Game Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs Colorado State Rams

In Game Previews by Brian HoraceLeave a Comment


Series Info

Overall: 3rd meeting; Duke leads, 2-0
In Durham: Duke leads, 1-0
In Fort Collins: Never met
At neutral sites: Duke leads, 1-0
Current streak: Duke, 2-0
Coach K vs. Colorado State: 2-0

Media Info

TV: ACC Network (Mike Monaco/Chris Spatola)
Radio: Blue Devil Sports Network (David Shumate/John Roth)
Duke Radio Affiliates
National Radio: n/a
Sirius/XM: 119 / 193 (Duke broadcast)

The Blue Devils are back in action again after nipping Kansas by 2 points in the Champions Classic. In a game that saw the Jayhawks commit 28 turnovers and lose despite leading in nearly every statistical category. The Blue Devils were a thing of beauty on offense but defensively the Devils came through and executed their game plan nearly to perfection which seem to offset their offensive deficiencies.

The Opponent:

Duke takes on a 1 - 0 Colorado State team coming off of a win against Denver by 11 points. Kris Martin led the way for the Rams with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Senior guard Hyron Edwards added 10 off the bench in 22 minutes and 3 assists. The Rams enter Friday 1-0, coming off of a win against Denver by 11 points. Kris Martin led the way for the Rams with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Senior guard Hyron Edwards added 10 off the bench in 22 minutes and 3 assists.

Colorado State returns four starters and five letter winners to this year's squad along with seven newcomers to the program, which was 12-20 last season...Second-year head coach Niko Medved leads the Rams with an overall record of 91-107 in seven years as a head coach...Medved is making his second visit to Cameron Indoor, having brought his Furman squad in 2014 -- a 93-54 Duke win. He was Furman's head coach from 2013-17...First-team All-Mountain West senior Nico Carvacho is the Rams' leading returning player. He led the nation in rebounding average last season (12.9), and with 961 career rebounds, is the MWC's career leader on the glass...One of CSU's assistant coaches is Ali Farokhmanesh, who gained fame in the 2010 NCAA Tournament with Northern Iowa when he hit a crucial three-pointer that helped UNI upset top overall seed Kansas in the Second Round.

The Rams are likely to start a lineup featuring 2 seniors 2 sophomores and a freshman. For the Rams, taking care of the basketball will be paramount against this more defensive-minded Duke team. Duke should have a decided size and talent advantage in this game, but Colorado State does not lack for confidence.

Player to Watch:

When Duke goes to their secondary lineup I'd watch for senior guard Hyron Edwards to try to take advantage. He was a force off the bench in CSU's last game and brings experience into the backcourt for the Rams.

My Synopsis:

While Duke does have advantages in this game and will probably out-talent the Rams, this will be a good opportunity for the Blue Devils to work on establishing fluidity on the offensive end. I'd expect Duke to utilize Matthew Hurt and Vernon Carey Jr. a lot more in this game. Both Hurt and Carey should have size advantages over their opponents in this one and Duke should dominate in the paint facing a more traditional sized front court.

Defensively Duke has to keep doing what they did against Kansas in terms of intensity. While it appears early that offense is not the strong point for this Duke team, letting up defensively in any game could be a death knell for this Duke squad.

I'd expect Duke to employ their full court press and maybe some traps to generate some easy offense for the young Devils in this one.

Probable Starting Lineups


Guard - Tre Jones - 6'3, 185lbs
Guard - Cassius Stanley - 6'6, 193lbs
Guard - Wendell Moore - 6'6, 213lbs
Forward - Matthew Hurt - 6'9, 214lbs
Center - Vernon Carey - 6'10, 270lbs

Colorado State

Guard -  Isaiah Stevens  - 6'0, 160lbs
Guard -  Kris Martin - 6'4, 190lbs
Guard -  Kendle Moore - 5'10, 145lbs
Forward -  Adam Thistlewood - 6'6, 200lbs
Forward -  Nico Carvacho - 6'11, 245lbs

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