JUST IN: Duke coach, captain sends a strong message to fans after loss to UNC

Jon Scheyer apologized to the Cameron Crazies and promised that the Duke Blue Devils would play better in the postseason. This is what Duke’s coach and team captain found themselves doing late Saturday night, following their final home game of the season, after rival North Carolina never trailed in defeating the Blue Devils, 84-79. No. 7 UNC celebrated an ACC regular-season championship, a sweep of the Blue Devils, and

Jon Scheyer describes 'blueprint' for Duke basketball

No. 9 Duke (24-7) collected its thoughts and sought answers as it prepared for the ACC Tournament, where it is seeded No. 2. “We’ll get this right,” Scheyer assured Duke students as he paused to meet courtside supporters on his melancholy journey to the locker room. Scheyer didn’t appreciate how the Blue Devils played disjointed basketball on offense in the first few minutes of the game, allowing UNC to take enough uncontested jumpers to create a 17-4 lead.

“They came out and hit us first,” Scheyer explained. “And, really, the last nine games we’ve been hitting other people first.”

Over those nine games, the Blue Devils had gone 8-1, all coming after their defeat at North Carolina on February 3 by a score of 93-84. They appeared to have discovered the upgraded equipment they would require to cause havoc in the postseason. Rather, the Tar Heels (25-6) promptly burst that bubble, making seven of their opening nine field goals. Cormac Ryan sank three 3-pointers, two of which came after the Blue Devils had left him wide open. His shots were clear, confident, and accurate.

Scheyer stated, “You have to make sure Ryan doesn’t have two open threes to start the game.” That’s my meaning. If you entered Cameron with just two wide open threes to begin with, you would feel pretty fantastic. And that establishes the mood for the evening.

In the meantime, Roach had a difficult shooting night in what is likely to be his last home game as a four-year Blue Devil. On a night when Duke’s offense wasn’t at its peak, he scored 13 points while making just 3 of 12 of his shots. According to Roach, “We came out flat, came out settling.” “On the first play of the game, I made a step-back (shot), and it kind of snowballed from there.” After we had somewhat settled in, they made their move, grabbing easy baskets and open buckets, and the rest is history.

The Blue Devils started 4 of 11 from the field, but finally they got some momentum offensively. They shot 43.3% in the end, coming from behind to within a point in the second half before falling short of winning the game altogether. Duke’s lead in their two matches against UNC this season amounted to a mere 16 seconds during the whole 80-minute duration. Scheyer wanted to apologize to the team’s devoted student supporters in part because of this. Scheyer stated, “I just wanted to connect with the students.” “They’re incredible. They are amazing.

That home-court advantage won’t be available to Scheyer and the Blue Devils when they advance to the ACC and NCAA playoffs this month. Right now, the season consists just of neutral-court matches where titles are at stake. Kyle Filipowski, a 7-foot sophomore at Duke, stated, “We’re still one of the best teams in the country.” “Unc does not define our season. Of course, there is much more to this rivalry. But now that the tournament is here, we’re attempting to prepare ourselves for success.

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