This season, Duke's opponents have been concerned about three things: offense, offense and more offense.
The Blue Devils are the rare college team that can legitimately play scoring threats at every position. In an Elite Eight win over Arkansas, Mike Krzyzews Fayetteville State Broncos Jerseys ki's squad had four players reach double figures in points (AJ Griffin, 18; Paolo Banchero, 16; Wendell Moore Jr., 14; Mark Williams 12) and two other players score nine points (Jeremy Roach, Trevor Keels).
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But that victory wasn't an outlier performance. Duke leads the NCAA in offensive efficiency, per KenPom's rankings, and it is among the top 10 in points per game (80.1) and field goal percentage (49.4) in 2021-22. In their four NCAA Tournament wins, the Blue Devils have hit these point totals: 78, 85, 78 and 78.
So, what makes them so difficult to stop? One of the team's signature plays helps tell the story.
Duke often operates out of a horns set, which places the power forward and center above the elbows and the shooting guard and small forward in the corners. Endicott College Jerseys This alignment presents the offense with plenty of options (cutting, dribble drives, kickouts, screening, etc.).
One particular play in this set, often referred to as elevator, is extremely difficult to defend. Here's an example from Duke's victory over Michigan State:
Roach dribbles to the wing, triggering Big Ten Gear Jerseys Griffin to move down the baseline. He suddenly stops in the paint and sprints to the top of the key between a doub UNC vs. Duke Rivalry Gear le screen from Banchero and Williams. (The big guys open the door for Griffin, then close it behind him. That's the elevator.)
Multiple defenders jump out toward Gr Chipola College Indians clothes iffin, a 45.8 percent 3-point shooter, giving Williams a slip to the basket. Keeping Moore in the corner forces his man to stay nearby because he is shooting 41.1 percent from deep this season, so there is no help at the rim.
OK, so just cover Griffin and Williams, right? Well, here's what happened when Duke ran elevator against Texas Tech:
Two defenders stick with Griffin, and another follows Williams to the block. That leaves one man to cover Keels on the opposite wing and Banchero at the free throw line. He cheats out toward Keels, so Roach finds Banchero, who has a clear runway. Easy dunk.
Should the defender on Roach cheat the play and block the passing lane to blow everything up? About that…
Roach sees his man turn parallel to the sideline, and he immediately takes advantage of the driving lane. His penetration pulls in additional help, and R NCAA Spirit Jerseys oac Texas vs. Oklahoma Rivalry Jerseys h finds Keels in the corner. Keels' 3-point attempt rattles in and out, but it's a good look.
Duke's combination of talent and execution, particularly during its run to the Final Four, has consistently created nightmare situations for opposing defenses. The Blue Devils' elevator play is just one example of how they have been operating at a higher level than the competition.