Game Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs Northwest Missouri State Bearcats (Exhibition)

In Game Previews by Brian HoraceLeave a Comment


Series Info

Overall: Duke leads, 1-0 (exhibition)
In Durham: Duke leads, 1-0
In Maryville, Mo.: 0-0
 At neutral sites: 0-0
Current streak: Duke, 1 win
Coach K vs. NW Missouri State: 1-0 (exhibition)

Media Info

TV: ACCNX (Ryan Craig/Chris Spatola)
Radio: Blue Devil Sports Network (Chris Edwards/John Roth)
National Radio: n/a
Sirius/XM: n/a

It's finally here, the season is finally upon us, albeit exhibition it's still basketball and our first real shot of seeing the Blue Devils play. First up, Northwest Missouri State a name that if you've followed Duke or College Basketball you know.

The Opponent:

They come is as the defending Division II champions and a team that has won 100 games over the past 3 seasons and have 20 plus wins in 8 straight seasons. They posted a 38-0 record this past season on their way to their 2nd national title since 2017. This will mark the second time that the Bearcats have taken on the Blue Devils, the first being in 2017 after their first DII Championship. Duke took the game 93-60.

The probable starting five will feature Diego Bernard and Trevor Hudgins (who was the tournament MVP), in the backcourt and 3 forwards: Tyler Dougherty, Ryan Hawkins and Ryan Welty.

Player to Watch:

After redshirting his first season Trevor Hudgins has become a force at NWMS he boasts quick hands and strong body, he's a good finisher for his size and can shoot it well from beyond the arc. Hudgins shot 45% from downtown this past season on his way to becoming the tournament MVP. He will be a formidable challenge for the Blue Devil backcourt.

My Synopsis:

Everyone knows what the Blue Devils lost in terms of scoring, defense and rebounding last year. This year is a new team, a new scheme and a different set of expectations. Duke will need to win differently than last year. The days of overwhelming teams with a top heavy lineup are gone. Duke will need to lean on their depth and their defense. Offensively, we'd expect Duke to utilize their size on the inside. There should be no match for Vernon Carey or Javin DeLaurier on the opposite bench with no player in a Bearcat jersey above 6'8. Conversely for the Blue Devils, their bigs will need to be able to move their feet as well as guard on the perimeter. Facing a lineup of small forward sized bigs who are adept at shooting the 3 ball. I would expect a lot of movement and drives by the guards to try to probe the young Duke defense.

The Bearcats have a winning tradition and at least for a while should push the young Blue Devils. Losing is not in their DNA and  will not be intimidated being in Cameron Indoor Stadium or by facing the powerhouse Blue Devils.  They are a well coached team who is coming in with the mindset that they can beat anyone on the planet. This game could be more interesting than some think.

Probable Starting Lineups


Guard - Tre Jones
Guard - Wendell Moore
Forward - Matthew Hurt
Forward - Javin DeLaurier
Center - Vernon Carey

Northwest Missouri State

Guard - Trevor Hudgins
Guard - Diego Bernard
Forward - Tyler Dougherty
Forward - Ryan Hawkins
Forward - Ryan Welty

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