Duke Basketball Strengths and Weaknesses
The Duke Blue Devils are back after winning the ACC regular-season championship last year. They return their top player in junior starting guard Jeremy Roach, and they have one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. This year’s squad should improve on that performance and win the ACC tournament. But before you jump to conclusions, it’s important to know more about the program’s strengths and weaknesses.
If you’re a student at Duke University, you probably are familiar with Duke football and basketball. But if you don’t know much about the sports, here’s a quick primer: Duke plays Virginia, and Virginia plays Duke. It’s an unreal matchup and both teams are loaded with talented players.
Virginia has proven to be a formidable opponent, and Duke’s defense is one of the best in the ACC. UVA, meanwhile, has regressed from the 48-0 win that it earned last season in Charlottesville. If these two teams meet on Saturday, you can bet that the defensive line will be able to slow down UVA’s offense and limit the damage that Duke will do on offense.
The athletic teams at Duke University joined the Southern Conference in 1929, but left the conference in 1953 to form the Atlantic Coast Conference. Before the ACC, the athletic teams were known as the Trinity Eleven, the Blue and White, or the Methodists. The name “Blue Devils” was considered controversial, but it was later clarified as a patriotic and military term, based on the name of a unit of French military soldiers.
The University is also home to Wallace Wade Stadium, which hosted the 1942 Rose Bowl. This stadium was named after Wallace Wade, the coach of Duke’s football team from 1938 to 1942. Wade stunned the college football world when he left Alabama to coach at Duke. He rationalized the move by saying that his academic background would make him a better coach at Duke. His “Iron Dukes” went undefeated in the regular season in 1938.
Duke football and basketball teams have a rich history. While Duke football has mostly underwhelming records, Duke basketball has a long and storied history. Students lining the court are called Cameron Crazies. The basketball team, meanwhile, plays in the Cameron Indoor Stadium, which has 9,314 seats. During the season, the stadium is packed with Duke students and is top notch for players.
The Blue Devils have a surprisingly balanced offensive attack. The Blue Devils are second in the ACC in rushing attempts and fourth in passing yards per game. Their quarterback Riley Leonard has an amazingly accurate passer rating. His completion percentage of 71.3% is the highest in the ACC, and his average completion rate leads the conference.
The Blue Devils’ roster is full of talent, but not every player can score 20+ points. The women’s team is solid, while the men’s team has been plagued by scandals and mediocre play. Luckily, some of these players are back in the lineup. Despite the losses, the Blue Devils are still a contender for the National Championship.