Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs the North Carolina State Wolfpack

In Game Previews, Previews by Brian HoraceLeave a Comment


February 16, 6:00PM
Cameron Indoor Stadium


The Series:

Overall: 248th meeting; Duke leads, 146-101
In Durham: Duke leads, 63-30 (50-26 at Cameron Indoor)
In Raleigh: Duke leads, 47-42
At neutral sites: Duke leads, 23-17
Current streak: NC State, W2
Coach K vs. NC State: 54-24

Media Info:

TV: ESPN (Bob Wischusen/Dick Vitale/Allison Williams)
Internet: WatchESPN 
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network (David Shumate/John Roth)
Sirius/XM: 81 / 81 (Duke broadcast)

The Blue Devils enter Saturday night on an 8 game winning streak the Wolfpack have their first ACC winning streak at 2 games, 2 is also the winning streak the Wolfpack have over the Blue Devils.  The Blue Devils are atop the ACC with a game lead over the Tarheels of UNC and the Cavaliers of Virginia. The Blue Devils boast a 10-1 record and the Wolfpack done in at 6-6 in the ACC. North Carolina State have wins against a ranked Auburn squad as well as Syracuse and Louisville. The Wolfpack are first in offensive rebounding and second in total rebounding in the ACC; They are 4th in points per game.

Senior Torin Dorn leads the Wolfpack in scoring and rebounding. Dorn is averaging 13.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. Markell Johnson is the team leader in assists with 4 per game. Each starter averages 9.4 points or better per game and the team scores at an 81.8 a game clip.

The Blue Devils are fresh off of a 23 point road comeback win against Louisville where the Devils turned on the juice with 9 plus minutes left in the game to fluster Chris Mack's team. This young Duke team is lead by a pair of freshmen in scoring. R.J. Barrett averages 22.7 points per game, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game; his fellow freshman Zion Williamson is averaging 22 points a gain and 9.3 rebounds to lead the team. Tre Jones leads the team in assists at 5.4 per game.

The Blue Devils possess a potent offense but what will determine how comfortable this team is playing against N.C. State is how they defend. The first 30 minutes of the Louisville game the Blue Devils were torched by the Cardinals who not only defended the Blue Devils, but their offense shredded the Duke defense. Duke will have to match the energy of the Wolfpack who have a plethora of shotmakers. For Duke the mantra should be, "keep that same energy", the same energy they had closing out the Cardinals


On what a big win over Louisville does for your team confidence:

“We have learned a lot about ourselves. Obviously as great as the last then minutes of the game was we were in that position for a reason. It’s easy enough to look at the last ten minutes and how good we were but for us I think a critical part of us learning is why we were in that position to begin with. It’s a good thing to know that we are able to respond to adverse situations like that.”

On the upcoming Triangle Rivalry matchup against NC State and extra motivation for upper classmen:

“For sure. For me and Javin (DeLaurier) and the upperclassmen, we feel like we owe them one and especially defending our house against them but for the younger guys, I feel like we are all motivated enough and especially just staying in control of the conference with our standings. But we have to take care of business and treat every game the same in terms of our preparation. At Louisville, we didn’t have the start we wanted, and in Cameron the last few times we have had pretty average first halves. So coming out straight away and playing our game and making sure everyone is on top of everything that we do in terms of preparation.

On the tone in practice ahead of playing two in state rivals:

“Obviously those sorts of games have an impact. I would be lying if I said they didn’t but I feel like this stage of conference play we are playing top tier teams every game. I feel like with this patch of games we just have to take it one opponent at a time. We can’t look forward to Carolina, we have to make sure we take care of business tomorrow night against State because at this stage we are in a good spot with our standings and such, but we can’t have a minor slip up like we potentially could have had on Tuesday. This is one of those games where we need to take care of business.”


On looking back at the last 10 minutes and the first 30 minutes of the Louisville game:

“We looked more at the first 30 minutes and what went wrong. We were playing probably our worst basketball in the first 30 minutes of that game. After looking at the first 30 in film, we were able to watch the last 10 minutes and what were able to do to get back playing like ourselves.”

On Jordan Goldwire’s defensive pressure:

“He is really athletic and a really good defender and he was able to give us a huge spark verse Louisville and he kept it going throughout the rest of the game.”

On the preparation of the in state rivalry matchup against NC State:

“We prepare for every game the same way. No matter who it is we know that it’s a big matchup especially in the ACC. We are coming in and ready to play and ready to get back to playing in front of our fans here in Cameron on Saturday.”

Playing in big game and loud atmospheres and how that helps leading into the in state rival games:

“For sure. Those other games we have had starting with our first game of the year against Kentucky, that’s what we have been used to so with these rivalry games that we have coming up there is a lot more energy.”

Duke PPG
N.C. State PPG

Duke Probable Starters

  • G Tre Jones 6'2, 183lbs
  • F R.J. Barrett 6'7, 202lbs
  • F Cam Reddish 6'8, 218lbs
  • F Zion Williamson 6'7, 285lbs
  • C Marques Bolden 6'11, 250lbs

N.C. State Probable Starters

  • G Torin Dorn, 6'5, 210lbs
  • G Braxton Beverly, 6'0, 180lbs
  • G Markell Johnson, 6'1, 175lbs
  • G C.J. Bryce, 6'5, 195lbs
  • F Wyatt Walker, 6'9, 240lbs

ACC Standings as of February 11, 2019

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