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Blue Devils improve long-range shooting versus Notre Dame

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After making just 2 of 21 attempts from 3-point range against Georgia Tech on Saturday, Duke rebounded against Notre Dame to shoot over 50 percent from beyond the arc for the first time this season. This is not a good 3-point shooting team — in fact, the Blue Devils are nearly dead last in the ACC and No. 301 in the country with just a 31.1-percent shooting percentage from the perimeter, but more games like Monday night and things could turn a corner. Jack White has seemingly lost all confidence in his shot, as he didn’t even attempt a trey in the game to extend his streak to five games without a make and just one of his last 20 3-pointers has gone in, but his teammates showed improved accuracy throughout the night.

ONE OF BETTER GAMES

Although it may have had something to do with the level of competition, anytime you beat an Atlantic Coast Conference foe by over 20 points on the road, it should be celebrated. Duke, playing its second game within a three-day stretch, did just that at Notre Dame on Monday night. Zion Williamson (26 points, five rebounds, four assists and four blocks) led the way for the No. 2-ranked Blue Devils as they stayed undefeated on the road and maintained a tie for first place in the league. RJ Barrett added 13 points, while Cam Reddish chipped in 13 for one of the more balanced scoring efforts of the year.

BARRETT SHARES ACC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK

Barrett averaged 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals in Duke’s wins over Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech last week to propel him to sharing the conference freshman of the week award with North Carolina’s Coby White. He scored a game-high 26 with five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes at Pittsburgh and then followed that up with the third double-double of his young career (24 points and 11 rebounds) to go along with three assists and two steals. Barrett leads the ACC in scoring at 23.5 points per game, is Top 15 in rebounds (seven per game) and Top 15 in assists (3.8 per game).

WILLIAMSON NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK

While his teammate and classmate shared ACC co-freshman of the week honors, Williamson took home the Waymon Tisdale National Freshman of the Week Award for his play last week. He averaged 24.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.7 blocks, and 1.7 steals in victories over Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. Williamson scored 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against Pitt, and then put up a team-best 26 points against the Irish with nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks — just the third 26-9-4-4 effort in Duke history (Williamson has two).

FINAL NONCONFERENCE GAME

Duke will host St. John’s on Saturday for the team’s final nonconference game of the season. The Red Storm are coming off a big win over Creighton and were ranked at one point earlier this year but have fallen on rough times of late, losing four of their previous six games. The last time the Blue Devils lost a home game to a nonconference opponent was on Feb. 26, 2000 — 83-82 to St. John’s. That streak, the longest active won in the NCAA, has spanned 146 games and 18 years. Williamson nor RJ Barrett were alive the last time Duke dropped a game to a nonconference foe at home.

FILLING UP THE PORTAL

The Blue Devils’ football program, after not dealing with transfers much at all in recent history, will see seven players leave this offseason with eligibility still remaining. Last year’s opening week starter at wide receiver, Aaron Young, announced on Tuesday that he would be joining his former teammates Jordan Hayes (defensive back), Brandon Feamster (defensive back), Terrell Lucas (defensive end) and Chidi Okonya (defensive end) in the college football transfer portal while Daniel Jones (quarterback) and Joe Giles-Harris (linebacker) announced earlier this offseason that they would enter their names in the NFL Draft. Jones projects as a first-round pick while Giles-Harris is likely to hear his name called on the second or third day.

Adam Rowe covers Duke basketball, football and recruiting for 247Sports.com. Check out more of his work at duke.247sports.com.

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