Duke Basketball: Purdue size and strength too much for Blue Devils

Duke basketball forward Kyle Filipowski (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Kyle Filipowski (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball team travels home to Durham with loss in Portland. 

The Duke basketball team got handed its most lopsided loss in the Jon Scheyer era at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers in the Championship Game of the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament, an event the Blue Devils have won in the past.

The program won the inaugural event in 2017 with Marvin Bagley leading the Blue Devils to a huge comeback victory against Florida and Duke could have used some of that offensive firepower on Sunday afternoon as a trend is starting to begin with this young team, falling 75-56.

In the two losses suffered this year, No. 8 Duke has failed to make more than four 3-pointers in either of those games.

Sunday, they shot a woeful 10.5-percent (2-for-19) from 3-point range and didn’t make one shot from beyond the arc in the second half.

The Duke (6-2) offense looked sluggish and stagnant throughout the game against Purdue (6-0), with the exception of a few horns sets.

Duke, again, is primarily utilizing the middle ball screen with three players on the perimeter as the team is starting to become predictable if they don’t hit the outside shot and are incredibly easy to defend.

The Boilermakers were downing the majority of the ball screens with 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey, meaning the midrange shot was going to be open throughout the night, which Jeremy Roach was able to occasionally take advantage of.

Duke never truly made in-game adjustments until the second half when Scheyer went to a 2-2-1 press back into a 2-3 zone, which definitely altered the rhythm and flow of the game.

However, Duke did not adjust enough on Edey to prevent Purdue from continuing to feed him the ball.

The Blue Devils could have attempted to full front from him and help with the baseline defender, but they mostly utilized a combo of Ryan Young and Dereck Lively and sat behind Edey as he caught it a few feet from the hoop.

In the second half there one double team on Zach Edey and he found Fletcher Loyer at the top of the key for an open 3-pointer.

Duke basketball still with plenty of questions to answer

Through eight games, there are still several questions surrounding the various lineups and rotations; Will Ryan Young continue to start as Dereck Lively gets more and more acclimated?

Will Dariq Whitehead be slotted into the starting lineup permanently?

What is Duke’s best lineup? Will Scheyer continue to play the two big lineup or move Kyle Filipowski to center and play small ball?

One thing is for certain, Duke will need to get their rotation squared away before conference play begins.

The Blue Devils should start using Jeremy Roach off the ball as he operates off of the weak side pin down screens with Tyrese Proctor at the point guard position.

The adjustment is similar of what Duke did during the 2014-15 season with Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones.

The other concerning development from the last few games is the decline in Mark Mitchell’s production.

After starting the year with two great offensive performances, he has three single digit outings in his last four games.

This position seems to be the swing position moving forward in terms of production and who receives the most minutes as there have been great individual nights from everyone on the team, but Duke is in dire need of consistency.

The only form of consistency is coming from Kyle Filipowski.

It’s only November 28 and Duke has two losses to two teams that could easily end up in the Elite Eight.

Keep calm.