Entering Tuesday night, Duke had not lost in Cameron Indoor Stadium since March of 2012, a streak that had reached 41 games, the longest in the nation.
That all changed thanks to Miami, as the Hurricanes put up 56 points on the Blue Devils in the second half of a 90-74 win. Angel Rodriguez, who thrives for moments like this, finished with 24 points, five assists and five steals and Manu Lecomte added a career-high 23 points as the Hurricanes hit 10 threes in the win.
Duke got a combined 29 points and 27 boards — 14 offensive — from Jahlil Okafor and Amile Jefferson, but between Okafor’s struggles finishing in the post and the shooting issues that the Duke guards had on Tuesday night, the Blue Devils dug themselves a hole that they couldn’t get out of.
It’s the second straight loss for the Blue Devils, who dropped a road game against N.C. State on Sunday afternoon.
I’ll write more on this tomorrow, but the issue for the Blue Devils is on the defensive end of the floor. They have some major defensive issues that they are going to have to work their way through. Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones are both small guards and below-average on-ball defenders, which creates a problem with the way that Duke likes to defend in their half-court man-to-man defense. They consistently have been geting beaten off the dribble far too easily.
It doesn’t help that Okafor is not a rim protector or much help defending pick-and-roll actions. It leaves the guards hung out to dry, and when you’re going against someone as good as Rodriguez of N.C. State’s Trevor Lacey, that becomes a major problem.
Back to Miami, this is a major win for the Hurricanes. Obviously. It’s going to look terrific on their tournament resume come March, and it will help the committee overlook the fact that this group lost to Green Bay and Eastern Kentucky by a combined 41 points in Coral Gables. More than that, this is the kind of confidence-boosting win that can change the course of a team’s season.
They just game the entire ACC the blueprint on how to beat the Blue Devils.