Duke Battles UCLA – Some Game Notes from the CARQUEST Auto Parts Classic

Duke Battles UCLA – Some Game Notes from the CARQUEST Auto Parts Classic

Duke (8-2) – UCLA (9-1) Preview

Game Info:

GAME INFORMATION

Event: CARQUEST Auto Parts Classic / ESPN
Date: December 19, 2013
Venue: Madison Square Garden (19,812)
Tipoff Time: 7:33 pm (ET)
TV: ESPN
TV Talent: Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Andy Katz (sideline)

  1. Snapshot

The Bruins, 9 and 1 on the year so far, will get their toughest test as Duke will be the first ranked team on their schedule. The only loss the Bruins have suffered so far was at Missouri by 9 points. Sophomores Jordan Adams (21.6 ppg) and Kyle Anderson (13.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg) will be a tough duo for Duke to guard on the perimeter. Both players score the ball well and both will present matchup problems for Duke. Anderson in particular averages nearly a double-double and at 6’9 can play the guard or forward spot, he leads UCLA in points, rebounds and assists. The Bruins have good size and get a lot of minutes and scoring from its bench while the Blue Devils tend to keep a shorter rotation, but against the size of UCLA that might need to change. Zach LaVine, Tony Parker and Bryce Alford give depth to a solid starting 5 so Duke will have to counter with Matt Jones, Andre Dawkins, Marshall Plumlee and hopefully Rasheed Sulaimon.

  1. Team Season Thus Far

UCLA Bruins

With a favorable schedule to begin the season UCLA has done well and continued to improve under new head coach Steve Alford. The lone loss to Missouri wasn’t a bad loss and a big game against Duke provides them the opportunity to go into their conference schedule battle tested. What has materialized through the first ten games are defined roles for each player In Alford’s system.

Duke Blue Devils

Duke has struggled on defense this year, and at times been stagnant in half court offense.  The past few games Duke has shored up some of the defensive lapses and extended it’s rotation to include Marshall Plumlee and Semi Ojeleye.  Duke has lost to two ranked teams and nearly to Vermont but with renewed emphasis on rebounding and defense Duke will look to, on the national stage, show the defensive prowess that Duke is accustomed to playing.

  1. Head-to-Head

Duke could have trouble with the size of UCLA especially in the back-court. Duke will lean heavily on Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood in this game. Will  Hood and Parker be able to exploit their match-ups against the Bruins and play staunch enough defense stop the high scoring Bruins (averaging 80 points plus over their last  7 games, while Duke is averaging 86 on the season)?

Will UCLA be able to shut down the 3 prong attack of Hood, Parker & Cook, and if so who steps up for Duke?

Brian HoraceDuke Battles UCLA – Some Game Notes from the CARQUEST Auto Parts Classic