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How to beat Duke
Alexander Wolff
April 02, 2001
"Their spacing is so good that it's almost impossible to guard them for 35 seconds and not give up an open shot," says one ACC assistant. "But if they're vulnerable, it's because they depend so heavily on the jump shot, and they're not always going to shoot it well. We used zone defense effectively in spurts because it makes them think twice about penetrating to dish for the open three. Their three-point range is so deep that you have to guard them a few feet behind the are and try to force them to drive and score over your post players in the mid-range game."
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April 02, 2001

How To Beat Duke

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"Their spacing is so good that it's almost impossible to guard them for 35 seconds and not give up an open shot," says one ACC assistant. "But if they're vulnerable, it's because they depend so heavily on the jump shot, and they're not always going to shoot it well. We used zone defense effectively in spurts because it makes them think twice about penetrating to dish for the open three. Their three-point range is so deep that you have to guard them a few feet behind the are and try to force them to drive and score over your post players in the mid-range game."

Says an assistant from a team the Blue Devils defeated in the NCAA tournament, "You have to pick your poison against Duke. Shane Battier and Jason Williams are All-Americas, so try to make somebody else beat you. Keep the ball out of Williams's hands as much as possible, but when he has it, make him go left because he finishes better to his right. Make Battier go right because he prefers to go left. Nate James has become a driver lately because he's lost some confidence in his jump shot. When Chris Duhon drives, play him to pitch it back out. Mike Dunleavy is a great spot-up shooter, but if you can make him drive, he'll give up on the play after a couple of dribbles. And also, you must have poise against their defensive pressure and take good percentage shots to keep them from running a fast-break clinic on you."

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