Duke Blue Devils (18-8, 9-6) vs. Syracuse Orange (16-10, 9-6)
Game #27 • Road Game #9 • ACC Game #16 • Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023 • 6 p.m. ET
JMA Wireless Dome (35,642) • Syracuse, N.Y.
Radio: Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD
A win shy of the program’s 700th ACC regular-season win, Duke heads to Syracuse Saturday night for a crucial showdown with the Orange at JMA Wireless Dome. Both teams enter the game at 9-6 in the ACC and battling for ACC Tournament seeding with five games remaining in the regular season. Following Saturday, the Blue Devils are home for three consecutive games — the team’s longest home-stand this season.
Duke and Syracuse have met 20 times with the Blue Devils leading, 14-6. Duke has won seven straight and nine of the last 10. Duke has won three straight at JMA Wireless Dome (formerly the Carrier Dome) where it is 4-2 all-time.
The Blue Devils have won nine of the 13 regular-season meetings since Syracuse joined the ACC, including a two game sweep last year — 79-59 at Cameron Indoor on Jan. 22 and 97-72 at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 26. Duke also beat the Orange, 88-79, in the 2022 ACC quarterfinals, logging 24 assists in the game and 75 over the three game sweep of Syracuse last season. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim served as an assistant under former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Team USA staffs that won Olympic gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016. The two coaches are first and second, respectively, in all time D-I men’s basketball wins — Coach K retiring with 1,202 and Boeheim with 1,012.
Overall Duke leads, 14-6
In Durham, NC Duke leads, 5-2
at Cameron Indoor Stadium Duke leads, 5-2
In Syracuse, NY Duke leads, 4-2
at JMA Wireless Dome Duke leads, 4-2
Neutral Sites Duke leads, 5-2
Last Meeting Duke 88, Syracuse 79 (March 10, 2022)
Last 10 Games in Series Duke leads, 9-1
The Blue Devils are second in the conference in scoring defense (64.3), while Duke leads the ACC in three-point field goal defense (.302) and is fourth in field goal defense (.416). Duke has held 22 teams below their season scoring average (18-4 in those games), including nine that scored a then-season low for points versus the Blue Devils.
The ACC’s best rebounding team, Duke ranks sixth nationally in rebound margin (+8.3), 13th in offensive rebounds (13.0) and 13th in rebounds per game (39.5) — leading the ACC in each.
Duke has out-rebounded 21 opponents and is 17-4 this season when holding an advantage on the glass. 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 11 double-doubles are the most by any freshman nationally, while his 9.1 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.
Junior guard Jeremy Roach has scored 108 points over his last eight games (13.5) since returning from a toe injury that held him out for three games. He’s averaged 15.2 points over the last five, including 21 in a win over Wake, 20 in a win over Carolina and 16 at No. 8 Virginia.
Freshman Dariq Whitehead (right) returned two games ago from a lower leg sprain that held him out for three games. Whitehead has made nine of his last 13 (.692) from three-point range and is Duke’s best from downtown this season (.397). Duke has not lost in regulation with its full complement of scholarship players available (10-1); but is 8-7 in games where players were injured in-game or did not play due to injury or illness.
Syracuse is leading the ACC in steals and are 10th in the nation in blocked shots. . Syracuse is 5th in 3pt shooting percentage.
The Orange boast 3 double figure scorers starting with senior guard Joe Girard. Girard averages 16.9 points per game and is shooting 38% from beyond the arc to lead the Orange starters. Formidable freshman guard Judah Mintz is scoring at a 15.6 point per game clip and is leading the Orange in assists per game at 4.7. Mintz scored a game-high 20 points to go along with nine assists in their win at home against NC State last week. 6’11 senior center Jesse Edwards rounds out the double figure scorers at 14.3 points per game. Edwards leads the Orange in rebounding averaging a double-double with 10.4 rebounds to go along with his 14.3 points. Edwards is the top shot blocker in the conference (2.9 bpg.) and ranks second in rebounding average. Mintz is the ACC’s leader in steals (2.0 spg.) and the top-scoring freshman In the league.
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 Joseph Girard III 6’1, 190lbs Sr.
G Judah Mintz 6’3, 172lbs Fr.
F Chris Bell 6’7, 180lbs Fr.
F Maliq Brown 6’8, 213lbs Fr.
C Jesse Edwards 6’11, 230lbs Sr.
I expect Cuse to immediately attack Dereck Lively immediately. Getting Lively in foul trouble limits how effective the Blue Devils can be in the zone. Duke will need to do what Duke has done well for the majority of the year in grabbing offensive boards. Duke is one of the best in college basketball at boarding their misses and Syracuse is near the bottom on the defensive glass. The benefit to these second chance points is Duke can catch The Orange in scramble mode and not in their natural zone defense – advantage to Duke if they can win that battle. Duke will need to play offense with patience and discipline to deal with Syracuse’s 2-3 zone and with either Flilipowsli, Grandison or Mitchell in the middle – soft touches on mid-range shooting as well as crisp and accurate passing will be a very important factor.
Defensively Syracuse can beat you in a multitude of ways. While they can hit the 3 it’s not their main go-to but both Girard and Mintz can and will get hot at home, especially in a game of this magnitude. Syracuse is also an excellent fast break team. The addition of Judah Mintz this season at guard has really expanded their ability – Mintz is an excellent finisher but a superb passer with great instincts in the lead guard spot. He’s also one of the fastest players in the ACC. Duke will have to run the floor in transition because Syracuse will look to run and run quickly. Their bigs really run the floor well. Syracuse is in desperate need of big time victories, this will be one of their last chances this regular season to bolster their tournament resume.
Stats Duke Needs to Win
Rebounding for Duke, especially on the offensive end will be a huge stat for Duke in this game. Also winning the turnover battle as well as points off of turnovers would go along way toward making this a very winnable game for the Blue Devils.