Duke basketball: Concerning signs to watch for during exhibition

Duke basketball forward Kyle Filipowski (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Kyle Filipowski (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team unofficially begins its season in Durham on Wednesday. 

Finally there will be basketball inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday night in which the Duke basketball program is playing an actual opponent.

The Blue Devils host Fayetteville State after competing against each other in the Blue vs. White Scrimmage two weeks ago and playing a 32-minute “secret scrimmage” against Houston last weekend.

Duke, No. 7 in the AP Top-25, fell to Houston, 61-50, without the services of five-star freshmen Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively who continue to recover from leg injuries suffered in the preseason.

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The Cougars, No. 3 in the AP Top-25, are projected by some experts to win the National Championship this season led by veteran guard Marcus Sasser who torched the Blue Devils with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

However, there were some concerning signs in the game against the American Athletic Conference favorites that could bring serious cause for concern if still persistent against the Division II foe.

Duke basketball must to fix shooting woes

Duke only shot 15-of-41 from the field and 2-of-17 from 3-point range as the free throw line was the best form of offense for the Blue Devils at 18-of-25 from the stripe.

That level of shooting will not beat many power conference teams and must be improved going forward, granted that Houston is one of the best defensive teams in the nation.

Northwestern transfer Ryan Young and freshman Mark Mitchell played well scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively, while junior point guard Jeremy Roach struggled shooting just 3-of-13 from the floor and committing five fouls.

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Christian Reeves, who stood out at Countdown to Craziness, did not play against Houston and Jaden Schutt only logged three minutes.

Reeves has been expected to redshirt this season but Schutt, who presumably would be in for a bigger role with Whitehead sidelined, only playing three minutes in a scrimmage in eye-opening.

Tipoff is slated for 7p.m. and can be seen on ACC Network Extra, via the ESPN app.

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