Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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January 28, 7:00PM
Purcell Pavilion
ESPN

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The Blue Devils enter Monday winners of three straight and in a three-way tie atop the ACC standings at 6-1. The Blue Devils have won the last 4 against the Irish. Former Duke assistant Mike Brey owns the best record against Coach K of any of his former assistants. Brey is one of seven former Blue Devil players or assistants under Mike Krzyzewski now a Division-I head coach. Duke will look to rebound against a sub-par performance against a stout George Tech team that defended the Blue Devils well. Duke shot poorly from the field and allowed the Yellow Jackets a 9-3 advantage in second chance points which lead to a halftime deficit for the Blue Devils. Duke did right the ship in the second half but clearly lacked the normal prime-time energy during the noon start.

The Irish have struggled of late, losing six of their last seven games and are currently on a 4 game losing streak - a win against Duke is what they need to vault them back into relevance.

The Scoring leader for the Irish, junior John Mooney, is averaging 14.5 points per game and 10.8 boards fro the forward spot. Temple (TJ) Gibbs, a 6'3 guard out of New Jersey, averages 3.9 assists to lead the team and 13.4 points per game. D.J. Harvey also comes in scoring in double figures at 11 points per game. Losing senior sharp shooterRex Pflueger in mid December with an ACL injury was a huge loss for the Irish, Pflueger was shooting 39% from beyond the arc and averaging 8 points per game.


R.J. Barrett leads the Blue Devils in the scoring column averaging 23.9 per game, Barrett also pulls down 6.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Zion Williamson leads the team in rebounding at 9.2 per game. Williamson also scores 21.7 points per game and dishes2.3 assists. Cam Reddish rounds out the double-figure scorers for Duke at 12.8 points per game. Tre Jones is the leading assist man at 5.6 per game. This will be Jones' second game back from what was thought to be a serious shoulder separation injury. The Irish also lost Robby Carmody, who had played in 9 games and started 2 before season ending surgery on his shoulder.

The Blue Devils are only shooting 30.2% from 3 and in conference its a paltry 26.3%. Duke does, however, lead the nation in blocked shots, and are 4th in the nation in steals, 4th in points, 10th in offensive rebounding. The Irish enter Monday 5th in the nation in blocked shots.

Keys for Duke:

For Duke to be successful they simply need to be who they are. Pressuring the ball, turning the Irish over and getting out in transition early can lead to a quiet crowd and an early knock-out punch. If not then this could be a dog-fight on the road against a desperate team looking to make a mark in the ACC to offset a bad stretch of losses.

The Blue Devils will also look to get going from the outside.  Currently the Blue Devils sit dead last in 3 point shooting but balance it but balance it out with being first in 2 point shooting.

Keys for the Irish:

If Notre Dame can make Duke into a jump shooting team the numbers may just end up in their favor. Against Georgia Tech the Blue Devils went just 2-21 from beyond the arc but were still able to win by 13. If the Irish can couple that type of shooting night with baiting the Blue Devils scorers into some sort of foul trouble, their chances wax against this team. Once Duke goes to the bench there is a huge drop off in productivity.

The other key for the Irish is to take care of the basketball. With Duke's primary weapon being their transition offense the Irish can limit those chances by both slowing down the tempo of the game and valuing the basketball.

The Series So Far:

Overall: 32nd meeting; Duke leads, 24-7
In Durham:
Duke leads, 8-1
In South Bend: Duke leads, 5-4
At neutral sites: Duke leads, 11-2
Current streak: Duke, W4
Coach K vs. Notre Dame: 17-6 (17-6 at Duke)

Media Info:

TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough/Jay Bilas/Allison Williams)
Internet:
WatchESPN
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network (David Shumate/John Roth) National
Radio: n/a
Sirius/XM: 81 / 81 (Duke broadcast)

DUKE 3PT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
30.2%
Notre Dame 3PT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
32.8%
DUKE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
48.2%
Notre Dame SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
40.7%
DUKE FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
68.3%
Notre Dame FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
73.6%
Duke PPG
87.4
Notre Dame PPG
73.1

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

Notre Dame Probable Starters

  • G T.J. Gibbs, 6'3, 194lbs
  • G D.J. Harvey, 6'6, 225lbs
  • G Prentiss Hubb, 6'3, 167lbs
  • G Dand Goodwin, 6'6, 203lbs
  • F John Mooney, 6'9, 242lbs

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