Game Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs the Clemson Tigers

Brian HoraceGame Previews, General InformationLeave a Comment


Duke (21-5, 9-4)


Clemson (20-5, 9-4)

When: February. 18 | 1:00 PM (ET)
Where: Littlejohn Coliseum - Clemson, SC

Watch Live: ESPN / ACC Network

This year, the Clemson Tigers have had a resurgence in their basketball program. With wins over UNC, Miami and FSU this year Clemson is on the hunt for more legitimacy - a win over the Duke Blue Devils would give the Tigers that legitimacy. A win at Duke would also give them a huge leg up in ACC Tournament seeding. With Duke and Clemson in a virtual tie for the 2 seed this tie breaker, the only game the two play in the regular season, becomes crucial.

After losing arguably their best player Donte Grantham to a season ending ACL injury the Tigers could possible be without Shelton Mitchell who is in concussion protocol after an injury against Florida State. If Mitchell isn't ready to go then Duke will have to focus their intensity on the defensive end on Marcquise Reed who is averaging over 17 points a game in his last 4 outings and is shooting the ball well. Clemson overall is shooting the ball well from deep at 38%, they are shooting slightly better in ACC play at 39%. Where Clemson is vulnerable is on the offensive glass where they rank 298th in the country. Duke, even without Marvin Bagley III, should have amply opportunity for an advantage there. Duke will, as Coach K alluded to in his last presser, play primarily zone for the rest of the year so rebounding out of that zone efficiently will be key for Duke to stave off Clemson on the offensive end.

Duke offensively seems to have found a groove with Grayson playing the point and Trevon Duval sliding over to the 2 spot. Not only does this seem to open up perimeter shots for Grayson and the hot shooting Gary Trent Jr. but it allows for Duval to penetrate from the wing. Clemson and their shot blocking prowess should be an interesting matchup for the Devils in what will be a very tough road atmosphere.

Projected Starting Lineups:


F Marvin Bagley III
F Wendell Carter Jr.
G Gary Trent Jr.
G Grayson Allen
G Trevon Duval



F Elijah Thomas
F Aamir Simms
G Gabe DeVoe
G Marcquise Reed
G Shelton Mitchell

  • A key battle between the two teams tied for second in the ACC awaits No. 12 Duke and No. 11 Clemson Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • The Blue Devils are looking for their fifth win over a ranked team this season (4-2). Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke is 221-144 versus ranked teams, including an 80-46 mark versus ranked ACC teams.
  • The Tigers have won four of their last five games, and are spotless at home this season (13-0).
  • Gary Trent, Jr., leads the ACC in three-point shooting -- both overall (.460; 74/161) and in ACC play (.505; 46/91). His overall percentage of .460 leads all NCAA freshmen.
  • Trent has made 20 of his last 33 (.606), 42 of his last 71 (.592), and 59 of his last 110 (.536) from three-point range.
  • Trent (74) and Grayson Allen (67) have combined for 141 three-pointers this season, the fourth-best tandem in among major conference teams.
  • Wendell Carter, Jr., is the only player in the nation shooting .600+ from field, .450+ from three and .695+ at the free throw line. He leads the ACC in both overall field goal percentage (.603) and is second in league play (.597).
  • Led by Marvin Bagley III’s 21.2 points, Duke has five averaging in double figures. The Blue Devils have an effective field goal percentage of .573 (13th nationally) and are second in offensive efficiency (126.8).
  • Since KenPom began tracking offensive efficiency in 2002,
Duke FG Percentage
Clemson FG Percentage
Duke 3pt Percentage
Clemson 3pt Percentage
Duke FT Percentage
Clemson FT Percentage
Duke Scoring Average
Clemson Scoring Average

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