Duke Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Duke Blue Devils
ACC (26-8, 13-5)


Hating Duke is a rite of passage for any college basketball fan who isn't a fan of Duke. The Blue Devils are the closest thing to an evil empire that exists in the sport. They win a ton of games every season, including some championships. They have a Hall of Fame coach who recruits like it. And every season they seem to have players who are just so easy to dislike...except this season. For whatever reason, call it a statistical anomaly, the 2013-14 Duke Blue Devils are kind of enjoyable to watch. Maybe it's because they are almost finally out of Plumlees.

Big Wins: 12/3 Michigan (79-69), 1/13 Virginia (69-65), 2/22 Syracuse (66-60)
Bad Losses: 1/4 at Notre Dame (77-79), 2/20 at North Carolina (66-74), 3/5 at Wake Forest (72-82)
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (34 seasons at Duke)

Why They Can Surprise:
This version of Duke is like a supercharged version of past models. They are perhaps the best team in the country at shooting from the efficient spots on the floor; namely the free-throw line and the three-point line. They have two elite talents in Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood. Either player can control and take over an entire game anytime he steps foot on the court. Parker also combines with Amile Jefferson to form a pretty solid rebounding duo. Along with other sharpshooters like Andre Dawkins and Rasheed Sulaimon, the Blue Devils offense is a force to be reckoned with. This has been the M.O. for Krzyzewski-coached teams for a few years now. Perhaps it started from an inability to recruit the best big men or best athletes, so he settled on spreading the floor with outside shooters. However, now that he can and does bring in top talent every season, Coach K is still flooding the floor with shooters, to the detriment of the other side of the ball unfortunately.

Why They Can Disappoint:
While the outside is a place teams don't want to challenge Duke on, in the paint is where Duke gets handled rather regularly. Other than Parker and Jefferson, there is no one on the roster who can consistently battle inside. Marshall Plumlee is not the player either of his brothers were as far as rebounding and protecting the rim. Because of that, Duke simply has no presence in there. The thinly-built Jefferson is one of the most efficient rebounders in the ACC, but he doesn't play a ton of minutes and is not a shot blocker. In all of Duke's losses this season, they have been beaten soundly inside. The three-point shooting on offense is a constant. It also appears as though the nearly negative rebounding margin and poor field-goal defense are as well. This is not to say Duke can't win big games, but they are near the top of the country in offensive rating and just plain average in defensive rating for a reason.

Probable Starters:
Tyler Thornton, Senior, Guard, 3.0 ppg, 2.4 apg
Rasheed Sulaimon, Sophomore, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 2.4 apg
Rodney Hood, Sophomore, Forward, 16.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Jabari Parker, Freshman, Forward, 19.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Amile Jefferson, Sophomore, Forward, 6.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Quinn Cook, Junior, Guard, 11.3 ppg, 4.4 apg
Andre Dawkins, Senior, Guard, 8.2 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.8 (21st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.1 (92, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.5 (65, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.1 (247, 14)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.1 (8, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.3 (20, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.0 (60, 3)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (127, 10)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (46, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.8 (10, 2)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
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 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules