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Duke: Slow Again

Basketball Prospectus has the first bite of conference-only tempo free stats up for the ACC this week. I'll go into greater detail on Friday when I compile the numbers for all of January, but the thing that jumped out most at me was Duke's pace, a painfully slow 66.2 possessions per game. This is interesting, of course, because unlike most teams who play consistently year-in and year-out, Duke varies wildly from season to season. 

In the J.J. Redick heydays, Duke was playing a fast, uptempo game with tough perimeter defense and a lot of rapid shooting. Then in 2006 and 2007, the slowed way down. Last season though, they were back with the 16th fastest team in D-I. (UNC was 8th). This season, at lest through the first few conference games, they're back to a snail's pace. 

Now, pace doesn't solely dictate Duke's fortunes; they lost in the Sweet Sixteen in the first year of slow ball, and in the round of 32 in last year's uptempo style, and they look the best they have in years this season. But it's still not Krzyzewski's typical game, which makes you wonder a bit.