Duke Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Duke Blue Devils
ACC (29-4, 15-3)


Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has surpassed 900 wins at Duke and 1,000 overall wins for his career. He also added one player dismissal to his resume this season as Coach K kicked guard Rasheed Sulaimon off the team. Combined with the transfer of Semi Ojeleye and the learning curve for freshman Grayson Allen, Duke is a very thin basketball team. This has done two things. It has made the team vulnerable to the upset, but it has also highlighted how supremely talented Duke’s top five is.

Big Wins: 12/3 at Wisconsin (80-70), 1/31 at Virginia (69-63), 3/7 at North Carolina (84-77)
Bad Losses: 1/11 at North Carolina State (75-87), 1/13 Miami FL (74-90), 1/28 at Notre Dame (73-77)
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Why They Can Surprise:
Things start down low with the likely number-one overall pick in this summer’s NBA draft, Jahlil Okafor. The freshman center has been sensational this season in and around the paint. He can score one-on-one against any defender in the country. He can pass out of double-teams. Okafor can do it all on the offensive end. It helps that he’s encircled by talent all game long as well. Forward Justise Winslow, although still looking for a consistent stroke, is a menace to defend. He managed to start off his very first season with five consecutive games topping a dozen points. His rebounding picked up as the season neared its close as Winslow was simply excelling off athleticism and instincts. To make things impossible for opposing defenses, the Blue Devils’ strength may be their guards. Senior Quinn Cook and freshman Tyus Jones make a fearsome pairing on the outside. When Cook gets hot from three, nobody in the country is better. And Jones may be the best pure point guard in the nation. There is nothing he can’t do, even on the biggest of stages.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Duke is a truly mediocre defensive team. Okafor is a star, but he is not an effective defender, not yet at least. Amile Jefferson has not developed into an elite rim protector, and Marshall Plumlee doesn’t play enough minutes to make an impact. And around the perimeter, Duke seems even worse. Just look at some of its game results this regular season. The Blue Devils gave up 87 and 90 points, respectively in back-to-back midseason losses to mediocre conference foes. They gave up another 90 points and 86 points in respective overtime wins in February, the latter of which came against Virginia Tech, arguably the worst team in the ACC. Duke’s defense is a tangible level below where its offense is, and that could be what holds this team back from postseason success.

Probable Starters:
Quinn Cook, Senior, Guard, 15.7 ppg, 2.7 asp, 1.0 spg
Tyus Jones, Freshman, Guard, 11.6 ppg, 5.8 apg, 1.5 spg
Justise Winslow, Freshman, Forward, 12.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.0 apg
Amile Jefferson, Junior, Forward, 6.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg
Jahlil Okafor, Freshman, Center, 17.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Matt Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 2.4 bpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.3 (3rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.7 (146, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.2 (3, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (175, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (46, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.2 (21, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.1 (175, 7)
Rebound Margin: 6.6 (19, 4)
Assists Per Game: 15.7 (17, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (62, 6)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round loss to Mercer
2013    NCAA    Second Round win over Albany
2013    NCAA    Third Round win over Creighton
2013    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Michigan State
2013    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Louisville
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to Lehigh
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Hampton
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Michigan
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Arizona
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 win over California
2010    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Purdue
2010    NCAA    Regional Final win over Baylor
2010    NCAA    National Semifinal win over West Virginia
2010    NCAA    National Final win over Butler
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Binghamton
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Texas
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Villanova
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to West Virginia
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Belmont
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to VCU

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules