May 20, 2024

Opening Statement:

Firstly, congratulations to Arizona; they’re an exceptionally talented team with great coaching, and I anticipate a successful season for them. They were more aggressive in the first half, and we didn’t perform at our best, although the game was close. Crucially, we lacked cohesion, a departure from the typical Duke basketball style, and I take full responsibility for that. We had too many possessions with minimal passing, and that’s something we’ll address in our upcoming practices as we prepare for Michigan State. Regardless of the outcome, this game provides valuable insights, a reality check that highlights areas for improvement. While I never enjoy losing, I appreciate the opportunity to face a team like Arizona early in the season.

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On Offensive Strategy:

The difference lies in the quality of shots we took and making the opposing team work on defense. Rushing into plays and attempting one-on-one situations are not effective strategies, especially against formidable opponents like Arizona. We need to assess the film and understand the motivation behind such decisions. It’s not winning basketball, and we possess the talent and firepower to play a more strategic game. Wasted possessions, bad shots, and turnovers not only hinder our scoring but also lead to advantageous situations for the opposing team.

On Rebounding and Playing Guards:

Rebounding is about effort and mindset, irrespective of size. While our guards need to contribute more in this aspect, it’s also essential for all five players on the court to be involved in blocking out. Despite having three guards, our team isn’t small, and it’s a matter of mindset rather than physical stature. Tonight, there were instances where we observed instead of actively pursuing the ball. This indicates a focus on offense, which needs to be balanced.

On Preparing for Michigan State:

We must swiftly move on from this game, win or lose, given our challenging schedule. Michigan State, coming off a loss, will be a hungry team, and we need to be prepared. Although I haven’t extensively studied them yet, I believe they have the potential to be a formidable opponent. Our focus is on getting ready for the next game, recognizing that it’s a long season with ample room for correction and improvement.

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