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@Randy Dunson ‘s Game Preview: Duke @ Florida State

By February 9, 2015April 20th, 2015No Comments

Game Preview

Duke Blue Devils (20-3, 7-3] vs. Florida State Seminoles (13-11, 5-6]

Monday, February 9, 2015 • 7:01 PM • ESPN • Tallahassee, FL • Donald L. Tucker Center

By Randy Dunson

1. Snapshot


Duke (20-3, 7-3) travels to Tallahassee to face Florida State (13-11, 5-6) Monday, Feb. 9 at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Tipoff is set for 7:01 p.m. with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Shane Battier (analyst) and Allison Williams (sideline) calling the action for ESPN. The Blue Devils enter the game ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Duke is 69-15 when ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll. Florida State is unranked in both polls. Duke, Kansas, and Virginia are the only teams in the NCAA to rank in the top 10 of the AP Poll (No. 4), USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 5), Ratings Percentage Index (No. 5), and Strength of Schedule (No. 6).

Florida State

Florida State, which has won three of its last four ACC games, plays host to No. 4/5 Duke on Monday, February 9, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will play their second nationally ranked opponent in their last four games after defeating No. 23/23 Miami, 55-54, on February 1 in Tallahassee and will face their fourth ranked opponent of the season on Monday night. Florida State has won three of its last six games against Duke including a victory over the Blue Devils in the semifinals of the 2012 ACC Tournament (69-52, March 10, 2012) at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. The Seminoles’ victory over the Blue Devils sent Florida State to the ACC Tournament championship game the next day where they defeated No. 4 North Carolina to win the first ACC basketball championship in school history. Florida State has defeated a nationally ranked Duke team six times under head coach Leonard Hamilton including three of those wins at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center.
2. Last Time Out


In its last outing, Duke recorded its fourth win over an AP top-10 opponent with a 90-60 rout of No. 10 Florida State Saturday. The Blue Devils used a 43-7 first half run to race out to a 50-24 halftime lead. Justise Winslow recorded his third consecutive double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four assists and two blocks. Jahlil Okafor posted a game-high 20 points and added 10 rebounds for his team-leading eighth double-double, while Matt Jones (17) and Tyus Jones (12) also scored in double figures. Duke went 17-of-21 (.810) from the field, including 7-of-8 (.875) from three-point range, in the opening half to match the third-best shooting half in school history. Duke’s 30-point margin of victory is the fourth-highest against an AP top-10 opponent in program history.

Game Notes

  • Duke started 20-3 during the 2008 and 1999 seasons (since 1996).
  • The win over Florida State extended the Duke winning streak to three games.
  • The Blue Devils have won every game this season (5-0) after recording 90 or more total points.
  • This season Duke has won 91 percent of the time (10-1) when Tyus Jones has 12 points or more, 77 percent of the time (10-3) when Quinn Cook plays 36 minutes or more, and 86 percent of the time (6-1) when Jahlil Okafor has nine field goals made or more.
  • The Blue Devils set a season high for three-point percentage (60.0).
  • The last time Duke had a three-point percentage of 60.0 percent or higher was Nov 08, 2013 against Davidson.
  • This is the 12th game at home this season–Duke has a 24.5 average scoring margin against opponents at home.
  • The top two scorers (Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow) accounted for 43.3 percent of the points.
  • The top two rebounders (Justise Winslow and Jahlil Okafor) accounted for 52.5 percent of the rebounds.
  • Jahlil Okafor has led the team in scoring in 10 out of 23 games this season.
  • Justise Winslow has led the team in rebounding in five out of 23 games this season.
  • Winslow recorded the third double-digit rebound game of his career.
  • Winslow has four straight double-digit point games.
  • Winslow recorded a double-double. It was the third of his career.
  • This marks the ninth 20-point game of Jahlil Okafor’s career.
  • Okafor has 23 straight double-digit point games.
  • Okafor recorded a double-double. It was the eighth of his career

Florida State

In its last outing, Florida State got a win on the road against Virginia Tech 73-65 in ACC action on Saturday, February. 7. The Seminoles remain undefeated against Virginia Tech this season at 2-0. Xavier Rathan-Mayes earned a double-double in the Seminoles win with 12 points and 11 assists. Montay Brandon also had a solid outing, scoring a team-high 16 points and adding six rebounds. Ahmed Hill finished with a season-high 19 points and four rebounds for the Hokies.

Game Notes

  • The last time FSU started the season 13-11 was 2012.
  • Florida State has won every game this season (5-0) when its field goal percentage has been 54.3 percent or better.
  • The Seminoles have won every game this season (4-0) after recording 18 or more assists.
  • FSU has won every game this season (4-0) when opponents record 23 or fewer rebounds.
  • FSU has won 78 percent of the time this season (7-2) after holding an opponent to under 40.4 percent field goal percentage.
  • This season Florida State has won 78 percent of the time (7-2) when Montay Brandon has 16 points or more.
  • The Seminoles set a season high for three-pointers (8).
  • FSU set a season low for steals (1).
  • The Seminoles have turned the ball over more than their opponents in the past six games.
  • Xavier Rathan-Mayes recorded a team season high in assists with 11.
  • Montay Brandon has led the team in scoring eight times and in rebounding 9 times in 24 games this season.
  • This game was the first double-digit assist game of Xavier Rathan-Mayes’s career.
  • Rathan-Mayes recorded a double-double. It was the first of his career.
  • Bookert had a career high with a 100 percent three-point percentage.

3. Head-to-Head

The Series:                                                                                   Duke Leads, 33-9

First Game:                                                                                 January 3, 1954; at Duke 97, Florida State 75

Last Game:                                                                                  January 24, 2014; at Duke 78, Florida State 56

Last Florida State Win:                                                       March 12, 2012; Florida State 62, Duke 59

Last Duke Win:                                                                         January 24, 2014; at Duke 78, Florida State 56

Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee:                    January 12, 2011; at Florida State 66, Duke 61

Last Duke Win in Tallahassee:                                      February 2, 2013; Duke 79, Duke 60

Current Streak:                                                                         Duke has won 2

Current Streak in Tallahassee:                                      Duke has won 2

In terms of a few key offensive and defensive statistical parameters, Duke has the edge in the majority of the categories, which give the Blue Devils a solid statistical edge head-to-head.

Duke 2014-15 Regular Season Key Stats Comparison Florida State
80.6 (+16.2) PPG (Scoring Margin) 68.5 (+.6)
64.4 Opponents PPG 67.8
56.5 Effective FG% 50.3
50.0 FG% 46.4
42.7 Opponent FG% 41.6
37.9 3PT FG% 28.9
31.3 Opponent 3PT FG% 33.6
38.0 (+7.2) RPG (Rebound Margin) 34.8 (+2.0)
30.8 Opponent RPG 32.7
15.3 APG 11.9
7.3 SPG 5.6
11.0 (+1.5) Turnovers Per Game (Margin) 14.0 (-2.1)
12.5 Opponent TOPG 12.0
3.7 BPG 4.8


4. Four Factors to Winning


[If you wish to learn more about how the four factors are calculated and implemented, a description can always be found here,]

Duke has the edge over Florida State in all factors except when it comes to getting to the free throw line, at 46.2% vs. 42.7%. Duke’s edge in offensive rebounding is 37.5% vs. 32.8%, shooting the ball more efficiently (eFG%) at 56.5% vs. 50.3%, and handling the ball better (16.5% vs. 20.9%).

5. Key Points to Consider

  • Duke will need to force the issue in transition, this has been a good recipe for Duke in the last few games especially with Justise Winslow being able to rebound the basketball and get out on the break.
  • Duke will need to defend the perimeter, Devon Bookert is a marksman coming off a big game against Virginia Tech where he went 3 for 3 from beyond the arc. Duke will also have to contend with Xavier Rathan-Mayes, a player capable of putting up huge numbers and can do it from anywhere on the floor. Duke will need to force him into tough shots or into passing off the ball.
  • Duke should be able to rebound well against this team, if they can limit second shots any lead they can manage they should be able to maintain.
  • Free throws are also huge for this team, Duke needs to convert on the line at a much higher clip than in recent games.

6. Endgame

“Leonard Hamilton has led Florida State to more ACC wins over the past 10 seasons than everybody else in the ACC except for Duke and North Carolina. Did you realize that? FSU has won more ACC games the past 10 years than all but Duke and UNC.”

Gary Parrish
September 24, 2014

With that little tidbit in mind, let us see how this game breaks down.

The Duke Blue Devils have won six of their last seven games and are chasing an ACC crown. On the season, Duke is averaging 80.6 points on 50 percent shooting and is allowing 64.4 points on 42.7 percent shooting. Jahlil Okafor is averaging 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds while Quinn Cook is averaging 14.2 points and 2.8 assists. Justise Winslow is grabbing 5.3 rebounds and Tyus Jones is shooting 43.1 percent from the field. The Duke Blue Devils have four double-digit scorers, and they are shooting 68.9 percent from the line and 37.9 percent from downtown. Defensively, Duke is allowing 31.3 percent shooting from deep and has given up 66 or less points in five of its last seven games. Duke is 5-2 SU on the road.

The Florida State Seminoles have split their last 10 games and hope to get to .500 in ACC play. On the season, FSU is averaging 68.5 points on 46.4 percent shooting and is allowing 67.8 points on 41.5 percent shooting. Xavier Rathan-Mayes is averaging 13.7 points and 4.8 assists while Montay Brandon is averaging 12.8 points and 5.4 rebounds. Devon Bookert is the third double-digit scorer and Phil Cofer is grabbing 4.8 rebounds. The Florida State Seminoles have seven players averaging at least five points, and they are shooting 66.6 percent from the line and 28.9 percent from deep. Defensively, FSU is allowing 33.4 percent shooting from deep and has given up 65 or less points in four of its last six games.

Coming off a dominating win can often put a team into trap mode. We will see how this young team handles this. When it comes to FSU, the latest dominant effort in Tallahassee came after two seasons of being harassed by the Seminoles. Duke dropped three of four during 2010-11 and ’11-’12 but has won the last two meetings by an average of 20.5 points, the most recent a 78-56 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium in January 2014.

What could certainly be key here is if Duke can maintain the defensive intensity it has showed recently, and most notably against Notre Dame, The Blue Devils had allowed teams to shoot 45.6 percent in the previous five games, which were determined by an average of 6.2 points, including a 77-73 loss at Notre Dame on January 28. “This is the defense that coach envisioned us playing the whole year, this type of intensity and … shutting teams down, the athletes we have,” said Justice Winslow, averaging 15.5 points in four games after managing 3.0 in his previous four. “It just so happened that all eight guys were locked in, and when you have a game like that when everyone’s so focused and into the game, you get something special like that.”

Even though the Seminoles have had success in the past with Duke, I call this a close win for the Devils.

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