ACC Scouting Report: Duke

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Can Tony Bennett’s crew pull off the upset against Duke?

Trying to end a six-game losing streak is no small task and pulling it off against the No. 6 Duke Blue Devils makes it seem even more difficult. Feeding off what should be a raucous crowd in a prime time match-up could also be exactly what this Virginia team needs to gain confidence and put an end to the current slide. Let’s take a look at the scouting report on the Devils.

Duke Offense

Until Mike Krzyzewski’s Olympic experience this section would have been very simple, but ever since Coach K coached LeBron James and company, his Duke offense has taken on a number of different looks and sets. While it’s safe to say that Krzyzewski’s offense was effective before his changes, the added sets make Duke a much harder team to prepare for and defend.

First we’ll focus on the Blue Devils’ primary offense that they’ve run for years. Duke runs a 3-around-2 motion offense, the most basic offense in basketball, and they don’t rely on a lot of bells and whistles to attack the opposing team. Instead of focusing on a rigid play structure Coach K puts the success of his offense on player discipline with an emphasis on spacing the floor. Duke basketball under Coach K might possibly be the best program in the history of college basketball in terms of players being disciplined in getting to their spots and always creating great floor spacing; while most teams fall victim to players getting moved off of their spots and crowding or over-spreading the spacing of their offense, Duke rarely does it in an entire season.

Beyond spacing, the Duke 3-2 motion relies on one true post player and then four players who can interchange spots on the floor. Because the Blue Devils do such an excellent job finding their spots, the offense puts a tremendous amount of pressure on winning individual match-ups on the perimeter and being able to stop the post game without a double team. Duke uses limited screen action out of these sets but once again due to the spacing this screen action can be very difficult to defend because there is rarely the ability to have help on the backside. Duke will set