The Duke Blue Devils started the season off on a 15-game winning streak, which included wins over Kentucky, Minnesota, Virgina Commonwealth, Louisville and Ohio State. They also took the Battle 4 Atlantis championship and have a No. 1 overall ranking.
Then came the unfortunate injury to senior Ryan Kelly, who is instrumental to Duke's long-term success.
With Kelly sidelined indefinitely, Duke has since gone 2-2 and has not looked like the same team that was once viewed as a serious championship contender. Although the loss of Kelly hurts, it has been a bittersweet situation as it has allowed other players to earn pivotal minutes for a Duke team searching for an entirely new identity.
While the Blue Devils have experienced an extremely abundant amount of success to this point, they will now have to make a strong push through their remaining 12 conference games. Matches that include rematches with North Carolina State and Miami—a chance to redeem their only two losses of the season—and their annual two game clash with rival North Carolina in order to capture their 23rd ACC regular season championship.
Until then, I have recapped each player's individual performance from the first half of the season, and value their importance to this team as they strive towards their ultimate goal of a fifth national championship in school history.