The Duke Blue Devils are off to a great start, winning 10 of their first 11 games.
They are doing it by averaging 80 points per game and making 50 percent of their field goals. However, their lack of rebounding will be the reason why this Blue Devils team will not live up to their potential this year.
Duke ranks 206th in the NCAA in rebounding, averaging only 35 per game. That places them eighth in the ACC.
The Blue Devils’ are averaging fewer than 10 offensive rebounds per game and only 25 defensive rebounds per game. Their offensive rebounding ranks near the bottom of the ACC, while their defensive rebounding ranks fifth in the conference.
Luckily for the Blue Devils, their inability to rebound did not result in key losses in big games this year against Kansas and Michigan.
In a close 82-75 victory over Michigan, the Blue Devils were out rebounded 41-31.
Against Kansas, The Blue Devils’ rebounding problems almost caused them to fall in a close game. Luckily for Duke, they were able to pull off a victory, 68-61. That game saw the Jayhawks out-rebound the Blue Devils 42-38.
In Duke’s lone loss on the season to Ohio State, the Buckeyes held the Blue Devils to 3-of-15 on three-pointers, while out-rebounding them 39-28. The lack of rebounding led to the Buckeyes crushing Duke 85-63.
This rebounding issue should concern Blue Devils fans.
When they were knocked out of the NCAA College Basketball tournament in the Sweet 16 last year to the Arizona Wildcats, Duke was out-rebounded 35-26. The final score saw Arizona winning 93-77.
Duke is a phenomenal shooting team this year. They rank first in the ACC in three-point percentage, shots made, points per game, points per shot and field goal percentage.
Will Duke's rebounding issues keep them from winning the NCAA Tournament this year?
However, when they run into a good defensive team in the ACC like Florida State, North Carolina or Virginia Tech, they will have a tougher time getting quality shots.
When Duke is forced into second-chance opportunities their chances of being victorious are significantly decreased.
Hopefully for Duke fans, the team can correct this problem before they get into the bulk of their ACC season, and before the NCAA Tournament.