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Notebook: Jeremy Roach comes up big for Duke off the bench in win

virginia duke
Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Jeremy Roach started and played 30 minutes in Duke’s 69-68 loss to Virginia on Feb. 8, but didn’t do all that much – seven points on 2-of-5 shooting, four assists, three turnovers.

Roach, a five-star prep recruit from Northern Virginia who chose Duke over Virginia two years ago, was the difference-maker in Duke’s 65-61 win in Charlottesville Wednesday night, to hear Mike Krzyzewski tell it.

“I really thought the key guy for us in the game was Jeremy. Jeremy came in, and not that he stopped Clark, but he defended him. But then his verve on offense really lifted us,” said Krzyzewski, who added a little later that he thought Roach was “the differentiator.”

Roach had 15 points in 32 minutes off the bench, shooting 6-of-7 from the floor, hitting all three of his three-point attempts – coming in, Roach was shooting 31.3 percent from long-range.

“Just taking what the defense gives me and staying aggressive and confident. I think that’s the biggest key for this game,” Roach said. “We know they’re going to be a tough-nosed team. They guard, they’re physical, so just taking what the defense gives me.”

Reversal of fortunes in the paint

In the win down at Duke, Virginia outscored Duke 52-28 in the paint. It was clear from the opening possession that Krzyzewski was determined that wasn’t going to happen again.

“We defended their bigs, they had  24 and 16 last time, but they had two points this time. I think we only gave up single digits in the paint, where we gave up 52 last game,” Krzyzewski said.

Kadin Shedrick, who had averaged 10.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game over his last six, shooting 71 percent from the floor in that stretch, had the two, his only shot attempt of the night being the back end of an alley-oop from Kihei Clark.

And that was in 26 minutes of floor time.

Francisco Caffaro had zilch, missing all five of his shots, in 13 minutes.

Virginia had just five makes at the rim, on 13 attempts.

In the win down in Cameron, the ‘Hoos had 20 makes at the rim, on 34 attempts.

“They just defended us well, and took us a while to figure it out and have a little patience,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said.

Quick hits

  • It was a low turnover game – Virginia had six, Duke eight.
  • Also a low possession game – Virginia with 56, Duke with 58. You can beat Tony, but you’re going to beat him playing his way.
  • Virginia was 2-of-12 from three in the win down at Duke. Tonight, UVA was 8-of-20, though 6-of-11 of that was Clark.
  • The difference in the game, from the box score, miniscule as it was, was at the free-throw line. Duke was 10-of-17, Virginia was 5-of-8. You often see me write that the team that attacks the rim more should be rewarded with more charity tosses. Virginia, as noted above, was 5-of-13 at the rim; Duke was 13-of-18.

Story by Chris Graham

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