Duke misplaced a hard-fought sport to Virginia Tech Monday evening, 78-75. We will completely stay with Duke’s effort, particularly from Kyle Filopowski, who was sensible, however Dariq Whitehead left early within the second half with an damage that didn’t look good.
Whitehead jumped for a ball and grabbed his calf within the air and instantly headed to the bench. He was assisted to the locker room and later returned, on crutches, to observe the top.
Duke began out brilliantly, working to a 7-0 lead earlier than Virginia Tech heated up. The Hokies shot out to a 29-19 lead and Duke seemed shaky. Nonetheless, the Blue Devils reduce the result in 45-38 on the half.
And early within the second half, Duke stormed the remainder of the best way again – after which Whitehead jumped for a unfastened ball in opposition to Hokie Justyn Mutts, solely to seize his calf earlier than he got here down. Hypothesis is rife on the damage however let’s wait and see what the official phrase is. It’s an terrible factor to see although. Whitehead had 10 factors within the first half and gave the impression to be rising as a dependable scorer for the Blue Devils. And he would have helped on the finish of the sport, too.
Filipowski, as famous, actually stepped up. The large freshman completed with 29 factors and 10 rebounds. And whereas he has shot threes all season, he hasn’t shot them like he did Monday evening, hitting 4-8. The issue with having your greatest rebounder miss threes is that he’s not prone to get the rebounds. That’s not likely an issue if he’s hitting them although.
What we actually did like about this sport was that Duke fought. They misplaced Whitehead they usually nonetheless fought. They received killed on threes within the first half and defended the bomb significantly better within the second half.
Jeremy Roach, who continues to be not in perfect sport form, hit some huge baskets and performed laborious all through. Tyrese Proctor didn’t shoot properly general however drove properly, ran the crew properly and received the ball to Filipowski in place to attain.
The underside line stays the underside line although. Roach missed the entrance finish of a one-on-one with 2:17 left and Duke down three. Filipowski cut up on a pair with 1:30 left and the Blue Devils down three.
Even so, Proctor tied the sport 75-75 on a 3 with :41 to go. Then got here a bizarre twist.
Michael Collins hit a shot within the lane…after which he hit Filipowski.
Proper within the neck.
Was it incidental? Simply celebratory?
Properly perhaps. However the blow staggered Filipowski and Virginia Tech unquestionably gained a bonus with :04 left. Duke might have introduced the ball up court docket earlier than the Hokie protection was organized.
We will see the argument for it being unintentional and our coverage has all the time been to not blame the officers for something except it’s the ultimate play or, on this case, shut sufficient. Followers, together with us, love to tear the refs for perceived errors however the actuality is it’s a fancy and fast-paced job to be a ref and most of us don’t have any clue. Nonetheless, when the sport hinges on a name or, on this case, non-call, it stinks.
We count on the convention will evaluation the non-call.
After that, Ryan Younger had the inbounds with :03 left and was unguarded. Hunter Cattoor stole the go and that was that.
It’s by no means enjoyable to lose nevertheless it’s much less painful when you may see development and we noticed some on this one. Folks will level to Virginia Tech’s dropping streak however that’s a sucker’s play. It is a gifted, well-coached crew that misplaced a key participant for a couple of weeks. And it’s not like they had been getting blown out. Syracuse and Virginia gained by 10 every however the different video games had been 1-4 level losses. This one was a three-point win.
It’s a troublesome loss however there’s quite a bit to construct on. It’ll be simpler to do this if Whitehead isn’t out long-term, however there’s nothing anybody can do about that besides hope for the very best.
Subsequent play: on to Georgia Tech Saturday.
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