ACC | TUESDAY, DEC. 29, 2020 | CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM | DURHAM, NC | 8 PM
OVERALL DUKE LEADS, 13-7″
In Durham, N.C. (at Cameron Indoor): Duke leads, 6-3 (6-3)
In Pittsburgh, PA: Duke leads, 6-3
Last Meeting: Duke, 79-67 (1/28/20 @ Duke)
Coach K vs. Pittsburgh: 7-2
Last 10 Games (Streak): Duke, 8-2 (Duke, 5W)
Where to Watch
Network: ACC Network
Play-by-Play: Wes Durham
Analyst: Jordan Cornette
Where to Listen
Network: Blue Devil Sports
Play-by-Play: David Shumate
Analyst: John Roth
Stream: GoDuke.com; TuneIn app
No. 20 Duke is back in action for the first time in nearly two weeks, welcoming Pittsburgh to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the 3,100th game in the Blue Devils’ program history. The Blue Devils have won five straight over the Panthers and lead the all-time series 13-7, including 6-3 at Cameron Indoor. Former Duke standout Jeff Capel is in his third season as Pitt’s head coach. He is one of nine former Coach K players now serving as head coach at the Division-I level or in the NBA. Capel has been in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 and it’s still unclear as of right now whether he will be in attendance for the game. The mandatory 10 day quarantine would be over the day of the game so there are lots of things still up in the air.
Pitt brings a 5-2 record to Durham and has started its ACC slate with a win at Miami and a home loss to Louisville that snapped a five-game winning streak. Sophomore forward Justin Champagnie is the ACC’s fifth-leading scorer (17.8) and leading rebounder (12.3) with back-to-back 20-20 games versus Northwestern (20-20) and Gardner-Webb (24-21), but is expected to miss Tuesday’s game with an injury. Junior Au’Diese Toney is second on the team in scoring at 16.2. The Panthers are allowing just 64.6 point per game and are fifth in the ACC in field goal defense (.393) and first in defending against the three-point shot (.263).
The Blue Devils have deployed a different starting lineup in each game with only sophomore Matthew Hurt starting all five. Hurt’s 18.8 points per game rank third in the ACC and 75th nationally. He is averaging 20.5 points and 8.3 rebounds over Duke’s last four games. The watch list candidate for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy has scored 18+ points in four consecutive games this season after having four such games last season. Hurt is one of only four players in the ACC ranked in the league’s top 10 for scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage — he and Syracuse’s Quincy Guerrier are the only two ranked in the top six in each. Hurt is third in scoring (18.8), sixth in rebounding (8.0) and sixth in field goal percentage (.522).
Duke will have been out of action for 2 weeks by Tuesdays game with Pitt and such layoffs rarely lead to cohesiveness and neatness on the court. Duke will most likely still be without freshman Jalen Johnson who is suffering from an undisclosed foot injury. I do not expect Duke to come out firing on all cylinders and wouldn’t be surprised at a first half deficit. Duke will go as far as their guards will take them against Pitt as it has been the case all season. If Duke can get good guard play and limit turnovers and runout I believe they can play with anyone in the ACC. But the margin for error is small and this isn’t a team that can overcome a bad shooting night coupled with coughing up extra possessions for the other team. Duke has to do at least one of those things at a plus level or they can very easily lose to Pitt on Tuesday.
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 – Ithiel Horton, 6’3, 200lbs
Guard – Xavier Johnson, 6’3, 200lbs
Guard – Au’Diese Toney, 6’6, 210lbs
Forward – Justin Champagnie, 6’6, 200lbs
Forward – Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, 6’8, 215lbs