Jon Scheyer, Kyle Filipowski explain what changed to ignite the winning streak
Jon Scheyer and Kyle Filipowski and the rest of the Duke Blue Devils have enjoyed a 9-game winning streak, and as they prepared for Oral Roberts, the Duke coach and star freshman reflected on what ignited the winning streak.
It starts with a change in mindset and the increased presence of Dereck Lively.
“We got some disappointing losses before that, and that kind of also gave us a little kick in our butt,” Filipowski said. “But just going in every game with a mindset, a mentality to don’t underestimate any team. We’ve got to go out there, be desperate to win, because no one is still betting on us, and we’ve got to bet on ourselves.”
As for Lively, Scheyer said it goes beyond the winning streak.
“Dereck has changed our whole team, it’s not just the last 9 games,” the coach said. “I think really probably halfway through the season, he hit another gear of understanding, one, how good he can be, but also just the impact he can make in college. Because he’s going to — as his career goes along, he’s going to continue to add things to his game and be such a difference maker. But his ability to protect the rim, to move his feet, to defend on the perimeter is a huge skill for us. We’re very lucky to have him.
He changes the whole dynamic of our defense, and he has plays where he doesn’t even get a stat or a blocked shot, but he’s just out there and he makes you think about him. Not to mention his motor and just how he moves, his competitiveness. I’m really proud of what he’s done. He’s had a great year for us.”