Duke basketball rotation has officially been shortened

Duke basketball players huddle (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball players huddle (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball rotation has been officially cut as the postseason inches closer. 

Monday night’s victory against Louisville was anticipated to be a laugher for the Duke basketball team.

The Cardinals, although coming off a stunning home win against Clemson, have been atrocious under first year head coach Kenny Payne but started hot against the Blue Devils before things came crashing back to reality.

However, despite Duke not being able to fully shake free of the pesky ‘Cards, Jon Scheyer revealed his hand as to who he trusts with the postseason rapidly approaching.

The Blue Devils only had eight players step on the court in the 79-62 victory; Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Mark Mitchell, Kyle Filipowski, Dereck Lively, Dariq Whitehead, Jacob Grandison, and Ryan Young.

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Jaylen Blakes, a seldom used rotational player, did not play for the first time this season. Likewise with Jaden Schutt, who has seen a minimal increase in minutes since after being glued to the bench for the better part of three months.

The development of cutting down the rotation also was prevalent in Duke’s dominating victory over Syracuse on Saturday in which 13 players received at least a minute in the 77-55 victory, but five of those players did not get more than three minutes on the court.

Duke basketball gearing up for postseason

Jon Scheyer has been unable to significantly shorten his rotation this season due to the multiple injuries the Blue Devils have dealt with but it’s something that Mike Krzyzewski always did, sometimes too early in a season, when the games became much more important.

Since Duke’s loss to Virginia on February 11 when the team became fully healthy again, the eight players that logged minutes against Louisville have been the ones receiving most, if not all, of the playing time and it has paid dividends for the Blue Devils.

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Scheyer has seen his team win three straight games, potentially four consecutive if not for a blown call by the officials against Virginia, and two more winnable home games are left on the schedule before traveling to Chapel Hill to close out the regular season on March 4.

Expect the Duke rotation to remain short as the Blue Devils begin to peak at the perfect time ahead of the ACC Tournament beginning on March 8.

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