Given that Duke looked sluggish at times in two victories following a 12-day break, Mike Krzyzewski has to be wondering if his team will respond in similar fashion after an 11-day layoff.
Regardless, the second-ranked Blue Devils should have more than enough firepower to extend the nation's longest active home winning streak Monday night against Toledo.
The Blue Devils (10-0) claimed one of the most impressive wins by any team this season, shooting 65.2 percent in an 80-70 victory at then-No. 2 Wisconsin on Dec. 3. They were lackluster in a 75-62 win over Elon on Dec. 15, however, getting outscored 41-39 in the second half and committing 17 turnovers. They shot a season-worst 37.5 percent and had a season-high 19 turnovers in a 66-56 win over Connecticut in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Dec. 18, only taking control with a 15-2 run early in the second half after a fiery display by Krzyzewski during a timeout.
"It just shows the passion he has for the game," said Tyus Jones, who had 21 points after scoring four versus Elon. "It shows how much the game means to him. He still has that passion. We weren't playing well and he let us know it. He still has that, depending on the situation. That's when he gets on us. We deserved that."
Fellow freshman Jahlil Okafor faced a number of double teams, scoring 12 points on a season-low five shots. Duke largely failed to capitalize on all the attention on Okafor, going 5 for 19 from 3-point range, the third time in four games it has shot 26.3 percent or worse. The team had shot 41.0 percent from deep in its previous six games.
"Our guys need to be ready to shoot the ball when he does hit them, or have a fast shot fake and drive," Krzyzewski said. " ...Those are going to be staples of us trying to take advantage of double teams. Our guys can do that. We just have to keep working at it."
The Blue Devils, who seek their 39th straight home victory, have won their first 10 games by 10-plus points for the first time in team history, trailing for only 5:01 and never by more than four points.
They haven't lost at home since an 88-70 defeat to then-No. 6 North Carolina on March 3, 2012. They've also won 114 consecutive non-conference games at Cameron Indoor Stadium since an 83-82 loss to St. John's on Feb. 26, 2000.
The Rockets (7-4) have won five in a row, though those opponents are a combined 22-34. They've averaged 81.5 points and shot 44.0 percent from 3-point range in the last four.
Justin Drummond was one of four players in double figures with a season-high 17 points in an 83-69 win at McNeese State on Dec. 20.
Toledo shot 50.0 percent but committed 21 turnovers in an 87-78 loss at then-No. 15 VCU on Nov. 18, its only matchup against a ranked opponent. They Rockets lost their only other game against a major conference team, shooting 37.9 percent in an 78-68 defeat at Oregon three days later.
Toledo has dropped 10 straight against ranked teams since an 81-76 win at No. 14 Michigan State on Dec. 30, 2002.
Duke won the only previous meeting 82-54 at home on Dec. 12, 2004.
Previewing Duke v. Toledo
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