Virginia Tech had what Duke didn’t on Tuesday evening and the Hokies walked off their residence courtroom at Cassell Coliseum with a powerful ACC win.
No, that assertion has nothing to do with No. 20 Virginia Tech having the absolutely stocked teaching workers No. 19 Duke lacked with assistant coach Chris Carrawell again in Durham with an sickness. Nor is it referring to the Hokies having their intact participant rotation, in contrast to the Blue Devils who have been lacking two gamers and had a 3rd who was restricted.
No, Virginia Tech knew what it wanted to do to beat Duke and confidently did it, 74-67.
Duke thought it knew what to do. The Blue Devils are a assured, completed defensive group that had hit sufficient photographs to start out this season’s ACC schedule with three wins.
But none of these wins got here towards a group like the one coach Mike Young has constructed at Virginia Tech. With rugged 6-2, 225-pound sophomore guard Tyrece Radford handing over a sterling efficiency with 18 factors, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, and 6-9 235-pound junior Keve Aluma scoring 17 factors with seven rebounds in 35 turnover-free minutes, the Hokies (10-2, 4-1 ACC) exerted their will to open an 18-point, first-half lead.
Sure it’s the center of January. But on this pandemic altered season, Duke’s freshmen starters like Jeremy Roach and DJ Steward hadn’t performed in a sport like this — on the street, in convention play towards a ranked group.
“They are really good, Mike’s team is,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski stated. “They know who they are.”
Duke (5-3, 3-1 ACC) remains to be figuring it all out.
The want for a wholesome Jalen Johnson
Against Virginia Tech, the Blue Devils used their seventh totally different beginning lineup in eight video games.
Reserves Patrick Tapé, a 6-9 heart, and Henry Coleman, a 6-7 freshman ahead, weren’t out there on account of harm and sickness.
Jalen Johnson, a preseason all-ACC decide, was a starter in Duke’s first 4 video games till a foot harm sidelined him. He missed Duke’s ACC wins over Notre Dame, Boston College and Wake Forest.
He’d solely been by one follow since being medically cleared to return. Krzyzewski had Johnson in uniform Tuesday towards the Hokies however would have most well-liked to let the freshman ahead get in additional follow work earlier than making his return Jan. 19 at Pittsburgh.
But Virginia Tech took an 11-2 lead Tuesday evening. And Duke wanted assist. So Johnson entered the sport.
“I wish we had amazing plans,” Krzyzewski stated. “We are trying to learn. You try different things out, that’s what we are still trying to do. Mike (Young) can have more plans. His team is mature, and they understand their roles and we are still trying to figure that out.”
Averaging 11.9 factors in the 4 video games he performed earlier this season, Johnson wound up taking part in simply 4 minutes, all the first half, and scoring two factors towards Virginia Tech.
“I put him in early to see where that would go,” Krzyzewski stated. “He’s not yet ready, for tonight’s game at least. Hopefully, in a week he will be ready for our next game, his shift had little effect on the game I think.”
Blue Devils wrestle on offense
The Blue Devils have been a step behind over the sport’s first quarter-hour as the Hokies led 36-18. Averaging 10 steals per sport in ACC play, the Blue Devils had however one whereas Virginia Tech made 16 of its first 21 photographs from the area.
Duke clamped down from there, utilizing its protection to get stops and steals and gasoline a rally. The Hokies’ 18-point lead shrunk to 46-34 at halftime.
When Duke made 8 of its first 12 photographs of the second half, with ACC main scorer Matthew Hurt hitting 4 of them, the Blue Devils trailed simply 56-55 with 13:12 to play.
But Duke might by no means take a lead. While the protection remained stable, the offense fell aside. The Blue Devils made simply 4 of their last 22 photographs to complete the sport at 40% general.
“It took us a half to get to the level that we should have played at — our kids ultimately rose to that level,” Krzyzewski stated. “You don’t get rewarded with the win when you play a really good team and don’t stay in the game for 40 minutes. It wasn’t like we weren’t ready for this level of play, our kids came ready and had good attitudes. We responded and did a good job in the second half.”
Roach scored 22 factors, Hurt 20 and Steward 14 in stable efforts on offense. Though scoring solely some extent, Jordan Goldwire had 4 of Duke’s six steals to spur the protection.
It simply wasn’t sufficient towards a robust Virginia Tech group taking part in on its residence courtroom.
Krzyzewski intends to construct this Duke group to deal with such video games as the season progresses. Games like Tuesday provide classes.
Upcoming video games at Louisville and at residence with Clemson and North Carolina will present what the Blue Devils gained from the experience.