Duke basketball lacks leadership, toughness in predictable debacle

Duke basketball guard Jaylen Blakes (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Jaylen Blakes (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team predictably floundered against Miami. 

It’s always the toughest turnaround of the season but the Duke basketball program proved it is no where close to ready for the NCAA Tournament.

Following its 63-57 rivalry win over North Carolina on Saturday, the Blue Devils had to board a plane and head to South Beach to face a very talented No. 19 Miami squad on Monday night.

Maybe Duke just never got on the plane.

The Blue Devils (17-7, 8-5 ACC) never led in its 81-59 humiliating defeat.

Head coach Jon Scheyer saw his team commit 21 turnovers and never looked interested once in playing a basketball game.

The team looked like a bunch of hungover college kids who partied too much on Saturday night and still had not recovered by Monday night.

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But that’s no excuse since Miami (19-5, 10-4 ACC) won a tight road game on Saturday afternoon against No. 20 Clemson and had plenty of energy for the Blue Devils on Monday, and the Duke players are to blame because there was a game plan from head coach Jon Scheyer.

It was clear Scheyer wanted his team to work the ball inside and get shots close at the basket, like it did in its victory over the ‘Canes in Durham two weeks prior.

It wasn’t Scheyer’s fault the team was 10-for-18 on layups and literally could not pass or dribble the ball without an issue. Duke only manufactured nine second chance points on 12 offensive rebounds.

Ryan Young and Dereck Lively each had 11 points to lead Duke as Dariq Whitehead missed his fourth consecutive game with a lower leg strain.

The effort, performance, and outcome was worse than what happened against Wake Forest and nearly as bad as the monstrosity against North Carolina State.

Duke basketball guards put awful performance together

The group of Duke guards; Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, and Jaylen Blakes, were awful on Monday night.

The trio combined for just 18 points on 5-for-17 shooting and 13 turnovers.

Jon Scheyer had no one he could trust with the basketball in the embarrassing defeat and the shooting numbers were not much better.

The Blue Devils nearly had more turnovers than made field goals after connecting on just 22-of-54 attempts (40.7-percent) and were a dreadful 26.3-percent (5-for-19) from 3-point range.

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Duke’s loss is more troubling than just getting blown out in a road game on a short turnaround, it continues to show that this team has a lack of leadership and toughness and cannot win away from Cameron Indoor Stadium.

It shows that a team which had a chance to rise up the standings in a weak conference wasn’t ready to fight for 40 minutes and have a few days off.

Now, things get more challenging as the Blue Devils will have to go on the road to No. 8 Virginia (17-4, 9-3 ACC) on Saturday afternoon (4:00p.m. ET, ESPN) to get back on track in what seems like an impossible task at this moment.

Hubert Davis blames referees after loss to Blue Devils. dark. Next