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5 observations from no. 9 duke men's basketball's first half against la salle

tyrese proctor lets loose an attempt from deep during the first half of duke's clash with la salle.
tyrese proctor lets loose an attempt from deep during the first half of duke's clash with la salle.

no. 9 duke is back in action once more tuesday evening against la salle at cameron indoor stadium for the second matchup in the blue devil challenge. with 20 minutes behind it, the home squad leads the visiting explorers 39-29:

attacking the paint

a point of emphasis for the duke offense was driving to the basket and using the players’ strength. the blue devils had 28 points in the paint in the half, a testament to their finishing ability. both duke’s guards and forwards were generally bigger than la salle’s, and the explorers had trouble defending the length of the blue devils. for example, sophomore forward mark mitchell had five inches on his matchup for most of the half, senior guard anwar gill. mitchell had eight points in the opening 20 minutes — a testament to the size advantage.

second-chance points

duke’s calling card last season was its ability to get multiple opportunities on the offensive end, and even when shots were not falling, it was still able to score. it was a similar story tuesday, as the team used its size to secure key rebounds against la salle. on the blue devils’ opening possession, sophomore center kyle filipowski missed his second free throw, and mitchell got the rebound leading to a tyrese proctor jump shot. freshman forward sean stewart opened his scoring with an impressive putback layup off a missed attempt by proctor. duke hit its first 3-pointer of the game with 8:29 remaining in the half off a mitchell offensive rebound and kick out. in total, duke recorded nine second-chance points, in contrast to the explorers’ two.

explorers stay competitive

despite a slow start offensively, la salle was able to stay within striking distance for the majority of the first half as the team eventually found its offensive stride. the explorers missed five of their first six shots, but connected on their next three to cut duke’s lead to 11-9 with 14:03 remaining in the half. with the nerves of a cameron indoor game shaken off, la salle’s talented backcourt changed the pace of the game by initiating a full-court press on duke’s guards, keeping pressure on the blue devils despite their halftime advantage. the team also found ways to get to the charity stripe, knocking down five of its eight attempts. 

stewart’s breakout

stewart has shown flashes of brilliance this year, with elite athleticism and clear potential. however, he has also had moments where his inexperience has shone through, but was a breakout star tuesday. the windermere, fla., native had six points in the first half, using his size to attack the paint against the smaller explorer defenders. he energized the cameron crazies multiple times with an emphatic dunk and a swat on the defensive end as well. stewart also had five total rebounds, including three on the offensive end.

player of the half: tyrese proctor

the sophomore guard has had somewhat of a slow scoring start to the season, even though he has been a productive distributor and rebounder. however, proctor ignited his offensive productivity tuesday, with 14 first-half points. he kicked off duke’s hot scoring run with a 3-point bucket and never looked back. the sydney native is a talented three-level scorer which was on full display, frequently driving to the basket or scoring from his pull-up jump shot. proctor also set the tone as the primary ball handler, dealing with the pressure from the explorers while also finding his shot. 

ranjan jindal profile
ranjan jindal | assistant blue zone editor

ranjan jindal is a trinity sophomore and an assistant blue zone editor of 世界杯欧洲杯小组赛 's 119th volume.


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