Bowie State (Exhibition)
Cameron Indoor Stadium
WatchESPN / ACC Network
In their second and last game of the exhibition season Duke takes on CIAA Champs Bowie State. The Bulldogs defeated the Fayetteville State Broncos back in February (63-54). Bowie State is coached by Darrell Brooks who is entering his 7th season at the helm. Brooks graduated from Bowie State and was a 2 year letter winner at point guard for the Bulldogs. The team went 16-15 overall last year boasting a 5-0 mark on neutral courts but struggling in true road games at 4-10.
Bowie State was led in scoring, this past season, by senior point guard Ahmaad Wilson who averaged 17 points a game. Wilson shot just under 40% from 3-point range and averaged 2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per contest. Omari George, another senior, led the team in field goal percentage at 52% and was their second leading scorer last year. They will have some shoes to fill statistically, having to replace forward Enuoma Ebinum and guard Michael Briscoe who scored 9.1 and 10.6 points a game respectively. Enuoma was also the teams leading rebounder at 6 boards a game.
They will look for progress from players like Yohance Fleming, who played in 30 games last year.
Bowie State is not a particularly good 3-point shooting team at just over 36% (last year). 3-point shooting only accounted for 25% of their total points as they averaged 6 makes a game. As a team they shot 68% from the field overall. The Bulldogs are used to being out-rebounded, last year they averaged a -5.2 rebound a game deficit for the season – that should be the case against Duke as well. Duke boasts 6 players who are 6’9 or taller whereas the tallest player on the Bowie State roster is 6’8. This is invaluable practice for Duke’s bigs to work on mechanics, interior passing, pace and also guarding smaller players out on the perimeter.
Duke will look to improve upon their showing against Division II champs North West Missouri State. Duke did overwhelm the Bearcats with talent but there were many breakdowns on the defensive end that Duke has had some time to address. Duke did well with deflections but left open shooters on the wing fairly often and have a lot of work to do on their defensive switching that talent alone will not overcome when competition becomes stiffer. Duke will also look to take better care of the basketball. 15 turnovers to only 8 for the Bearcats was a stat that stood out. It’s the difference between a senior heavy squad and one with not much experience from top to bottom. Against the Bulldogs of Bowie State Duke will need to be much better with the ball. The Bulldogs have most of their experience on the perimeter and averaged 7 steals a game last year. I expect the talent and size differential to be too big of an obstacle to overcome for Bowie State but I also expect them to not roll over considering this game is just as important for them in terms of readying them for their season as it is for Duke.