The Duke Blue Devils' loss to Lehigh in last season's NCAA tournament was a stunner, but there were plenty of warning signs for that team heading into the tourney. The 2011-12 Blue Devils didn't have many of the traits that have made Duke college basketball's model program for the past 20 years.
Traditionally one of the best defensive teams in the nation, Duke struggled to defend the ball off the dribble, which put it in rotations and at a defensive disadvantage. Its offense was stagnant at times, with Austin Rivers often dominating the ball as opposed to making the next pass and moving the defense. Mason Plumlee showed flashes of being an elite frontcourt player but didn't bring it every game, Quinn Cook had trouble adjusting to the intensity of the college game, and the loss of Ryan Kelly to injury at the end of the season hurt the Devils more than the average fan realized.
It's been a different story this season. The Blue Devils have exceeded all their preseason expectations entering league play, ranking No. 1 in the country on the strength of a 13-0 start. What has been the difference for this team, and what are the potential stumbling blocks for it the rest of the season? Let's take a look.
What has gone right?
To read Seth Greenberg's full take on Duke, including three potential concerns for the Blue Devils going forward, you must be an ESPN Insider.