Jahlil Okafor went for 25 points and 20 rebounds for No. 2 Duke in a meaningless win over a team few people have heard of on a night where everyone in the country was focused New Orleans beating the pants off of Chicago in the final game of fantasy football semifinal week.
So it’s not exactly surprising if the only thing you hear about the game is that Okafor, who is probably the National Player of the Year at this point in the season, finished with 25 points and 20 boards.
But so there’s much more to the story, as the Blue Devils played arguably their worst game of the season, beating Elon just 75-62. It’s somewhat understandable, as they’ve been off since winning at Wisconsin and just went through finals, but head coach Mke Krzyzewski wasn’t trying to hear that as an excuse.
“Obviously, I’m not satisfied with the way we played tonight,” Krzyzewski told reporters. “We’ve got a long way to go. And we did not do hard things tonight. Hard things would be finishes. Hard things would be strong with the ball. Hard things would be to talk. Hard things would be to dive for loose balls. We didn’t do those things, which is what we’ve been doing.”
According to Laura Keeley of the News & Observer, those things include shooting 14-for-27 from the line, committing 16 turnovers and hitting just 3-of-16 from three.
And in games like that, Krzyzewski said, having a player as talented as Okafor can sometimes be a negative. He’s makeup, something that can make an ugly performance look better
“He can cover it up for awhile,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s like sweeping dirt under a rug, man. The dirt is still there. Now, he was a big rug. But you’re still sweeping dirt under it.”