Duke basketball: Captain takes all of the blame for sluggish start

Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach took the blame for the team’s slow start. 

Leadership is key on any team and the Duke basketball program has a great leader in Jeremy Roach.

The senior point guard shoulder all of the blame for Duke’s slow start on Friday evening against Southern Indiana which saw the Blue Devils trailing by four, 35-31, at halftime.

“That definitely wasn’t the first half that we expected,” Roach said after his team was able to rally for a 80-62 victory.

“Obviously, I take accountability for that, just how slow we started, just the energy.”

Roach, who had just two points at halftime, picked up the slack in the second half with a team-high 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field as he was on the court for all but a minute of the final half.

ALSO READ: Duke performance against Southern Indiana was ‘not acceptable’

“This was a stepping stone – we took a step back, actually, this game.”

Friday night was the final game of the Blue Devil Challenge and its last tuneup before one of its toughest games of the season in Fayetteville against Arkansas in the inaugural ACC vs. SEC Challenge.

Duke basketball head coach questions defensive effort

Duke picked up victories over Bucknell and La Salle without any trouble in the first two games of the event but Southern Indiana presented a different challenge with the game coming on the day after Thanksgiving and a massive matchup looming.

“It was just our defense. We just were giving up layups like crazy,” Jon Scheyer said of his team’s slow start.

ALSO READ: Duke has terrible performance but shakes Southern Indiana

“Up until this point, we have held every team below their scoring average, and that is something we take a lot of pride in.”

The Eagles shot 43.8-percent from the floor and 50.0-percent from 3-point range in the first half before being limited to just 38.5-percent and 28.6-percent in the second half.

Expect a much more focused and energetic Duke basketball team when it takes the floor on Wednesday night (9:15p.m. EST, ESPN).

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