Game Day Preview: Duke Blue Devils



Duke University (Private – Research)
Mascot: Blue Devils
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Enrollment: 14,000+

2010-2011 Record: 32-5 (13-3 in the ACC)
RPI: 2
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (19th year)

First Thought: Duke is always a powerhouse team, with solid fundamentals, and good shooters.

Best Win: 68-61 over Kansas (RPI 44)
Worst Loss: 63-85 at Ohio State (RPI 12)
Last Game: 87-64 over Colorado State (RPI 31)

Average Scoring: 78.4 ppg (#43 in the nation)
Average for Opponents: 69 ppg

Synopsis: Duke University is ranked #7 in the nation and has only fallen to the #2 team in Ohio State. They (as usual) are a big time contender on the national level. They haven’t played a bunch of awful teams at the beginning of the year either, they have already seen; Belmont, Michigan State, Tennessee, Michigan, Kansas, and Ohio State. They won all except for the Ohio State game. Most of those games have come on a neutral court and this will be the second time they have played at Madison Square Garden this season. The first time against Michigan State.

This team can be beat but it won’t be easy. They can and will be efficient and very fundamental. Duke only averages about 13 turnovers a game this season while UW averages almost 16. Duke is also notorious for having really good 3 point shooters and this year is no different, shooting 42% from 3 and averaging almost 8 a game.

There are 4 guys on Duke’s team averaging double digits in scoring. Let’s take a look at each of them:

  • Austin Rivers, a true freshman, is averaging 15.6 points, 2.2 assists, and 2.3 rebounds a game.
  • Seth Curry, a transfer from Liberty, is averaging 13.1 points with 1.4 steals, 3.3 assists, and 3 rebounds a game.
  • Ryan Kelley, is averaging 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and almost 1 block every game.
  • Mason Plumlee is also averaging 12.2 points a game. He leads his team in rebounding with almost 10 a game and he also gets about 2 blocks a game.

When comparing UW and Marquette side by side there are some glaring facts you should note:

Points Per Game80.478.4UW
FT Attempts per Game2126.9Duke
3PT Made a Game7.67.9Duke
Rebounds a Game43.132.9UW
Offensive Rebounds a Game14.98.9UW
Assists Per Game15.412.7UW
Assist to Turnover Ratio0.990.97UW
Blocks Per Game6.03.6UW
Turnovers Per Game20.919.4Duke

Statistical this game is very close, realistically this game may be far away in favor of Duke. But looking at the stats should give any Duke or UW fan pause. These teams matchup well on paper.

My analysis: Duke is really good and for UW to win it is going to come down to rebounding, turnovers, and defense. If UW can continue to control the rebounds- they will keep themselves in this game. They will also need to control their turnovers- this has been the main cause to their last couple of losses. Turnovers late in the game have killed the Huskies. Finally, they need to defend the perimeter, Duke can and will shoot the 3. They have a ton of shooters on their team and they will try to exploit UW in this area (as they have with every team they have played.)

Aziz N’Diaye needs to control Mason Plumlee. He needs to use his strong frame and huge body to get in the way of this impressive offensive and defensive player for Duke.

Tony Wroten may be the fire for UW, and depending on he plays may depend on how the game ends. If Wroten can play really well and make smart plays- this game won’t get out of reach. Wroten while being a true freshman may need to step up and be that leader that UW is looking for. Other candidates include but is not limited to; Terrence Ross, CJ Wilcox, and Abdul Gaddy. However, none of the above 4 have shown on a consistent basis that they can lead this team.

The Marquette game helped renew a faith in this 2011-2012 Men’s Basketball team. However, this game still seems to favor Duke.

My Prediction: Duke 78 Washington 75