Duke basketball looking to create momentum entering 2023

Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team is looking to create momentum entering 2023. 

The Duke basketball team dominated on the last day of 2022 as they cruised to a 19-point win, 86-67, following 10 day hiatus since their last game.

It’s possible that many have been looking at this team the wrong way this entire season, continuing to focus on the offensive struggles, lack of consistent rotation and a clear need for shooting.

Instead, the right thing is to focus on is this teams consistent defense and rebounding efforts.

Duke held Florida State (4-11, 2-2 ACC) to 67 points and out-rebounded them 32-24 including 10 offensive rebounds to continue its dominance on the boards thus far this season.

The bench came alive this game with a total of 46 points, the most points from the bench union in an ACC game since 2005, with contributions from everyone, but no player came up bigger than Ryan Young.

Ryan Young finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

Young came up huge in a game where Dereck Lively got the start over him but did not particularly play well.

Lively started the game off with an impressive block but reverted back to his usual ways with multiple challenges at the rim resulting in fouls which limited his minutes.

Young’s traditional game was on full display today as he scored, almost at will, against a long and tall Florida State front court.

Duke basketball lineup changes paying off

Jon Scheyer made a major lineup change after he inserted Jaylen Blakes into the starting lineup and moved Tyrese Proctor to the bench.

Scheyer rewarded Blakes after his outstanding performance in a struggle against Wake Forest and the sophomore returned the favor with 17 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.

To begin the year it was clear that Jaylen Blakes would play a role on this team but many figured it would be on the defensive end of the floor and creating momentum off the bench with his energy.

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However, if he can continue to play this well offensively it takes a lot of pressure off of the rest of the guards moving forward.

There were a lot of positives, including another step in the development of Dariq Whitehead.

He finished with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting and seems to be getting more comfortable within the offense. Whitehead still seems to be a bit limited with his lateral quickness and gets beat off the dribble a bit too much, which could still be a lingering effect of the foot injury.

Another challenge awaits the No. 16 Blue Devils (11-3, 2-1 ACC) as they hit the road to face North Carolina State (11-4, 1-3 ACC) and Boston College (8-7, 2-2 ACC) in the next week.