One of the biggest concerns with the Duke basketball team earlier in the season was that players were not taking the message from the coaching staff in practice and bringing it over to game situations.
“We’ve just got to do what we talked about in practice. There’s no carryover,” captain Jeremy Roach said after a 72-68 loss against Georgia Tech on December 2.
Less than two weeks later and that message is finally resonating with the Blue Devils.
Roach broke down a beautiful possession Duke had against Hofstra on the team's Instagram page which resulted in a dunk from Mark Mitchell that pushed the lead to 19-points with five minutes remaining in the second half.
The senior explained that the play was drawn up for him but once he caught the extra pass on the wing -- and he already had hit three 3-pointers in the game -- Hofstra closed out hard with two players and it allowed him to dribble through and find Mitchell for the easy basket.
"Just the carryover. It's nice to see from practice," Roach explained.
Duke has responded with two straight victories (Charlotte and Hofstra) since its most recent loss against the Yellow Jackets but Wednesday night will prove to be a tougher challenge for the No. 21 Blue Devils when the team meets No. 10 Baylor inside Madison Square Garden.
Jon Scheyer's squad still lacks a quality victory after losses to Arizona, Arkansas, and Georgia Tech but its win over Michigan State, which has struggled mightily this season until its stunning 24-point win over Baylor, is starting to look better.
It's still unclear whether or not Duke will have the services of sophomore point guard Tyrese Proctor after he suffered an ankle sprain in the opening minute against Georgia Tech that has sidelined him for the last two games.
Proctor did not need the use of crutches anymore last week and was continuing his rehab to get back on the court as soon as possible.
The Blue Devils only have one more game in the month -- December 30 against Queens -- before the remainder of the ACC schedule begins on Janaury 2 against Syracuse.
Tipoff between Duke and Baylor is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN).