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Duke vs Syracuse Preview


The Series

Overall Duke leads, 11-6
In Durham, NC Duke leads, 4-2 (4-2 at Cameron Indoor)
In Syracuse, NY Duke leads, 3-2 (3-2 at Carrier Dome)
Last Meeting Duke 85, Syracuse 71 (2/2/21 @ Duke)
Coach K vs. Syracuse 10-5 (10-5 at Duke)
Last 10 Games (Streak) Duke, 7-3 (Duke, 4W)


Network ESPN
Play-by-Play Dan Shulman
Analyst Jay Bilas
Sideline Holly Rowe
Producer Eric Mosley
Stream WatchESPN 


Network Blue Devils Sports
PxP/Analyst David Shumate/John Roth
Sirius/XM 84 / 84

Network ESPN
PxP/Analyst Sean Kelley/Bob Valvano
Sirius/XM 80 / 80

Duke vs Syracuse:

In a battle of Hall of Fame coaches, The 14-3 Duke Blue Devils look to bounce back against the 9-9 Syracuse Orange Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke has won four straight in the series and has claimed seven of the 11 regular-season meetings since Syracuse joined the ACC — those 11 games have been decided by an average of 8.5 points. 


Syracuse is 9-9 overall, 3-4 in the ACC and has won two of their last three. Last time out the Orange defeated the Clemson Tigers at home 91-78. In the win Buddy Boeheim scored a team high 25 points, and Joe Girard III scored 23. The two starting guards combined to shoot 9-14 from beyond the arc.

The Orange are scoring 78.7 points per game with all five starters averaging better than 12.2 points per game. Syracuse’s five starters play 83 percent of the team’s minutes. Brothers Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim, the sons of head coach Jim, are the team’s leading scorers at 19.2 and 14.2, respectively. Buddy is fourth in the ACC in scoring, third in free throw percentage (.896) and fourth in three-point percentage (.349). Joseph Girard III is the leading assist man for the Orange. Girard leads the ACC in both three-point shooting (.455) and free throw percentage (.902) and is averaging 13.9 points a game. Senior Cole Swider leads the Orange in rebounding at 7 peer game.


The Blue Devils are coming off of an overtime road loss to the Florida State Seminoles, 79-78 dropping Duke to a 4-2 record in the ACC.

The Blue Devils are led in scoring by freshman Paolo Banchero. Banchero is averaging 18.1 points per game, he also leads the Blue Devils in rebounding, averaging 7.6 per game. ACC Freshman of the Week four times so far, Paolo Banchero has scored 20+ points in four straight games and five of the last six. His eight 20-point efforts lead all power conference true freshmen and his 18.1 points leads all true freshmen nationally.

Sophomore Mark Williams is fifth nationally and leads the ACC in blocked shots (3.41). He posted a near triple-double last Saturday against NC State with 19 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight blocked shots in just 27 minutes of court time. He leads the Blue Devils in blocked shots averaging 3.4 per game. Coming off the Virginia Tech game where Mark Williams didn’t score, he’s scored in double figures 4 out of the last 5 games; averaging 4.5 blocks & nearly 10 boards.

Wendell Moore Jr. is the leading assist man for the Blue Devils, averaging 4.6 per game. Duke is the only ACC team with three players in the league’s top 10 in assist/turnover ratio with Trevor Keels ranked fourth (2.35), Jeremy Roach fifth (2.30) and Wendell Moore Jr. ninth (2.05). Moore also contributes 15.2 points per game.

Duke vs Syracuse: Keys to the Game

The Blue Devils have to come out in a different mind state. Against Florida State the Blue Devils game up 19 offensive rebounds and were consistently caught out of position going for rebounds. Duke was also careless with the basketball, turning the ball over 15 times. Those two areas have to be the main focus for the Blue Devils.

Offensively both teams are capable of filling it up and for the Blue Devils along with taking care of the basketball, getting good shots out of the Syracuse zone. Whoever Coach K chooses to put in the middle of the zone has to be aggressive and make the right read, making the defense react and have to make quick decisions. In addition offensively, getting shots early to middle of the shot clock will put less shot pressure on the shooters. Patience and precision is the key. The expectation is for either AJ Griffin or Paolo Banchero to fill the middle of the zone but I can see Duke running a more motion oriented offense to rotate who sits in the middle of that zone. Wendell Moore has experience playing in the middle of that zone but Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin should both see time at that spot as well. Duke is expected to be without freshman Trevor Keels but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him play some.

Defensively, Duke has to defend the perimeter. Syracuse lit up the Clemson Tigers with Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard doing the majority of the work. One thing the Blue Devils have not been great at is finishing defensive possessions with a rebound. Duke should be able rebound better against the Cuse but it still takes grit and effort – the end of regulation against the Seminoles of Florida State showed that the Blue Devils can play with that grit and determination. Saturday is their first opportunity.


Duke vs FSU 17 40.3 30.4 61.8 .492 22.5 40.2 .559 7.9 21.6 .367 14.1 19.3 .729 10.3 27.8 38.1 17.6 7.9 5.9 10.2 14.1 82.8
18 40.8 27.7 60.4 .459 18.9 37.1 .509 8.8 23.3 .379 14.4 19.8 .730 10.4 26.1 36.5 15.2 7.7 4.3 11.8 14.5 78.7



Duke Blue Devils

Guard Jeremy Roach 6’1, 180lbs – Sophomore
Guard / Forward Wendell Moore 6’5, 213lbs – Junior
Forward AJ Griffin 6’6, 222lbs – Freshman
Forward Paolo Banchero 6’10, 250lbs – Freshman
Center Mark Williams 7’1, 242lbs – Sophomore


Guard Joseph Girard III 6’1, 190lbs – Junior
Guard Buddy Boeheim 6’6, 205lbs – Senior
Forward Jimmy Boeheim 6’8, 225lbs – Graduate Student
Forward Cole Swider 6’9, 220lbs – Senior
Center Jesse Edwards 6’11, 230lbs – Junior

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