The expectation was that Kyle Filipowski was going to be playing at an All-American level when he announced his return to the Duke basketball program for his sophomore season, but something has just felt off about the reigning ACC Player of the Year this year.
Filipowski has put up outstanding numbers but feels like there isn't much energy or emotion when he is on the court.
It was very apparent in Duke's 71-53 victory over Notre Dame on Wednesday night.
Filipowski played only seven minutes in the first half due to foul trouble and did not score, only taking one shot. The second half saw him score eight points yet only made 2-of-8 field goals.
"We need him to be better," Jon Scheyer said after the game. "He's hard on himself, and he wants to be better."
The 7-footer is averaging 17.3 points. 8.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game, nearly all increases from his freshman season. His shooting numbers have also jumped to 49.6-percent from the floor and 35.1-percent from 3-point range.
Yet, it still feels like something is missing.
"The standard that I have for him, and he has for himself, he knows he can be better," Scheyer added.
"We’ve got to get him going. And we have to help him, I have to help him. We have to keep him out of foul trouble."
Filipowski has picked up at least four fouls in each of the last five games for the Blue Devils, but only averaging 3.9 fouls per 40 minutes.
There have been times where he has disappeared in the first half and struggles against Notre Dame are not uncommon for Kyle Filipowski this season, scoring just seven points in the first meeting between the two teams on 2-of-12 shooting.
Regardless, Duke needs Kyle Filipowski at his best in order to reach the goals that he set for the team in the offseason, which was a National Championship.