Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Mighty Six: How To Defeat The Duke Blue Devils

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Duke is coming off a National Championship win against Butler. They returned Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith but also lost Jon Scheyer and Brian Zoubek.

However, they are equipped with the Plumlee twins and Coach K recruited Kyrie Irving, the best point guard in the 2010 class.

They're coming into next season as the consensus favorites to win another National Championship.

It's not much of an argument either. They're equipped with one of the most talented and deepest teams headed into next season. 

They almost seem unstoppable but the Blue Devils aren't perfect. They do have flaws that teams can capitalize on. You want to know how teams can defeat Duke. Here are five things teams should do to defeat the Blue Devils.

Attack the Frontcourt
Without Zoubek, the Blue Devils definitely lack strength in the frontcourt. With Lance Thomas gone as well, the Plumlee twins are looking to bring the frontcourt intensity. 

However, that is still the weakest part of their roster. 

If teams want to beat Duke, they'll need to attack the frontcourt at all cost. Even with Zoubek and Thomas it worked. So just imagine how things will go now.

Play Pressure Zone
Last season if you even thought about playing zone against Duke, you would walk away with a loss. 

However, without Scheyer's three-pointers teams will be able to play a tough 2-3 zone.

You play a zone because, really, who can hold anybody on Duke's team? Irving is unstoppable in the one-on-one and Singler will just shoot on you. Nolan Smith likes to be aggressive and take it to the basket; the twins down-low in the post; One-on-one?

Share The Ball on Offense
Nothing beats an offense like making the extra pass. The teams that make the extra pass usually are the ones that are successful.

I remember last season, the Georgetown Hoyas moved the ball around very well against Duke. 

They ended up with 20 assist and shot 71 percent in a 12-point victory.

If teams want that to happen, they first need a good point guard and un-selfish players.

Create Turnovers
The way Duke runs their offense is exciting to watch. They’re Very crisp, proficient, a lot of movement and very good looking shots.

However, when you have the ability to create turnovers, it'll mess up their offensive flow.

Once you mess up Duke's offensive flow, you've put yourself in prime position to win the game.

Take The Lead Early
It's always good to get off to a good start. Teams that usually do that are the ones in the win column. If you can score buckets early, you'll gain more confidence.

With more confidence, you'll most likely keep hitting shots and start playing tough defense.

An early lead always puts the pressure on the favorite. Just ask the Kansas Jayhawks what happened with Northern Iowa. 

Want It More Than Duke
Next season the Duke Blue Devils will have that target on their back. A lot of teams are going to give it their all every given night.

With any team, if you out-hustle them, play with passion and stay aggressive you will have a chance to compete with them the whole game.
Being the favorite to win the title is tough on any team. That puts a target on your back that every team wants to knock off. This means the Blue Devils will have to play at their best night-in and night-out. 

So trying to achieve these six rules against the Blue Devils at their best is going to be a challenge for every team on their schedule. However, it is obtainable.

The good teams will achieve these six steps and march to victory. If you're lucky, you'll achieve a few and win.

However, with the talent Duke has, beating them will be hard. Not too many teams will upset them next season but we'll see.


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