In the first half, Grayson Allen was cooking in the Yum! Center. Duke’s sophomore star responding to Louisville’s well-run offensive possessions with deflating 3-pointers at the end of the shot clock. By halftime, Allen had already totaled 19 points on 6-for-7 shooting, far and away better than the rest of his Duke teammates.
Duke in first half:
Grayson Allen 19 pts, 6-7 FG, 4-5 3-pt FG
All others: 18 pts, 7-19 FG, 3-7 3-pt FG pic.twitter.com/Iasjt9Dq9Z
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 20, 2016
Then after halftime, Louisville went on a run, Grayson Allen got hit in the face and the Duke meltdown started. A technical foul on Mike Krzyzewski was followed by a technical foul on Allen. Derryck Thornton went down hard, left with an apparent shoulder injury and returned to action after Allen received his fifth foul and had to check out of the game.
Duke announced that Matt Jones would be available to play before the game, but it was a con it appears, as Jones never took off his warmups. Louisville was rolling, and you could tell Coach K was running out of options.
When you first heard Kanye’s album was only on Tidal pic.twitter.com/pTdbeMX0HN
— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) February 20, 2016
When you see your friends posting on Instagram from your favorite brewery & you’re at home. RT @the_Jameson: pic.twitter.com/qPVe1KYFrK
— Joe Ovies (@joeovies) February 20, 2016
This game really mattered to Louisville. It carried extra significance as one of just two remaining games in the Yum! Center, the other being a mid-week game against Georgia Tech. You could see it in Damion Lee, finishing out what has been a productive season, relishing this moment to take down one of the ACC’s blue bloods. He transferred to Louisville for his final year of eligibility to showcase his high-scoring potential on the big stage and did so on Saturday with a team-high 24 points.
The loss exposes the floor for Duke, at least how dire the situation actually looks once this already short-handed team faces foul trouble and/or more injuries. Playing just a handful of players works on paper and did against North Carolina on Wednesday, but a few bad breaks can drastically alter the Blue Devils’ potential.