Duke didn’t waste any time embracing its faster offense. The Devils ran right by Princeton in their 2010-11 opener, 97-60, but it wasn’t exactly what coach Mike Krzyzewski wanted. At first.
“We had too much energy on the offensive end in the first half. We just wanted it so badly that I think we screwed up about five fast breaks,” Krzyzewski said. “We didn’t attack the zone right because … I don’t know. We were a little bit whacked out with all the energy. In the second half, we combined energy and poise.”
The Devils cut down the nets in 2010 playing slightly slower than the average D-I team. But with the departure of deliberate point guard Jon Scheyer and burly 7-footer Brian Zoubek and the arrival of freshman point guard Kyrie Irving – the most touted PG prospect in Durham since Jason Williams – they figured to push the pace this season.
Now the only question is fine tuning the offense.
On roughly 76 possessions, the Devils scored 1.3 points per trip and boasted an eFG% of 66 percent. (It helps to make 20 of 30 shots in the second half.) That’s a slight uptick in efficiency from last season at a significantly faster pace. (Duke forced 27 turnovers, but the Tigers did post an eFG% of .52, a small concern for now.)
And it’s a fine way to kick off a title defense.
“I don’t know how many teams are going to be able to play with Duke,” said Princeton caoch Sydney Johnson.”There might be 10 teams in the country that can handle all the things that they throw at you. So, good luck to those guys, because Duke’s pretty good.”