Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach knew he would have an open shot against North Carolina.
Having a veteran point guard is so vital to a team in college basketball and the Duke basketball program is lucky to have junior Jeremy Roach orchestrating its offense.
Roach has been sharing the ball handling duties with freshman Tyrese Proctor but in the late stages of the Blue Devils victory against North Carolina on Saturday night head coach Jon Scheyer put the ball in the hands of his captain.
Duke led 59-57 with 34.5 seconds remaining and Scheyer drew up a play for Roach in a pick-and-roll situation with Kyle Filipowski.
Filipowski set a screen for Roach and immediately sprinted to the corner which left Tar Heel defenders R.J. Davis and Pete Nance confused.
Roach blew by Davis and Nance where the lane was empty as Armando Bacot had to protect the weak side alley-oop to Dereck Lively, who gave the Blue Devils the lead a minute earlier with a putback dunk.
The bucket pushed Duke’s lead to four, 61-57, with 24 seconds remaining and clinched the victory as the Devils added two more points from the charity strip by Roach, winning 63-57.
Duke basketball captain predicted blunder leading to basket
“It was a ball screen between me and [Kyle Filipowski],” Jeremy Roach recalled of the play.
“I told him to slip it. We knew [North Carolina] would kind of mess up on their talking, which they did.”
Roach said that the Tar Heels were not communicating defensively throughout the game and Duke basically ran the same play a few minutes prior which resulted in an and-one opportunity for the junior.
“I think two guys went to Flip, and I kind of got an easy lane when [Armando] Bacot was looking for the lob,” the Duke captain continued.
“I got an easy lane, and we executed it perfectly.”
Jeremy Roach finished the victory with 20 points and seven rebounds but despite not having a single assist the junior played every single minute and was 8-of-20 from the field.
Duke (17-6, 8-4 ACC) will quickly turnaround and play No. 23 Miami (18-5, 9-4 ACC) on Monday night (7:00p.m. EST, ESPN) inside the Watsco Center from Coral Gables.