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Duke Blue Devils Turning Point For Title Contention

Kyle Filipowski and Duke suffer tough loss but big turning point at Wake.

The Duke Blue Devils just dropped a brutal road game to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are tough, undefeated at home, and have legit NBA talent. By no means did Duke play a bad game, but they gave away a few chances late to steal one on the road. This was one of the best games of the season as the contest was played within six points for all 40 minutes. With that being said, the game was far from the discussion after the buzzer sounded. Kyle Filipowski was struck by multiple Wake Forest students following a court-storming. That few seconds, as well as the end of the game, may have been just the rallying cry Duke needed. The Duke Blue Devils’ turning point arrived.

Duke Blue Devils May Have Turned Corner


Leadership has been a big question for Duke. They lost many close games this year. Actually, all six losses have come by less than ten points. In many of those games, Duke made crucial errors down the stretch. Against Wake Forest, the Blue Devils managed to turn the ball over in four of their last five possessions, including a possession to tie or win the game. However, what happened after that moment is what was intriguing.

Tyrese Proctor was indecisive on the last possession and threw the ball off of Filipowski’s hands to essentially seal the loss. In previous games this year, there would have been a lot of head-hanging and a lot of divisive body language. Today, the only one that hung his head was Proctor and he was quickly consoled by Flip. That statement would not have been true just a few weeks ago.

Part of this change has to do with star freshman Jared McCain and his incredible attitude. McCain and the Blue Devils have recently used a Positive Potato to make sure good vibes are felt all around. These vibes and this positive leadership by Flip are crucial to a long March run. As everyone knows, Duke (and specifically Coach K) has been known to call timeouts strictly to call out player’s body language. It was HORRIBLE to start the season, but over recent weeks, it has drastically improved. Coach Scheyer mentioned how close and together this team is and that seems clear as day now.

Kyle Filipowski Injury

Once again, Duke finds themselves in a predicament. During this most recent court storming, Flip was run into by a student and appeared to be hit in the back and possibly face by some flailing arms. Of course, half the world is blaming Flip for this encounter. That might be just what Duke needs.

Hopefully, Filipowski avoided serious injury. He was able to stand up and give a post-game interview which says a lot. In that interview, he discussed the intentionality of the incident.

The Blue Devils now have that special characteristic that most Duke players endure which is Duke against the world. The expectation is they come out with their hair on fire next week against two very beatable times in Louisville and Virginia. Think back to last year; Duke lost at Virginia on a terrible call and rallied to win the ACC tournament. This loss will end up being the boost they need to finish the year.


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