Game Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs Virginia Tech Hokies

In Game Previews by Brian HoraceLeave a Comment

DEC. 6 | CASSELL COLISEUM | BLACKSBURG, VA | 7:00 P.M.

Series Info

Overall: 59th meeting; Duke leads, 48-10
In Durham: Duke leads, 20-1
In Blacksburg: Duke leads, 12-7
At neutral/unknown sites: Duke leads, 16-2
Current streak: Duke, W1
Coach K vs. Virginia Tech: 18-6

Media Info

TV: ACC Network (Jay Alter/Corey Alexander)
WatchESPN
Radio:
Blue Devil Sports Network (David Shumate/John Roth)
Duke Radio Affiliates
National Radio: n/a
Sirius/XM: 81 / 81 (Duke broadcast)

Duke vs Virginia Tech
Friday's game is the 59th meeting between Duke and Virginia Tech, with the Blue Devils leading 48-10...In Blacksburg, Duke leads the series 12-7, but is looking to shake a three-game road skid at Cassell Coliseum...The game matches up two of the ACC's highest-scoring freshmen in Duke's Vernon Carey Jr. (19.2 ppg) and Tech's Landers Nolley II (20.0 ppg)...In last season's Sweet 16 win, then-freshman Tre Jones played all 40 minutes and posted his first career 20-point effort with 22 points and eight assists on 8-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three-point range...First-year head coach Mike Young spent the previous 17 years as head coach at Wofford, where he was 299-244 and took the Terriers to the NCAA Tournament five times...Young faced Duke just once in his time at Wofford -- an 84-55 Blue Devil win at Cameron Indoor on Dec. 31, 2014.

The Opponent
This is the inaugural season of the Mike Young reign as head coach in Blacksburg and he has the Hokies off to a 6 - 2 start so far this season with wins against Michigan State already in the bag. They Hokies are coming off of a bit of a slump as they have dropped 2 straight games to BYU and Dayton. The Hokies have already notched their first ACC win with a road victory at Clemson back in early November.

Freshman and top 100 recruit Landers Nolley II leads the Holies in scoring at 20 points per game, the 6'7 guard also averages 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Junior Wabissa Bede leads the team in assists at 7.3 a game, the junior point guard scores just under 7 points per game and 4.5 rebounds. The Hokies don't have a double figure rebounder on the team but rather they board by committee as 5 players are averaging 4 or more rebounds per contest. So far on the season the Hokies are getting out rebounded as as team.

In their 2 losses on there season Virginia Tech has been outrebounded, the loss to Dayton saw the Hokies outrebounded 38 to 21.

Mike Young's squad is 3rd in the nation in 3pt field goal percentage, 47th in overall field goal percentage.

Players to Watch
Redshirt freshman Landers Nolley II is having a big season so far for the Hokies, in addition to being the Hokies leading scorer and rebounder, Nolley is shooting over 50% from beyond he arc. The 6'7 guard will be an interesting matchup for the Blue Devils especially if freshman Cassius Stanley is still out for Friday night's game.

Duke
The 8 - 1 Blue Devils are coming off of a huge win on the road at Michigan State that saw Vernon Carey Jr. play dominant basketball. Posting a double-double against a very good front-court in the the Breslin Center. The Blue Devils were looking to rebound after 2 subpar defensive efforts and they got that at MSU.

Vernon Carey Jr. leads the Blue Devils in both scoring and rebounding, the freshman is nearly averaging a double-double at 19.2 points and 9.7 rebounds a game. Tre Jones leads the Blue Devils in assists. The sophomore is averaging 15.7 points to go with his 7.4 assists per game. It's still unclear but likely Cassius Stanley will be a go for the game Friday, his defense will be crucial for the Blue Devils and his athleticism would be a welcome site for Blue Devil fans in this game.

My Synopsis
Defense has ruled the day for the Blue Devils in this season so far, when they've played it well they've won comfortable and when they have lapsed the Blue Devils have lost or been in tight contests. The Virginia Tech will be no different - Duke will need to defend the perimeter well against the #3 shooting team from beyond the arc. Offensively, Duke generating turnovers has been their best offense, that and letting the big man (Vernon Carey Jr.) go to work. Duke also needs to minimize their own turnovers, especially live-ball turnovers that lead to run outs. Making the Hokies play against a set defense would maximize the Blue Devils defensive efforts.

Notes

  • No. 10 Duke plays its ACC opener away from home for the fourth time in the last five years when it travels to Virginia Tech for a Friday night date with the Hokies.
  • The game tips at 7 p.m. ET and is live on the ACC Network, with radio coverage along the Blue Sports Network from Learfield IMG College.
  • The game is a rematch of last season's Sweet 16, won by the Blue Devils, 75-73. Duke leads the overall series with Virginia Tech, 48-10, and has won seven of the last 10.
  • Friday's game caps a brutal week that saw the Blue Devils win late Tuesday night at No. 11 Michigan State and turn around on two days rest to open ACC play on the road.
  • Duke is 48-18 all-time in ACC openers, including 29-10 in ACC openers under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
  • Freshman Vernon Carey Jr., has posted seven consecutive double-doubles -- all seven have been 15-10 efforts, which is tied for the third-longest streak in Duke history -- and just the second by a player under Coach K.
  • Carey's seven double-doubles are tied for the NCAA lead.
  • Carey, who leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.600), is also fifth in the conference in scoring (19.2), second in rebounding (9.7) and third in blocks (2.4).
  • Sophomore Tre Jones' first two career double-doubles have come over the last three games, including a 20-point and career-high-tying 12-assist effort in Tuesday's win at MSU.
  • Duke has had four or more players score in double-figures in seven of the nine games this season.
  • The Blue Devils have made 25-of-55 from three-point range over the last four games (.455) -- the NCAA's 11th-best percentage and third-best among power conference teams since November 22.

Probable Starting Lineups

Duke

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

Virginia Tech

Guard - Wabissa Bede - 6'0, 200lbs
Guard - Tyrece Radford - 6'1, 205lbs
Guard - Nahiem Alleyne - 6'3, 195lbs
Guard - Landers Nolley II - 6'7, 225lbs
Forward - P.J. Horne - 6'6, 225lbs

Stats Comparison

Duke FG%
46.7%
Virginia Tech FG%
47.8%
DUKE 3PT FG%
36.2%
Virginia Tech 3PT FG%
43%
DUKE FT%
67.5%
Virginia Tech FT%
66.3%
DUKE PPG
84.1
Virginia Tech PPG
76.3

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