Duke Now

Duke basketball is off to a historic start

With 10 games in the books, it’s pretty clear that the Blue Devils are one of college basketball’s elite teams.

But even by Duke standards, it has been a historic start.

All 10 wins have come by double digits – the first season in school history that has ever started in such dominant fashion. Over the course of the 400 minutes the Blue Devils have played, they have trailed for just 5:01 of game time. And the largest deficit Duke has faced is four points, when it was 6-2 Wisconsin.

Still, the Blue Devils have been tested. Both the games against Wisconsin and Connecticut were tied in the second half. And, unlike the dominant offensive showing against the Badgers, Duke had to find a way to win against the Huskies on a night where shots weren’t falling. Inevitably, that will happen some nights, so learning how to win on a night without your fastball is valuable.

The 66-56 win against the Huskies was the first time this year Duke’s offensive efficiency was below 100, on Ken Pomeroy’s scale, with the Blue Devils averaging just .975 points per possession. It’s true UConn ranks 22nd in adjusted defensive efficiency – but Duke has already demonstrated it can break an elite defense (Wisconsin ranks eighth, and Duke scored 1.3 points per possession against the Badgers).

As Mike Krzyzewski has mentioned after nearly every game this year, it’s still early in the season with plenty of time left for the Blue Devils to improve. If they keep building on this start, it could shape into a historic finish.

– Laura Keeley

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