As the N&O reports today, sophomore Greg Paulus has gotten off to a rough start.

The Devils made just four field goals in the second half of their win over Indiana on Tuesday.

“I do think [point guard play] has something to do with it but [Greg is] working very hard,” Duke sophomore forward David McClure said of Duke’s uneven play on offense.

Playing fewer minutes (24 per game) has been difficult for Paulus, who started 33 of 36 games and played 32.3 minutes per game during last season.

Paulus says he knows the time he missed stalled his conditioning, which has caused him trouble on both ends of the court.

Paulus last started against Marquette on Nov. 21 and recorded two assists and six turnovers. On defense, Paulus grabbed several steals but when Marquette guards took the initiative, they blew by Paulus with quick first steps.

“Me not playing for so many weeks, my decisions were a little slow, making reads,” Paulus said. “For every one of our [offensive] sets, and plays or actions, you have to be able to read a defense and see all the options for our offense to be fluid. I struggled a little with that just not being on the floor and seeing it on a daily basis.”

To help get his guard, and his team on the right path, Mike Krzyzewski called Paulus into a one-on-one film session last week. They went over all the good and bad Paulus had done on the court.

“It’s a lot different picking it up fullcourt, trying to run a team and make moves to the basket,” Paulus said. “Getting back into basketball shape is part of the process.”

And as well all know about Paulus, no one is harder on him than himself:

“I put a lot of pressure on myself. I like to make all the right [plays] at all the right times,” Paulus said. “I do get a little frustrated but I’m working on not being such a perfectionist.”

One would tend to think that this is his biggest problem. He’s beating himself up, and so desirous of doing well, that he’s regressed from a year ago.

Furthermore, he no longer has two of the best basketball players in Duke history to rely on in the offense. Or rather, he can’t make a simple pass to the wing or into the post and compile assists. Paulus is in a place in which he is the floor general–unquestionably–and thus far, he has not lived up to the expectations that Duke has for its point guard in the Krzyzewski era.

The season is young, however, and as this article reports, Paulus is still very much recovering mentally and physically.

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