The Duke 3 Party

Duke unleashed a stream of hell on UCLA's 2-3 zone last night. The Blue Devils attempted 32 three point shots, making 11. The Blue Devils have made more threes in a game this season, 13 against Davidson, 12 against UNC Asheville, but they had not attempted more. It wasn't just that Duke attempted so many, it was that they looks they had were pretty much wide open. A trio of Duke 3s were a major catalyst on the run that put the game essentially out of reach.

With the help of Watch ESPN, let's take a look at the 11 made three pointers by Duke against UCLA.

This wasn't the best shot selection by Jabari Parker. After an offensive rebound, Tyler Thornton kicked out to Parker. Instead of resetting the offense, Parker drilled an NBA 3. He was unchallenged on the look for what it's worth.

Thornton dribbled from the left wing to the right elbow, making a nice pass to a wide open Quinn Cook. That closeout isn't gonna do anything by the point of the shot. Cook's man got hung up on a screen at the elbow. UCLA didn't recover quick enough.

Late in the shot clock, Parker does the classic handoff slash screen for Andre Dawkins. Of course, Dawkins bombs away from NBA range, which was tough to defend. Especially since Wear was guarding Parker and went with him after the pass.

This one isn't a 3 pointer but this was a play that Duke ran twice. UCLA extended the zone way, way too high. Parker ran back and was wide open. Duke would run this play later in the game as well. It didn't go for an alley oop, but it was finished for a layup that made it an 8 point game. You can see Anderson point out like "hey, someone guard that guy who is right next to the basket, oh he's about to dunk too late."

The rest are after the jump

UCLA was in full zone here. Cook caught the ball on the right wing. The UCLA defense swung that way. Cook cut to the lane, which is what happened on a similar play when he scored.

This play featured some good zone offense by Duke. Amile Jefferson got the ball on the block. He turned inside towards the paint. That sucked up a double team. He made a nice pass outside for another wide open 3 point attempt. This was right after a Duke timeout.

Rodney Hood passed over to Parker, who was coming to the top of the key. He faced the basket and yeah, he was wide open. I don't know what buddy on the right was doing besides waving to his mom in the stands because he was not playing defense.

So far we've seen 6 of the Duke three pointers, which happen to be all of Duke's first half threes. A solid 5 of them have been wide open looks. The one that was open, but you can debate if you wish, was the very first Parker 3. That was a cursory challenge so I don't think it counts. Maybe UCLA should practice zone before they play an elite team.

Don't really need to explain this one much, but I will because. This is a simple handoff to Parker. Josh Hairston was offering more defense than the UCLA players.

This is again out of a timeout. You can see the perfect triangle of point guard, Rodney Hood and Jefferson. Hood passed up top, the guard went to Jefferson, Jefferson kicked to Hood for another wide open 3. So far we are 8-8 with 8 assists, which is kind of remarkable as well.

More great ball movement by the Blue Devils. When the ball was over with Cook on the right side, so was Parker. As the ball swung to the left, so did he. No one on UCLA so much as glanced at him until he was in the air with his shot.

Rodney Hood has the basketball in shooting position if you didn't notice. He caught the ball, could have taken a contested look, but passed to Parker. UCLA overcorrected. Parker passed right back to Hood.

This picture is titled as 'Duke 11.' It could also be named 'the dagger' because it killed UCLA. For the third time in these 11 three pointers, the guard, this time Cook, cut into the free throw line area before kicking out.

That roller coaster throw your hands in the air defense was not working.

If you are wondering if Rasheed Sulaimon left the hand in the air, the answer is no. If you are wondering if he did the 'damn right that shot is falling lean'

Yes. Yes, he did. I like guy running up the sideline without looking because he knows that shot is going in.

The announcers made a certain level of big deal about Duke shooting so many 3s. With their ball movement and looks, it's a wonder they only attempted 32. They assisted on every look. Every made 3 was on an open shot. Here's a breakdown of who made them and who assisted them.


  • Jabari Parker – 4
  • Rasheed Sulaimon – 2
  • Quinn Cook  – 2
  • Rodney Hood – 2
  • Andre Dawkins – 1


  • Tyler Thornton – 2
  • Jabari Parker – 2
  • Quinn Cook – 2
  • Amile Jefferson – 2
  • Rodney Hood – 1
  • Josh Hairston – 1
  • Rasheed Sulaimon – 1

Duke finished with 21 assists on 31 made field goals overall.


About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on the Student Section.