Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs the Syracuse Orange

In Game Previews, Previews by Brian HoraceLeave a Comment

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February 23, 6:00PM
Carrier Dome
ESPN

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Syracuse and Duke both come in Saturday in need of a win to keep pace in a tough top half of the ACC. The Blue Devils are 11-2 in ACC play and the Orange are 9-4 - just 2 games off the lead and Duke remains in a 3-way first place tie with UNC and Virginia. With very few ACC games left each outing is important for both teams. Former Duke recruit Tyus Battle leads the Orange in scoring at 17.2 per game, Frank Howard leads the team in assists at 2.8 per game and Oshae Brissett is the leading rebounder at 7.9 a game to go along with his 13.2 points.

The Blue Devils enter Saturday having recently been beaten by UNC at home and for the double whammy the Blue Devils lost star freshmen forward Zion Williamson for an indefinitely amount of time. 

In the previous matchup with Syracuse the Blue Devils were up fairly big early on the Orange before losing guard Tre Jones to a shoulder injury. The Blue Devils lost that game in overtime. Duke also played that game without starting forward Cam Reddish. The Blue Devils hoisted up 43 3-point shots in that game shooting 20% from range.

Playing against the Syracuse Orange is never an easy task. You know what you are going to get but knowing what it is isn't always comforting. You know with the Cuse you are going to get length, you know your are going to get the patented Boeheim 2-3 zone. Sure at times Duke has seen some zone looks this season but not a zone with the aplomb that a Syracuse can execute it. There are several ways in which Duke can combat the 2-3 zone but starts with basics:

  1. Being strong with the ball
  2. Being crips and deliberate with passes
  3. Taking good shots in rhythm


There are several strategies aside from that that the Blue Devils can utilize to beat the zone as well:

  1. Making outside shots (especially from 3 point range or free throw area)
  2. Attacking the gaps in the zone (this bodes well for Duke with the passing and slashing ability they have on offense)
  3. playing as few possessions as possible against the set offense (If Duke can turn the Orange over and get out into transition it will limit the effectiveness of the zone, especially if Syracuse is playing from a deficit.
  4. Also putting a good passer in the middle of the zone - this gives the offense options and the ability to collapse the defense and get good shots for themselves or others on the perimeter.

The Series So Far:

Overall: 14th meeting; Duke leads, 7-6
In Durham: Duke leads, 3-2
In Syracuse: Syracuse leads, 2-1
At neutral sites: Duke leads, 3-2
Current streak: Syracuse, W1
Coach K vs. Syracuse: 6-5

Media Info:

TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman/Jay Bilas/Maria Taylor)
Internet: WatchESPN
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network (David Shumate/John Roth)
National Radio: n/a
Sirius/XM: 108 / 201 (Duke broadcast)

DUKE 3PT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
30.6%
Syracuse 3PT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
32.4%
DUKE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
48%
Syracuse SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
42.4%
DUKE FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
68.5%
Syracuse FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
68.7%
Duke PPG
85.9
Syracuse PPG
70

Duke Probable Starters

  • G Tre Jones 6'2, 183lbs
  • F R.J. Barrett 6'7, 202lbs
  • F Cam Reddish 6'8, 218lbs
  • F Javin DeLaurier 6'10, 234lbs
  • F Marques Bolden 6'11, 250lbs

Syracuse Probable Starters

  • G Tyus Battle 6'6, 205lbs
  • G Frank Howard 6'5, 205lbs
  • G Elijah Hughes 6'6, 215lbs
  • F Oshae Brissett 6'8, 210lbs
  • C┬áPaschal Chukwu, 7'2, 228lbs

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