Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs the Miami Hurricanes

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March 2, 4:00PM
Cameron Indoor Stadium
CBS

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The Series So Far:

Overall: 27th meeting; Duke leads, 19-7 In Durham: Duke leads, 9-2
In Coral Gables: Duke leads, 8-5
At neutral sites: Duke leads, 2-0
Current streak: Duke, W1
Coach K vs. Miami: 19-6

Media Info:

TV: CBS (Spero Dedes/Clark Kellogg) Internet: n/a
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network (David Shumate/John Roth)
National Radio: n/a
Sirius/XM: 84 / 84 (Duke broadcast)

Miami comes into Saturdays matchup against Duke in 9th place the ACC. The Canes are 4-11 in league play and 12 and 15 overall. The Hurricanes are fresh off of a loss to Wake Forest by 1 point and the Blue Devils come in 3rd in the ACC but only a game out. Duke is currently 12-3 in league play and 24 and 4 overall. Last time out the Blue Devils dropped their first true road game of the season to Virginia Tech - a game where the Blue Devils struggled at both ends of the floor. Miami is currently 4th in 3 point attempts but only 10th in 3 point percentage in the ACC, they shoot free throws well at 76% which is good for 4th in the ACC but don't get to the line very often.

For the Blue Devils, the hope is that having a few games together as a unit without Zion Williamson should hopefully produce a better outcome. Duke was never out of the game against Virginia Tech but each time the Blue Devils were in a position to take the lead they had a defensive breakdown. As much as RJ Barrett being defended solidly against Virginia Tech was the cover story - the real story was how the defense, despite the scouting report consistently gave up open 3 point shots to one of the best shooting teams in the ACC. Duke surely will be favored but Miami has a way of playing up to the competition and stealing one from the Blue Devils could truly right the ship. The Blue Devils must understand that Miami is very much capable of getting hot from the outside and if Duke allows the Hurricanes to stay in the game this could very much end in a dogfight.

Miami is led in scoring by 5'7 Chris Lykes, who pours in 16.9 points and 3.1 assists per game. The leading rebounder for the Canes is Ebuka Izundu at 8.6 rebounds per game. All 5 starters for the Hurricanes average double figures in scoring.

For Duke, they will play their third (really fourth) straight game without freshmen forward Zion Williamson who is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. R.J. Barrett leads the team in scoring with 23.3 points per game and also adds 7.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. Tre Jones leads the Blue Devils in assists at 5.3 per game and Cam Reddish scores for the Blue Devils at a 14 point a game clip. Reddish also averages 2 steals a game. Duke is 4th in the nation in steals, 6th in offensive rebounding and first in blocked shots - they are 5th overall in points per game.

SOPHOMORE GUARD ALEX O’CONNELL

On moving on from two tough road games and playing at home against Miami:
“We learned a few lessons with those last couple games. I think the biggest one is that we have to continue to prepare and that we have to love preparing especially when March comes around we are going to have more games in tighter windows and we have to remember to stay mentally focused whether that be 48 hours later or 24 hours later.”

On the team and where they stand without Zion (Williamson) in the lineup:
“I think we are obviously a different team right now with Zion out but I think we are finding some pieces and we’re growing a little bit. Once Zion comes back, which we are hoping is sooner rather than later, we want him to be 100% healthy when he comes back so he can be as dominant as he’s been this season. It just shows that once Zion comes back we are going to be a stronger and deeper team which is important come tournament time.”

On Zion supporting and cheering on the bench:
“It’s really cool to have a guy who is as dominant as he is cheer you on and get excited when you do something. It’s great to have him on the bench even though we would much rather have him on the floor.”

On the confidence going into this weekend after a career game at Syracuse:
“It gave me a lot of confidence and I know going into the next game I was feeling my shots. Seeing them go in feels good and being able to ball fake and drive and get my teammates open shots is something I am trying to work on trying to become a piece that my teammates can trust especially Zion being off the floor, there is sort of a gap that needs to be filled and I am just trying to fill that gap.”


FRESHMAN GUARD TRE JONES

On giving positive advice to Zion and his injury while he is on the bench:
“I feel like he doesn’t need a lot of advice. He’s been doing a great job for us trying to say what he needs to say on the bench and doing as much as he can from the bench. I know right away I just try and tell him to get healthy and focus on that first because that’s what is most important.

On the mentality going into the last couple of games before the ACC Tournament:
“Same mentality as we always had. We have lost two of the last three now so we trying to get back to playing like have been playing earlier on in the year but same mentality coming into every game and attacking every game the same way.”

On getting team steals back up:
“Starting to pressure the ball again like we have been. Getting out in the passing lanes like we have been and just playing with the intensity on defense that we used to play with. Even when we did have Zion there before he got hurt, we weren’t playing with that same intensity so just trying to get back to that intensity and energy on the defensive end and detect the hunger that we had too.”

On the team and where they stand without Zion in the lineup:
“We can still assess our self without Zion in there. We aren’t playing our best basketball right now but we are going to go out really energized tomorrow and really hungry tomorrow trying to get back to how we usually play and whenever it is that Zion comes back, we just want him to get healthy and when he does come back we know what he can bring to the table so it will take off even more from there. But until that time is, which we don’t know yet, we’re just going to keep playing how we know how we can play and come back even stronger.”

DUKE 3PT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
30.7%
Miami 3PT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
34.1%
DUKE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
47.9%
Miami SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
43.9%
DUKE FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
69.3%
Miami FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
73.9%
Duke PPG
85
Miami PPG
72.6

Duke Probable Starters

  • G Tre Jones 6'2, 183lbs
  • G Alex O'Connell 6'6, 183lbs
  • F R.J. Barrett 6'7, 202lbs
  • F Cam Reddish 6'8, 218lbs
  • F Javin DeLaurier 6'10, 234lbs

Miami Probable Starters

  • G Chris Lykes, 5'7, 157lbs
  • G Zach Johnson, 6'2, 192lbs
  • G Anthony Lawrence II, 6'7, 207lbs
  • G Dejan Vasiljevic, 6'3, 184lbs
  • C Ebuka Izundu, 6'10, 232lbs

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