Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs the Virginia Cavaliers

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Febraury 9, 6:00PM
JOHN PAUL JONES ARENA
ESPN

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The Series So Far:

Overall: 172nd meeting; Duke leads, 120-51
In Durham: Duke leads, 58-10 (53-9 at Cameron Indoor)
In Charlottesville:
Duke leads, 41-34
At neutral sites: Duke leads, 21-6
Current streak: Duke, W1
Coach K vs. Virginia: 56-19 (56-18 at Duke)

Media Info:

TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman/Jay Bilas/Maria Taylor)
WatchESPN: Internet
Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network (David Shumate/John Roth)
National Radio: ESPN (Bill Rosinski/Bob Valvano)
Sirius/XM: 84 / 84 (Duke); 80 / 80

 

 JUNIOR FORWARD JAVIN DELAURIER 

On the importance of the upcoming game:

“It is another big time game for us. We are excited to be able to play the same great team again but this one is on the road so we know it is going to be a bit more of a hostile environment, but just preparing and making sure we are doing as much as we can.”

Takeaways from the contest earlier this season and what will be different this weekend:

“We really can’t count on them having such a cold shooting night. They will probably have a lot more energy because they are very tough to beat at home. It is going to be a different game but we aren’t going to play them the exact same way and I am sure they are thinking the same about us.”

Difference in game plan with Tre in the lineup:

“It changes a lot of things. Obviously Tre gives a huge presence on defense and just him being out there is a calming presence for our team, so hopefully he can come back and helps get another W.”

On the environment of John Paul Jones Arena:

“I think over the past couple years it has become one of the most hostile environments in the country. They are really tough to beat at home.”

On the familiarity of playing a team twice in the same season:

“This is the first time all year we have played a team twice and the game was only three weeks ago. Obviously we just played them but we can’t come into the game thinking it’s going to be the exact same thing.” 

On team playing better in the second half:

“We’re really good at making adjustments in game. That’s a testament – especially to the freshmen – of being mature really early. When Coach (Krzyzewski) tells us something, or we’re not playing our best, we do a really good job of figuring it out.”

On this game’s implications:

“Winning the league (regular season title) has been one of the goals we talked about since the summer. We haven’t done that since 2010-11. It’s long overdue, but we’re really not thinking about that right now. For us, it’s just getting our ninth ACC win.” 


The Blue Devils travel Saturday to Charlottesville to take on the Virginia Cavaliers for their second meeting of the season. Both teams enter Saturday ranked in the top 5 with Duke at #2 in the nation and the Cavaliers at #3. The Devils narrowly escaped with a 2 point win in Cameron just under 3 weeks ago. With freshmen R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson combining for 57 points. The Blue Devils played that game sans freshman point guard Tre Jones who was nursing a shoulder injury suffered against Syracuse.

The initial game saw only 5 3-pointers go down between the two ACC heavyweights and with neither team having a decided advantage in turnovers with both only committing 8. UVA was led in scoring by Deandre Hunter, who scored 18 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome poured in 14 each and combined for 10 boards for the Cavaliers.

That earlier loss to the Blue Devils remains the only loss this season for the UVA who are at 20-1 on the season and 8 - 1 in the ACC.

Virginia is led by sophomore De'Andre Hunter how has emerged as an offensive threat from anywhere on the court for the Wahoos. Hunter averages 14.7 points per game. Junior Kyle Guy averages 14.5 points per game, Guy is shooting 43.8% from beyond the arc for the Hoos. Ty Jerome leads the Cavaliers in assists with 5 assists per game couples that with 13 points. Braxton Key leads UVA in rebounding with 5.9 per game, Key also averages 7.1 points in his first season at UVA as a transfer. The Wahoos are 13th in the nation in 3 point percentage, 18th in free throw percentage and first in turnovers.

R.J. Barrett leads Duke in scoring at 23 points per game to go along with 3.7 assists and 7.2 rebounds. Zion Williamson leads the Blue Devils in rebounding at 9.4 per game and scores at a 22 points a game clip. Tre Jones is the assist leader for the Blue Devils with 5.5 a game. Duke is currently riding a 6 game winning streak, the Cavaliers are undefeated since their loss at Cameron and have won 4 straight. The Blue Devils, since the loss to Syracuse where they gave up 95 points have slowly started to play even better defensively, holding their next 7 opponents to 70 points or below - the last 5 opponents to under 65.

The bottom line for the Blue Devils, even though they got the win at home versus the Cavaliers - they must play better, primarily from the perimeter. Maximizing possessions will be critical, as will shot selection against UVA. In a game where possessions are limited and chances in transition are also few and far between everything done offensively is magnified. Another oft ignored facet of the Cavalier defense is their level of physicality - sure they play the packline defense and that defense really does choke the life out of teams, but Tony Bennett's squad plays extremely physical. Duke will need to be strong with the ball and adjust to that level of physicality to win this game.

DUKE 3PT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
30.8%
UVA 3PT SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
39.5%
DUKE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
48.6%
UVA SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
47.7%
DUKE FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
67.6%
UVA FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
76.1%
Duke PPG
87
UVA PPG
72.9

Duke Probable Starters

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

Virginia Probable Starters

  • G Ty Jerome 6'5, 195lbs*
  • G Deandre Hunter 6'7, 225lbs
  • G Kyle Guy 6'2, 175lbs
  • F Mamadi Diakite 6'9, 228lbs
  • C Jack Salt 6'10, 250lbs

*Ty Jerome status is currently unknown

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