Duke Blue Devils (19-8, 10-6) vs. Louisville Cardinals (4-23, 2-14)
Game #28 • Home Game #14 • ACC Game #17 • Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 • 7 p.m. ET
Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) • Durham, N.C.
Radio: Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD
A pair of teams coming off wins on Saturday square off on ESPN’s Big Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium when Duke hosts Louisville.
A match-up of first-year head coaches, Duke’s Jon Scheyer and Louisville’s Kenny Payne are two of the three active head coaches to win a national championship as both a player and coach. Austin Peay’s Nate James (a former Duke player and assistant) is the other.
Monday’s game vs. Louisville marks Duke’s third Saturday-Monday set in ACC play this season — no league team has played more. Duke is 13-9 all-time in ESPN’s Big Monday game.
The recent series has been close, with each team winning five times over the last 10 games. Duke leads the all-time series 12-9, but the series is 3-3 in Durham and 4-4 in Louisville. Duke won last season at the KFC Yum! Center, 74-65, behind 22 points on 5-of-5 three-pointers from AJ Griffin.
Former Duke All-American and assistant coach Nolan Smith is in his first year on the staff at Louisville. Smith’s father, the late Derek Smith, won a national championship with the Cardinals as a player in 1980. Nolan Smith was the ACC Player of the Year for the Blue Devils in 2011 and returned to his alma mater in 2016, spending two seasons as the team’s special assistant before his promotion to director of basketball operations & player development in March 2018. He was promoted again in April 2021 to assistant coach.
Overall Duke leads, 12-9
In Durham, NC Tied, 3-3
at Cameron Indoor Stadium Tied, 3-3
In Louisville, KY Tied, 4-4
at KFC Yum! Center Tied, 3-3
Neutral Sites Duke leads, 5-2
Last Meeting Duke 74, @Louisville 65 (Jan. 29, 2022)
Last 10 Games in Series Tied, 5-5
Duke has won two straight and pulled with three games of first place and one game of a top-four spot in the ACC standings with four games remaining in the regular season.
The Blue Devils bottled up Syracuse on Saturday, 77-55, holding the Orange to an ACC low for points, while hitting 13-of-26 from three-point range and assisting on 22 of 30 field goals. Syracuse became the 23rd team held below its season scoring average by Duke (19-4 in those games), including nine that scored a then-season low for points versus the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils are second in the conference in scoring defense (64.0), second in three-point field goal defense (.304) and third in field goal defense (.413) and are the ACC’s best rebounding team, Duke is averaging 39.4 boards and has out-rebounded 22 opponents (18-4 in those game). Duke is 14-4 when leading in offensive rebounding.
Freshman Kyle Filipowski, the seven-time ACC Rookie of the Week, leads all conference freshmen in rebounding and double-doubles. His 12 double-doubles are the most by any freshman nationally, while his 9.2 rebounds lead all power conference freshmen. At 15.1 points, Filipowski is the nation’s only freshman — and one of just nine power conference players overall — averaging at least 15 points and nine rebounds this season.
Coming off 17 points at Syracuse, junior Jeremy Roach has scored 125 points over his last nine games (13.9) since returning from a toe injury that held him out for three games. Over his last six, he’s averaging 15.5, including 21 vs. Wake, 20 vs. UNC and 16 at No. 8 Virginia.
Since returning three games ago from an injury, freshman Dariq Whitehead is averaging 11.0 points, shooting 12-of-21 (.571) from the field and 9-of-14 (.643) from three-point range in that span. He is Duke’s best from three-point range both overall (.419) and in ACC play (.490).
It’s clear the Cardinals are either playing with renewed purpose or they are putting together what first year head coach Kenny Payne has been preaching. Louisville took the top team in the ACC, Virginia, down to the wire with a chance to win and took down the Clemson Tigers by double figures. Duke is in for a battle in Cameron in this quick turn-around danger game.
The Cardinals have a high-powered guard in El Ellis who is scoring 18 points a game. Ellis is also leading the Cardinals in assists at 4.6 a game as he transitions between being just a scoring guard to a point guard. Jae’lyn Withers and Mike James are both averaging 9.5 points a game with Withers also leading the team in rebounding at 5.3 per contest and is leading the team in 3-point field goal percentage at 43.8%.
Duke Blue Devils
G Jeremy Roach 6’2, 180lbs Jr.
G Tyrese Proctor 6’5 175lbs Fr.
F Mark Mitchell 6’8, 220lbs Fr.
F Kyle Filipowski 7’0, 230lbs Fr.
F Dereck Lively 7’1, 230lbs Fr.
G El Ellis 6’3, 180lbs Sr.
G Mike James 6’5, 215lbs Rs.Fr.
F JJ Traynor 6’8, 190lbs Fr.
F Jae’Lyn Withers 6’9, 220lbs Rs.Jr.
F Sydney Curry 6’8, 270lbs Sr.
Despite what the records may say about this game this game could and likely will be a fight. The Blue Devils will need to be efficient with the basketball. Turnovers kept the Orange in the game for a lot longer than they should have been and if this Cardinals team gets on a roll like they did against Clemson things could end up badly for Duke. I expect this to be a very physical matchup and even though on paper Duke is the bigger team the Cardinals play a lot of guys with length and they are the more athletic team playing Monday night. Keeping the Cardinals off the glass and out of fast break situations will be huge for the Blue Devils.