Duke has been playing with fire since the start of the PK80 and they finally paid their dividends on Saturday at Boston College.
The Eagles took down the No. 1 team in the country with an 89-84 win at Conte Forum thanks to a superb performance by their backcourt duo, Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson.
Bowman dropped 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out nine assists while playing with four fouls for the final six or so minutes. Robinson added 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Jordan Chatman hit five threes on his way to 22 points.
Gary Trent Jr. led Duke with 25 points and even though Bagley was quiet for most of the afternoon, he still put up a double-double, 15 points and 12 boards. Meanwhile, Grayson Allen struggled as he made just five of 20 shots and finished with 14 points.
The Eagles led by seven at halftime after shooting 59 percent from the field and drilling 11 threes (!!) in the opening frame. They had nine turnovers and struggled to contain Duke’s bigs in the paint, but a leaky Blue Devils defense allowed multiple open shooters and was unable to contain the pick-and-roll.
Duke rallied in the second half and even took a four-point lead on a long Trent three. However, Bowman and Robinson took over down the stretch and led BC to their biggest win of the Jim Christian era.
The Eagles (7-3) will face Columbia next week, while the Blue Devils (11-1) will host Evansville on December 20.
Duke’s defense is really poor
This is not the first time we’ve heard this this season, but the Blue Devils have major issues defensively. While you must credit Boston College for their hot shooting performance, the Blue Devils allowed open shooters, didn’t run Bowman and Robinson off the three-point line and failed to contain the dribble-drive.
Duke allowed the Eagles to hit 51 percent of their shots from the field and 58 percent of their threes. They also couldn’t capitalize on 17 BC turnovers.
The most concerning aspect of this performance by Duke’s defense was the fact that they couldn’t guard the Eagles in a man-to-man or a zone. The Blue Devils’ zone allowed them to rally against Florida and Texas in the PK80, but on Saturday afternoon, it only gave the Eagles more incentive to take and make perimeter shots.
Bowman and Robinson are the real deal
Bowman and Robinson were the most underrated backcourt in the ACC.
Bowman is just a sophomore, however, he plays with a fearless mentality and is able to score from all three levels. His ability to create separation on his jump shot and his sneaky good passing skills gives Boston College the perfect point guard to run Christian’s offensive scheme.
Robinson is more experienced — he’s a junior — and his shooting ability from both beyond the arc and in the mid-range allows the Eagles to spread the floor.
Add in Chatman’s improved play as of late, and Boston College might be much better in the ACC than we all thought.
The Eagles actually out-rebounded Duke
Yes, it was only by one board, but for a team that just lost their top big man, Deontae Hawkins, to a season-ending knee injury, this was impressive and shocking.
Against a Duke unit that possesses a plethora of elite big men, including one of the projected top picks in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Eagles did a great job of limiting second-chance opportunities.
Bagley looked gassed by the end of the game and BC’s game plan was clearly to gang rebound with their guards and take Bagley out of his rhythm by exposing him on the defensive end of the floor.
It sure worked out for the best.
Duke should not be taking 30 threes
I understand the new age of basketball focuses heavily on the three-pointer, but Duke should be running their offense through the post.
Bagley is one of the best players in college basketball. Carter has elite moves on the block. And even guys like Trent and Trevon Duval can post up their defenders because of their size, athleticism and length.
Duke is a team that is built around their big men, not their perimeter shooting.