Duke-Asheville basketball notes:
Some notes from Duke lockerroom following the Blue Devils' 91-55 win over UNC Asheville:
Oh those rebounds – In the first half, 11 minutes into Monday night’s 91-55 Duke win over UNC Asheville, the Bulldogs had recorded seven offensive rebounds against the Blue Devils.
On the Duke bench, the coaching staff seemed to grow angrier and angrier with each rebound Asheville’s players secured.
Things eventually got better as Duke kept working one what’s been a glaring weakness so far this season.
“We are working on it,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I don’t think we are a great rebounding team. But we need to be a better rebounding team. We were that tonight. The kids are trying.”
Duke finished with a 42-28 rebounding edge over Asheville. Over the final 27 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs corralled only six offensive rebounds.
While Jabari Parker led Duke with 10 rebounds, freshman Semi Ojeleye turned in impressive work off the bench. The 6-6 forward had 10 points and five rebounds in his 14 minutes of play.
Amile Jefferson grabbed six rebounds for Duke.
Duke’s Rodney Hood, who had four rebounds, explained that UNC Asheville’s offense, designed at spreading the court, affected rebounding early.
“We made them shoot jumpers, which was the game plan,” Hood said. “There were long rebounds. Their two bigs were in the corners so they had a running start to the lane. So we switched up the defense.”
Sulaimon struggles – Sophomore guard Rasheed Sulaimon did contribute to Duke’s rebounding edge by grabbing four.
But the 6-4 guard, a starter all last season as a freshman, scored only three points while attempting only two field goals in his 13 minutes of play against Asheville.
“He didn’t play well tonight,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s pretty obvious, right?”
Sulaimon didn’t start Duke’s first two games this season. But he scored 20 points in the 111-77 win over Davidson and 13 in the 94-83 loss to Kansas.
His first start of the season came last Friday against Florida Atlantic, but he scored just four points while committing three fouls. He started against Asheville and his production dropped even further.
Defending the point – Like everyone in college basketball, Duke point guard Quinn Cook is adjusting to the new way officials are calling fouls this season. It makes it tougher for defenders.
But Cook played 31 minutes against Asheville and committed only one foul. It occurred while he was guarding a Bulldogs ballhandler who was bringing the ball up the court.
Cook immediately went to the referee, not to complain, but to get an interpretation of what went wrong. He was satisfied with the answer.
“I think he has done a nice job with the new rule,” Krzyzewski said. “The one foul he got was with his body, not his hands. He was playing defense with his feet, which is what you should be doing. He’s moving his feet very, very well.”
Cook committed four fouls against Kansas, but has just one foul each in the two games since then.