Duke basketball showing many concerning signs in ugly victory

Duke basketball center Dereck Lively (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball center Dereck Lively (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team is showing concerning signs so far this season. 

Putting up big numbers and impressive stats against lesser talented, mid-major teams is not easy but certainly much more achievable for the Duke basketball team than finding those same results against power conference opponents.

However, through two games against power conference teams the No. 8 Blue Devil offense has looked horrendous.

Now, it certainly will take more than six games for a team to gel with a new head coach, seven freshmen, and 11 new players but what Duke showed on Thanksgiving Day against Oregon State (3-2) was troubling.

Nearly as a 20-point favorite the Blue Devils struggled mightily on offense, worse than what they showed against Kansas, and were trailing the Beavers midway through the second half before the combination of Kyle Filipowski and Ryan Young lifted Duke (5-1) to a 54-51 victory.

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Filipowski, with 19 points and 14 rebounds, has clearly been the best player this season for Duke and Ryan Young, despite his struggles against an athletic Kansas front-court, has been surprisingly efficient since transferring from Northwestern with 11 points and 15 rebounds on Thursday.

Everyone else on the roster struggled.

Mark Mitchell was 0-for-4. Tyrese Proctor 1-for-7. Jeremy Roach 3-for-14. Dariq Whitehead 2-for-9. Jaylen Blakers 0-for-3. Jacob Grandison 0-for-4. Dereck Lively was 1-for-1, but only played 10 minutes.

Duke, as a team, shot 26.7-percent (16-for-60) from the floor and 17.2-percent (5-for-29) from 3-point range.

Duke basketball historic shooting woes

The shooting percentage was the lowest ever in a victory in the history of Duke basketball, according to Brendan Marks of The Athletic.

But that’s the most important part, it was a victory.

There are very clear concerning signs when watching this team against better competition but perhaps it truly was just two bad games against Kansas and Oregon State and we will learn a lot moor about this team on Friday afternoon when they battle Xavier (4-1).

Xavier, under head coach Sean Miller, has been an offensive juggernaut averaging 85.8 points per game but teams have been able to score on the Musketeers as they surrendered 82.0 points per contest in its last two games against major conference foes (No. 12 Indiana and Florida).

Tipoff is slated for 3:30p.m. ET (ESPN) in Portland, Oregon.