Game Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons

The Blue Devils Return to Cameron to Face Wake Forest

In Game Previews by Brian Horace1 Comment

JAN. 11 | CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM | DURHAM, N.C. | 8 PM

Series Info

Overall: 252nd meeting; Duke leads 173-78
In Durham: Duke leads, 77-18 (62-16 at Cameron Indoor)
In Winston-Salem: Duke leads, 50-39
At neutral sites: Duke leads, 33-9
Current streak: Duke, W10
Coach K vs. Wake Forest: Duke leads, 54-24

Media Info

TV: ACC Network (Dave O’Brien/Jordan Cornette)
WatchESPN
Radio: Blue Devil Sports Network (David Shumate/John Roth)
Duke Radio Affiliates
National Radio: n/a
Sirius/XM: 84 / 84 (Duke broadcast)

Duke vs Wake Forest
Duke and Wake Forest are meeting for the 252nd time in a series that dates to the 1905-06 season. The Blue Devils lead the series 173-78, including 62-16 at Cameron Indoor…Duke has won 10 straight in the series -- its second-longest active ACC winning streak behind 13 consecutive wins over Georgia Tech…The Blue Devils got 28 points from RJ Barrett, but had to survive a missed shot at the buzzer by Wake to win 71-70 in last year's meeting at Cameron Indoor on Senior Night…Each of Duke's last 10 leading scorers in a Duke-Wake game are now playing in the NBA.

Wake Forest and North Carolina are Duke's most-frequently played rivals, with each series standing at 251 previous games…Duke's 248 games versus NC State are next most.

The Opponent
Wake Forest is 8-6 overall and 1-3 in the ACC, with its three conference setbacks coming by a combined 21 points (7.0 per game). Brandon Childress leads the Demon Deacons in scoring (16.0) and assists (4.6), while Olivier Sarr is just short of averaging a double-double at 12.3 points and 9.2 rebounds off the bench. Wake Forest had won 3 in a row before losing to FSU by 10, the Demon Deacons erased a 7 point half time lead before eventually falling to the Seminoles while playing without starter Chaundee Brown.

Wake Forest is 37th in free throw attempts and 17th in free throw makes so far on the season in the nation and first in the ACC in both categories.

Duke
The Blue Devils will be without freshman starter Wendell Moore Jr. who underwent successful surgery on Monday to repair a broken fourth metacarpal in his right hand. He is out indefinitely, but expected to return this season. Moore, who sustained the injury late in the game at Miami on Saturday night, had played in all 14 games, with five starts. The Charlotte, N.C., native was averaging 7.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game.

Duke enters the game against Wake Forest on a 8 game winning streak. The Blue Devils come in at 14-1 and 4 & 0 in the ACC. The Blue Devils have relied heavily on their defense so far this season and are 4th in the nation in blocked shots, 24th in steals and 50th in rebounding.

Duke has held six consecutive opponents to less than 65 points, and two of the last four have scored 50 or less. The Blue Devils are allowing just 61.0 points over their eight-game winning streak. Duke is ranked No. 3 in KenPom's defensive efficiency, with top-20 ranks in both defensive steal percentage (12.5; 18th) and blocked shots percentage (15.4; 15th) -- one of five teams nationally in the top 20 for both. Duke's 75-50 win over Brown and the 88-49 BC win marked the first time since the 2010-11 season that consecutive Duke foes scored 50 or less -- 83-48 vs. Bradley (Dec. 8) and 84-47 vs. Saint Louis (Dec. 11).

Vernon Carey Jr. leads the Blue Devils in both scoring and rebounding, nearly averaging a double-double with 18.1 points per game and 8.8 rebounds. Carey also leads the team in blocks at 2 per game. Tre Jones leads the Blue Devils in assists at 7.2 per game, he also averages 14.3 points and a team leading 2 steals per game. Cassius Stanley and Matthew Hurt round out the double figure scorers for the Blue Devils with 11.2 and 11.6 points per game respectively.  The Blue Devils are 29th in the nation in assists.

Player Quotes

SENIOR FORWARD JAVIN DeLAURIER

On what he’s seen from Wake Forest: “Wake is a really good offensive team. They really do a good job of getting out in transition as well, so we’re going to have to do a good job of trying to take up space, eliminate some driving lanes for those perimeter guys you’re talking about and really point and communicate and make sure we have all of our assignments.”

On what he took away from Wednesday night’s game at Georgia Tech: “Especially for the freshmen, that was a first real road fight where we encountered a lot of opposition. It was great to see the way that they responded in a pretty hostile arena [that was] completely sold out. Their team was playing well and like you said, they have some talented bigs and the way that our young guys responded I think was great and hopefully will continue to grow as the season goes on.”

On if it was beneficial to play in a close game: “You’d always love to win by 30 or whatever it is, but winning in those close games is another dose of reality just to wake guys up and let them know it’s not going to be a cake walk just because we won a couple games in a row by a large margin. It doesn’t mean that teams aren’t good and teams aren’t going to keep trying to give us their best shot. So, it was good to win a tough, contested game for sure, because those are the games we’re going to have to win if we want to achieve what we want to do.”

SOPHOMORE GUARD TRE JONES

On how the team benefitted from being in a close game on Wednesday night: “Definitely just getting used to how road games are in the ACC usually. Just how the atmosphere was – crazy atmosphere – but then just going through a battle like that, coming down to the last few possessions and then having to just lock in and make the right plays to get us the win.”

On what has been the biggest improvement in Vernon Carey Jr.’s game: “Probably just how hungry he is to continue to post up inside and continue to dominate inside. I know a lot of people questioned how he was for a center [with his] back to the basket [and] things like that coming into college. Just transitioning from floating around the arc and things like that to being back to the basket, pretty much unstoppable unless you have to double-team him.”

On what kind of challenges Wake Forest presents: “I think we just got to take them out of their transition to start off with. They like to get out in transition and get easy buckets that way, but controlling their guards and perimeter [will be a key].”

On what some of the things are that Javin DeLaurier has been able to teach Carey: “I think just continuing to play hard every single possession. With Javin being able to come in for him and give him minutes, Javin comes in and is always playing hard, always trying to be in the right spots, talking to guys, so just his leadership for sure.”

On if this team’s success is flying under the radar after the media attention that the team received last season: “I would say compared to last year, for sure, it’s different. I think that feeling of being a top team still is there, but the attention that we got last year is something that’s never been there on any team, so definitely – you can’t compare any year to last year as far as the attention goes.”

Synopsis
I expect a spirited game from Wake, a team definitely looking to build on a signature win against Xavier and a huge comeback win against Pitt. The key for Duke in my opinion is to keep the Demon Deacons off of the free throw line. Wake is at or near the bottom in most offensive categories except for free throws and they are middle of the pack in 3-point shooting. If Duke does a good job of keeping Wake in front they should be able to handle any offensive pressure put on them. Penetration from the Wake guards will be Duke's main area of focus.

Offensively Duke has to get off to a much better start than they did against Georgia Tech, Duke needs to establish Vernon Carey Jr. early and often. It was clear despite Duke's depth that Wendell Moore was missed on both ends of the floor if Duke can find points from Cassius Stanley, Matthew Hurt and either Alex O'Connell or Joey Baker then that should take some of the pressure off.

Probable Starting Lineups

Duke

Guard - Tre Jones - 6'3, 185lbs
Guard - Cassius Stanley - 6'6, 193lbs
Forward - Jack White - 6'7, 222lbs
Forward - Matthew Hurt - 6'9, 214lbs
Center - Vernon Carey - 6'10, 270lbs

Wake Forest

Guard - Brandon Childress - 6'0, 195lbs
Guard - Adrien White - 6'3, 200lbs
Guard - Torry Johnson - 6'3, 175lbs
Forward - Isaiah Mucius - 6'8, 195lbs
Forward - Ody Oguama - 6'9, 205lbs

Stats Comparison

Duke FG%
48.6%
Wake Forest FG%
42.6%
DUKE 3PT FG%
35.9%
Wake Forest 3PT FG%
34.7%
DUKE FT%
68.7%
Wake Forest FT%
75.1%
DUKE PPG
83.4
Wake Forest PPG
73.4

Comments

  1. Pingback: Jones & DeLaurier Speak in Advance of Wake Forest Matchup - DukeBlog

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.