ACC | WED., DEC. 16, 2020 | PURCELL PAVILION | NOTRE DAME, IN | 9 PM
Notre Dame: 2-2
OVERALL DUKE LEADS, 26-7
In Durham, NC (at Cameron Indoor) Duke leads, 9-1 (9-1)
In Notre Dame, IN Duke leads, 6-4
Last Meeting Duke, 94-60 (2/15/20 @ Duke)
Coach K vs. Notre Dame: 19-6
Last 10 Games (Streak) Duke, 7-3 (Duke, 6W)
Where to Listen
Network: Blue Devils Sports
Play-by-Play: David Shumate
Analyst: John Roth
Engineer: John Rose
Stream: GoDuke.com; TuneIn app
No. 21 Duke plays its ACC opener away from home for the fifth time in the last six years when it travels to Notre Dame for a Wednesday night date with the Fighting Irish. Duke is 49-18 all-time in ACC openers, including 30-10 in ACC openers under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils have won two straight and four of their last six ACC lid lifters.
The overall series favors Duke, 26-7, and the Blue Devils have won six straight and seven of the last 10 versus the Irish. Wednesday’s game pairs two of the eight programs in NCAA history with at least 1,900 all-time victories. Sophomore Matthew Hurt’s 19.0 points per game ranks fourth in the ACC and 67th nationally. He is averaging 21.3 over Duke’s last three games. The watch list candidate for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy averaged 9.7 points last year as a freshman. Freshman Jeremy Roach is coming off a career game versus Illinois, scoring 13 points with seven assists, no turnover and four rebounds in 31 minutes — the points, assists and minutes each career highs. Roach is just the seventh Duke freshman all-time with a game of seven+ assists and no turnovers, joining Johnny Dawkins, Jason Williams, Quinn Cook, Tyus Jones, Tre Jones and RJ Barrett. The Jones brothers each accomplished it twice.
Senior Jordan Goldwire’s 2.75 steals per game rank second in the ACC and 38th nationally. He ranked ninth in the ACC in steals last season (1.52) and was fifth in the ACC in KenPom’s steal pct metric. Since the start of last season, Duke has held 15 opponents to .250 or less from long range — third most nationally. Going back to the Blue Devils’ 2014-15 national championship season, Duke’s 81 games holding the opponent to .250 or less from three-point range are the most nationally (by nine). Duke leads the ACC and is 27th nationally in blocked shots per game (5.5). Since the start of the 2018-19 season, no team in the nation has blocked more shots than Duke’s 467.
The battle-tested Irish are 2-2 on the young season and have played no game decided by more than 10 points. Notre Dame’s wins are over Detroit Mercy (78-70) and Kentucky (64-63), with a pair of losses to Michigan State (80-70) and Ohio State (90-85) by a combined 15 points.
Junior Prentiss Hubb paces the Irish at 21.3 points and 4.3 assists, while junior Nate Laszewski is a double-double threat at 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. Hubb is tied for the ACC scoring lead.
The Blue Devils are coming off of a loss to Illinois which saw their record drop to an even .500. Duke once again showed their youth and never really posed a threat to the Illini in the game losing 68-83. Duke after cancelling the rest of their non-conference games will enter the ACC portion of their schedule with their backs against the wall needing big wins. Duke will be without freshmen Jalen Johnson who did not travel with the team and is suffering from a foot injury. Duke as a team has not shot well from the floor or from the foul line and is turning the ball over at a 16 a game clip.
All things are pointing to a huge win for Notre Dame playing at home and a struggling Duke team entering the Joyce Center. Although both teams have had their struggles, in order for Duke to have any chance against the Fighting Irish they must hit shots and get easy opportunities for their guards. The guards for the Blue Devils have struggled to put the ball in the basket. Jeremy Roach showed promise with his performance in a loss versus Illinois, notching his highest output of the season with 13 points and 7 assists. Duke will need sophomore Wendell Moore Jr. to fulfill his potential and step out of his slump, currently Moore is 7 for 30 on the season with 5 assists and 8 turnovers. Duke needs a confident Wendell Moore at Notre Dame and going forward if this season isn’t going to be a total wash. As noted by Coach K, the Blue Devils do not seem to have shot confidence that lack of confidence has trickled down from the veterans to the freshmen – if Duke can get easy shot opportunities early perhaps that confidence will start to wax. A win at Notre Dame would go a long way toward turning this early season stumble around but unless the Blue Devils start this game strong, fast and confident it could be a very long night and a longer season.
Guard – Jordan Goldwire, 6’2, 184lbs
Guard – DJ Steward, 6’2, 163lbs
Guard – Wendell Moore, 6’5, 216lbs
Forward – Matthew Hurt, 6’9, 235lbs
Center – Mark Williams, 7’1, 243lbs
Guard – Prentiss Hubb, 6’3, 195lbs
Guard – Cormac Ryan, 6’5, 195lbs
Guard – Dane Goodwin, 6’6, 200lbs
Forward – Nate Laszewski, 6’10, 227lbs
Forward – Juwan Durham, 6’11, 231lbs