SATURDAY, JAN. 15, 2022 | CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM | DURHAM, NC | 2 PM ET
Overall Duke keads 149-102
In Durham, NC Duke leads, 65-30 (52-26 at Cameron Indoor)
In Raleigh, NC Duke leads, 48-43 (9-7 at PNC Arena)
Last Meeting Duke, 69-53 (2/13/21 @ State)
Coach K vs. NC State 57-25
Last 10 Games Duke, 7-3 (Streak: Duke, 12)
Duke vs NC State Preview
Duke vs NC State: The 13-2 Duke Blue Devils welcome the 9-8 NC State Wolfpack to Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday at 2pm for an old school ACC battle.
The 9-8 (2-4 in the ACC) Wolfpack began the year with a lot of promise going 7-2 in their first 9 games but hit a rocky patch and lost 5 straight including their first 2 ACC games. They are coming off a blowout win over Louisville on the road, where they won 79-63 at the Yum! Center. NC State leads the ACC in offensive rebounds per game (12.4) and only 14 teams nationally have been to the line more than the Wolfpack’s 255 attempts. As a team NC State is shooting 32.8% from beyond the arc, but in ACC play they are up to 36.5%.
Dereon Seabron leads the Wolfpack in scoring at 19.8 per game, he also leads the team in rebounds at 9.6 per game and assists at 3.4. Seabron does most of his damage off the dribble, in transition and in the paint as a result, the Wolfpack tend to depend on good spacing and passing to get the majority of their looks.
The Wolfpack boast two other double figure scores in Jericole Hellems who averages 14.5, and right behind him is Terquavion Smith at 14.4 per game. As a team NC State is shooting 32.8% from beyond the arc, but in ACC play they are up to 36.5%. 2 guards off the bench that Duke will have to be well aware of for the Wolfpack are sophomore Cam Hayes and junior Casey Morsell. Hayes plays 24 minutes game and contributes 9 points and 2.4 assists. Morsell plays 22 minutes a game adding 7.3 points and 3.6 boards, therefore, he and Hayes provide a huge spark for the Wolfpack off the bench.
Duke is led in scoring by freshman Paolo Banchero who is scoring at a 17.7 point per game clip. The freshman also leads the Blue Devils in rebounding at 7.3 per game. Right behind Banchero is junior guard Wendell Moore Jr. at 15.4 points per game. Moore, who leads the team in assists, also leads the ACC (5.0), and is third in assist/turnover ratio (2.50), sixth in field goal percentage (.540) and 11th in scoring (15.4). Sophomore Mark Williams leads the ACC and ranks 10th nationally in blocked shots, averaging 3.1 per game. Only six players in the nation have more total blocks this season than Williams’ 47.
Freshman AJ Griffin has been a revelation for Duke. In his first career start at Wake Forest Wednesday night, scoring a career-high and efficient 22 points on just 11 shots in Duke’s 76-64 victory. Griffin was 8-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point range, including a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer. Over Duke’s last seven games, Griffin is averaging 13.1 points, shooting .627 (32-of-51) from the field, .500 (13-of-26) from three point range and 18.9 minutes. He averaged just 4.0 points and 10.5 minutes over the first eight games.
Keys to the Game
I expect the NC State guards to defend aggressively on the perimeter which could lead to an open mid-range for Duke guards. Having Paolo in the high post and the possibility that NC will double could lead to open looks from beyond the arc if Duke’s ball movement, spacing and passes are pin point. If our guards are able to penetrate pass the over aggressive play by NC State guards then the possibility of dump offs for lobs could be available for Mark Williams who will need to be and stay aggressive on ready. NC State is vulnerable at the rim and I think Duke could definitely do some posting up of their guards with Trevor Keels and Wendell Moore.
Defensively the key for Duke is to try to limit the impact of Dereon Seabron. I say impact and not just scoring because the 6’7 guard can do it all. He’s become the primary ball-handler for the Pack and that has paid dividends for Kevin Keatts’ squad. Not only is Seabron leading the Pack in points but also assists. Seabron’s ability to deliver the basketball to ready and willing shooters has been the tale of why NC State has raised their percentages in ACC play.
Coach Nolan Smith On the challenges the team will face defending NC State guard Dereon Seabron:
“He’s a big-time player. First and foremost, obviously our plan is to keep him out of our paint. He scores a lot at the rim, and when he gets into the paint, gets into that foul line area, he has a lot of shooters around him – guys that are shooting at a very high level right now. Obviously, we saw in the Louisville game, they’re hot. They have a lot of hot players, so we’ve got to keep him out of our paint, make it very hard for him, keep him off the offensive boards and try and slow him down but also slow down the guys around him. He’s obviously the head of the snake, so we’ve got to do a great job on him.”
Duke will need to make defensive rebounding a priority in this game as NC State leads the ACC in that category. Duke is rebounding the basketball better since ACC play began, winning that battle in 3 of 4 contests. But a look deeper into the numbers shows the Blue Devils have given up double-digit offensive rebounds in every ACC game thus far.
In their game against Florida State, the Wolfpack made 12 of 27 threes with Dereon Seabron assisting on 7 of them. NC State will try to get Duke in scramble situations with their perimeter passing off of dribble penetration and so far this season Duke has responded well when teams have tried that, the key is being able to limit Seabron’s ability to get to the lane and being able to do so with one defender.
Nolan Smith On how the team is approaching its matchup with NC State:
“One thing I’ve told our guys is if they are foolish enough to go look at their record and think that they are not good, they are wrong. They are a much better team than their record … We’re coming into this game knowing that this is a big-time game. Our guys know that they are skilled, they are talented, they have three guys that are shooting over 40 percent from three, so they’re a big-time team. Obviously, they’re small – they don’t really have a true big. Obviously, losing Manny Bates – I hope he gets healthy and recovers and comes back stronger – but losing him hurt their team obviously from an inside presence standpoint. But now they have a lot of guards that can get it off the bounce, they drive and kick, they play together, they play hard. Coach [Kevin] Keatts has done a great job with his team. We’re prepared, though, for a big-time game here tomorrow at Cameron versus NC State.”
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
Duke Blue Devils
Guard Trevor Keels 6’5, 221lbs – Freshman
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
NC State Wolfpack
Guard Thomas Allen 6’1, 175lbs – Redshirt Senior
Guard Dereon Seabron 6’7, 180lbs – Redshirt Sophomore
Guard Terquavion Smith 6’4, 160lbs – Freshman
Forward Jericole Hellems 6’7, 200lbs – Senior
Forward Ebenezer Dowuona 6’11, 225lbs – Sophomore