Duke Basketball: Examining the Blue Devils' Biggest Weaknesses

Phil GCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2012

Duke Basketball: Examining the Blue Devils' Biggest Weaknesses

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    Coach Mike Krzyzewski has Duke basketball absolutely humming right now and in prime position to contend for a championship this season. 

    After a recent 90-67 blowout win against Temple and several standout wins against ranked opponents (Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State), Duke has set itself up as the team to beat. 

    However, every great team has a few weaknesses. And despite how impressive Duke has looked, there are several weaknesses that it must overcome in order to compete for a championship. 

    Here are three weaknesses that could derail Duke from its ultimate goal of a championship.  

Rebounding

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    The Blue Devils rank 174th in the nation at rebounding. We all know defense and rebounding are the key ingredients for championship teams. 

    Duke needs to make a significant leap in the rebounding department if it hopes to compete for a championship this season.

    I can't envision Duke being this bad for the entire college basketball season. Look for this statistic to pick up. 

Mason Plumlee's Free-Throw Shooting

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    Hear me out first. Plumlee deserves all the credit in the world for significantly improving his free-throw percentage this season. 

    Plumlee went from being a 50.1 percent free-throw shooter (average in first three seasons), to a much-improved 73.1 in 2012 (a round of applause).

    However, free-throw percentage can be a very fickle statistic. It can be a very inconsistent stat, especially for players who don't naturally shoot free throws well.

    Again, I am not saying Plumlee will return to his bad habits; however, there is a possibility his free-throw percentage could take a dip. Countless NBA players have suffered the same fate, including some bigger names like LeBron James (shooting 65 percent from free throws in 2012)

    I may be nitpicking here, but Duke can't have Plumlee on the bench in the closing minutes. He is such a big piece of this Duke team. They need him on the court playing at his best. 

Thin Bench

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    As well as the Duke starters have performed in the early parts of the season, what happens if an injury occurs? 

    Coach Krzyzewski doles out most of his minutes to his starters, but depth will be crucial down the line, especially against the top teams. 

    This a minor issue, because we can't predict injuries and such; however, if "Coach K" can regulate some of those minutes to a few bench players, it could help in Duke's championship run.