Duke really has had a remarkable season. When I've watched them this year, they have gotten by on team chemistry, possibly more than any other team in the country.
Yes, Gerald Henderson has stepped up his game. And yes, John Scheyer has become a serviceable point guard as part of Krzyzewski's mid-season shake-up.
In the end though, Duke simply did not have enough scoring depth to be a real threat. Generally, when picking out a title contender, you look for a team that has a few options to score so that if one option gets shut down, the team can still prevail.
The difference between Duke's big three (Henderson, Scheyer, and Kyle Singler) and say, Pitt's big three (Blair, Fields, and Young) is that Duke has absolutely no options outside of those three. Who else for the Blue Devils has any scoring potential?
Zoubek? McClure? Lance Thomas? The shell of Greg Paulus? I don't think so.
And let's face it—Scheyer can't really create his own shot. He is an outstanding jump shooter, but at this point in his career, he's not really a scorer per se.
In the end, I applaud Duke. This has been an amazing season. If Henderson stays (and it's probably unlikely), then Duke may be the best team coming back, if they can add some inside scoring from one of the Plumlee brothers.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!