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Duke May Not Be As Good As You Think

I know, I know. "My favorite team's rival is both mediocre and will fair poorly," is a bold statement the likes of which are rarely if ever found on the internet, but hear me out. I was flipping through Ken Pomeroy's ever-fascinating efficiency stats to see if Duke's unusual trend of slow play is continuing. Sure enough, it is:

North Carolina       76.5
Maryland             75.2
Wake Forest          73.5
Georgia Tech         72.6
Virginia             71.6
Florida St.          69.8
Clemson              68.3
Boston College       67.9
Miami FL             66.8
North Carolina St.   66.6
Virginia Tech        65.8
Duke                 64.3
But the really interesting thing is that in the last two weeks, Duke's performance has plummeted on the offensive side of the ball:
                     PPP         OPPP
North Carolina      1.180       0.960
Georgia Tech        1.154       1.021
Miami               1.152       0.977
Clemson             1.141       0.863
Virginia            1.132       0.945
North Carolina St.  1.110       0.985
Boston College      1.105       0.932
Virginia Tech       1.095       0.871
Wake Forest         1.090       1.055
Florida St.         1.073       0.926
Duke                1.064       0.807
Maryland            1.053       0.868
Two weeks ago, the Blue Devils were in the middle of the road offensively, and compensating with good defense. Now they're next to last in offensive efficency, and relying almost entirely on defense to carry the day. (On defense, at least, this is a Duke team of old. Opponents shoot very poorly and go to the line pretty rarely.) This drop comes against competition of Indiana, Georgetown, Holy Cross and George Mason - a step up from their first six games but no tougher than a typical four game ACC stretch. It's still early, so these numbers are coming from a small sample size, but things don't look particularly rosy in Durham at the moment.

(Also of note - Wake Forest is picking up right where it left off in poor defense. Expect the same resulting ACC swoon the Deacons experienced last year.)