Duke basketball: 3 keys to a Blue Devil victory in Syracuse

Duke basketball forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Key to a Duke basketball victory: Expose Syracuse’s defensive adjustments

While the Orange have a high-powered offense (18th, per KenPom.com, in adjusted offensive efficiency) that is triggered by their ability to shoot the ball, they do tend to scramble on defense. They rank 192nd in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing 104.7 points per opponents’ 100 possessions, according to KenPom.

In their last game in Durham, the Blue Devils did a great job in finding the best possible shots, and Syracuse had a tough time keeping up.

The Orange focused heavily on the interior and left the perimeter, at times, almost unguarded, leaving Duke with some high-percentage options from the arc. The Blue Devils were able to pull the trigger from 3-point land 37 times, and that’s a lot for a college basketball game. When Syracuse adjusted its defense to create more of a perimeter scheme, Duke took advantage of its size down low.

This one is short and sweet, but if the Blue Devils can build off the way they handled the Orange defense in their first stint, it should be a frustrating night for Syracuse.