Duke vs Virginia Preview
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 23, 2022 | JOHN PAUL JONES ARENA | CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA | 7 PM ET
Overall Duke leads, 122-53
In Durham, NC Duke leads, 59-11 (54-10 at Cameron Indoor)
In Charlottesville, VA Duke leads, 42-35 (6-3 at JPJ Arena)
Last Meeting Duke 68, Virginia 69 (2/7/22 @ Duke)
Coach K vs. Virginia 58-21 (58-20 at Duke)
Last 10 Games (Streak) Duke, 7-4 (UVA, 1W)
Network Blue Devil Sports
PxP/Analyst David Shumate/John Roth
PxP/Analyst Sean Kelley/Bob Valvano
Duke vs Virginia
Duke looks to avenge a 1 point home loss to the Cavaliers as they travel to John Paul Jones Arena. Virginia is looking for another key win to work their way into the NCAA Tournament and Duke is looking to keep a hold on first place in the ACC and secure a number 1 seed in the ACCT.
Virginia has won five of its last six and is coming off a 74-71 win at Miami on Saturday getting to 17-10 overall and 11-6 in ACC play. Leading the ACC and 11th nationally in scoring defense, the Cavaliers are yielding just 60.1 points. Virginia (1.43) is third to Duke (1.62) in assist/turnover ratio and the teams are also the top two in the ACC in blocked shots — Duke at 5.52 and Virginia at 4.67. Only four teams have scored 70+ versus Virginia — Iowa (75-74 loss), North Carolina (74-58 loss), NC State (77-63 loss) and Miami (74-71 loss).
A pair of transfers are UVa’s leading scorers in Jayden Gardner(ECU) — 15.3 points and Armaan Franklin (Indiana) — 11.6 points. Reece Beekman leads the Cavaliers in assists averaging 5.0 per game.
Winners of four straight and nine of its last 10, No. 7 Duke is in sole possession of first place in the ACC standings and owns the tiebreaker over second-place Notre Dame. Duke has won five straight on the road – the longest active road winning streak by a power conference team – and begins a three-game road swing Wednesday at Virginia. Each of the last 13 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or fewer, including six of the last eight decided by one or two points. The average margin of victory in the last 13 is 4.3 points. Leading the ACC in both field goal defense (.406) and three-point defense (.297), the Blue Devils have allowed opponents to shoot .282 from three-point range since Jan. 1 — the best three-point defense by power conference team in that span. Duke is 25th nationally this season in defending the three-point line (.297), 45th in field goal defense (.406), 12th in blocked shots (5.5) and seventh in scoring margin (+14.8) — leads ACC in each category.
Freshman Paolo Banchero leads the Blue Devils in both scoring and rebounding. The forward is averaging 16.9 points per game and pulling down 8.4 rebounds.
Junior Wendell Moore Jr. leads the Blue Devils in assists and is the only player ranked in the ACC’s top 10 for field goal percentage, assists, steals and assist/turnover ratio. He ranks sixth in field goal shooting (.517), third in assists (4.56), ninth in steals (1.59) and fifth in assist/turnover ratio (2.20). Moore has five games this season with at least five assists and no turnovers — Duke is 5-0 in those games.
Sophomore Mark Williams, whose tip-in dunk was the game-winner against Wake Forest with 0.4 remaining last Tuesday, is averaging 13.6 points and shooting 29-of-37 (.784) from the field over the last five games. His 68 dunks are the fourth most in a season at Duke. A finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, Williams leads the ACC and ranks 11th nationally in blocked shots. He is also the nation’s only player shooting .700+ from the field and .700+ at the free throw line (minimum 100 field goal attempts).
Freshman AJ Griffin is averaging 18.5 points and shooting 33-of-54 (.611) from the field and 15-of-25 (.600) from three-point range over Duke’s last five ACC road wins. For the season, Griffin is the team’s second-leading scorer in road games with 14.3 points.
Last Time Out
Last time out against the Blue Devils Beekman hit a three-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining as the Cavaliers knocked off No. 7 Duke, 69-68, on Feb. 7 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke trailed for much of the contest — and by as many as 12 in the first half — before a late-game rally gave the Blue Devils a 64-63 lead on Jeremy Roach’s floater with four minutes to play. Trevor Keels scored on a put-back a minute later to make it 66-63 and two free throws by Keels broke a 66-66 tie with 88 seconds remaining. A held ball gave Virginia possession on Duke’s baseline with seven seconds left, and Beekman’s three in the corner from Kihei Clark was the winner. Jayden Gardner scored a game-high 17 for Virginia, and Duke’s Mark Williams played only 19 minutes because of foul trouble but scored 16 on 5-of-7 shooting and 6-of-7 at the free throw line.
Duke vs Virginia: Keys to the Game
The Blue Devil staff is well versed in what Virginia is going to do defensively. Possessions will be long on the defensive end and offensive possessions are going to be difficult. Virgina is a grind – period. The packline defense employed by Virginia is a fairly simple idea, it’s a “sagging” man-to-man defense. The idea is to clog the inside, protect the paint, and prevent dribble-penetration. Virginia is going to pressure Duke’s guards and try to prevent lines of sight and if they are beaten off the dribble help defense is triggered.
Beating the packline means making the defense defend multiple actions, reversing the ball. Duke has the ability to attack in straight lines and this will be a must – but also attacking under control. Duke having good passing post players will also be a plus in attacking the UVA defense as they often attempt to double the post.
The Blue Devils were simply out-toughed against the Cavaliers in their last meeting. Duke was not strong with the ball surrendering 15 turnovers, 10 coming on Virginia steals. Putting the ball in the basket was a struggle for the Blue Devils who only shot 37% from the field. They should be much more prepared for the physicality that Virginia brings and the lively crowd that is sure to be full in JPJ arena. It will be a huge test for the Blue Devils and could be the determining factor on whether or not they finish first in the ACC heading into the tournament. If the Blue Devils in what will be a game of few possessions can limit turnovers, rebound the basketball and play through contact this game should go well for them.
DUKE VS VIRGINIA OVERALL
DUKE VS VIRGINIA CONFERENCE
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
DUKE VS VIRGINIA
Duke Blue Devils
G Trevor Keels 6’5, 221lbs – Freshman
G/ F Wendell Moore 6’5, 213lbs – Junior
F AJ Griffin 6’6, 222lbs – Freshman
F Paolo Banchero 6’10, 250lbs – Freshman
C Mark Williams 7’1, 242lbs – Sophomore
G Kihei Clark 5’10, 172lbs – Senior
G Armaan Franklin 6’4, 204lbs – Junior
G Reece Beekman 6’3, 181lbs – Sophomore
F Jayden Gardner 6’6, 246lbs – Senior
C Francisco Caffaro 7’1, 242lbs – RS Junior