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Well the world of basketball in 2021 is interesting. NC State (8-8) is playing a game against a Coach K coached team that is entering the game at 7-8 and is on a 3 game losing streak. That's right.......... It's February, Duke's got a losing record and Coach K is going to actually seemingly have the losses on his record. Hmm.
We know about State, but what about Duke? On offense, they're the 21rst most efficient team nationally, but I wouldn't classify them as a great shooting team (34.3% from 3 and 71.5% from FTs). They also turn the ball over more than normal, coming in right at the national average rates.
What stands out though is that they do not get to the line -- ranked at 341rst nationally in their offensive free throw rate. While Duke's been a jump shooting team for years, they've often gotten an overly friendly whistle. Their games this year really come down to the line. In games they've shot more free throws than their opponents, they've won all but one. In games they have not, they've lost them all. Lowly Pitt muscled their way to 37 free throw attempts against the Devils and a 2:1 FT attempt ratio.
The perpetually young Blue Devils have struggled defensively since switching to the one and done model. Duke's defense this year is giving up 39% 3 point shooting against all opponents which is 329th nationally. Teams get looks so open that they're making them. They're also fouling (as mentioned).
Duke's mostly playing a 6 man rotation with spot duty for three more. Their impact players are:
The game plan is pretty simple for the Pack:
The computers like the Pack by 3, and give State a 61% chance of winning.