season.

Duke was only able to have one full team practice before the game, but the Blue Devils did have all of their available players, unlike other teams who come off COVID pauses, for their return to action.

The Blue Devils shot 37.3-percent from the field and 31.3-percent from 3-point range but only committed ten total turnovers in the 69-57 victory.

Duke was also able to dominate the backboards, given the lack of size of the Yellow Jackets, outrebounding Georgia Tech by 13 and pulling down 14 offensive rebounds.

Because of the two postponements in the schedule due to COVID, the first three games of ACC play will come at Cameron Indoor Stadium for Duke with the homestand wrapping up on Saturday night against the surging Miami Hurricanes (12-3, 4-0 ACC).

Duke basketball sticking with what works

Over the last two games, the Blue Devils have had much success rolling with a smaller lineup that features Paolo Banchero at the center position and inserting AJ Griffin into the lineup.

Despite the success of this group, joined alongside Jeremy Roach, Trevor Keels, and Wendell Moore, Krzyzewski continues to stick with his original starting lineup of Roach, Keels, Moore, Banchero, and Mark Williams.

Williams is able to bring a different skillset to the floor in terms of his rim protection and paint presence, as seen in Duke’s victory over then-No. 1 Gonzaga at the end of November.