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Scouting Duke

Duke and Maryland are similar in many ways. The Blue Devils essentially operate with a four-guard lineup, they aim to create intense ball pressure and they are a perimeter-oriented team. The difference, so far, has been that Duke runs much more efficiently on both ends of the court than do the Terps.

The Blue Devils (17-1, 4-0 ACC) rank first in the conference in scoring defense, allowing opponents to score an average of 60.3 points per game. They rank third in scoring offense, totalling an average of 80.1 points per game.

Sophomore forward Kyle Singler (6-foot-8, 235 lbs.) leads the way for Duke, averaging a team-high 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He also averages a team-high 3.0 assists per game and shoots 47.3 percent from the field.

Though listed as a forward, Singler is most effective out on the wing. He's not the type to set up in the post and back down an opponent. Rather, he would prefer to gather open looks off screens away from the basket.

The pressure on Singler to be Duke's do-it-all performer has lessened this season because junior center Brian Zoubek (7-foot-1, 280 lbs.) finally has developed into a consistent contributor. He is averaging 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 59.7 percent from the field.

Junior forward Lance Thomas (6-foot-8, 220 lbs.) also provides Duke some depth in the post as a reserve. He's scoring 5.8 points per game and shooting 64.4 percent from the field.

While Landon Milbourne will have his hands full with Singler, Greivis Vasquez will be faced with a defensive challenge of his own in junior swingman Gerald Henderson (6-foot-4, 215 lbs.). Henderson has turned in several solid performances of late and is averaging 14.4 points per game while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 44.9 percent from three-point range.

Vasquez was largely responsible for shutting down Virginia freshman standout Sylven Landesberg on Tuesday, but will receive an even larger defensive test in the more experienced Henderson on Saturday.

Sophomore guard Nolan Smith (6-foot-2, 185 lbs.) is running the show for the Blue Devils this season, despite the fact senior guard Greg Paulus (6-foot-1, 185 lbs.), the guy who has been in charge on the court for Duke in recent seasons, is still around. But the two seem to balance each other out quite well, and as one source put it, the point guard position for this Duke squad is borderline irrelevant since the offense flows through Singler.

Junior guard John Scheyer (6-foot-5, 185 lbs.) fills the other guard spot in Duke's lineup. He is averaging 13.2 points per game while shooting 36.3 percent from three-point range.

Overall, Duke ranks fourth in the ACC in average rebounding margin (+6.9), field goal percentage (47.3 percent) and average turnover margin (+3.5). The Blue Devils rank fifth in the conference in three-point shooting percentage (34.3 percent).

By Steve Yanda  |  January 23, 2009; 7:13 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: A Good Matchup For The Terps?


I don't think many people have noticed this lately but Duke has had trouble scoring. They scored 19 points against FSU in the first half only in the 20s against NC State. There has to be an explanation on why that is happening. It could be because they are so perimeter oriented like us. I haven't had the chance to watch them enough to see what was happening but was wondering if anyone has.

The way we'll win this game is keeping them on the perimeter and not letting them drive a dish. Also, Duke scores better in the second half than the first which means they adjust well so we need to be ready for that and keep the game low scoring. If Duke scores over 75 points, we'll probably be on the losing end unless we shoot the lights out.

Side note - Maryland fans, please hold yourselves in a respectful manner even though we hate Duke with a passion. Remember that you respresent Maryland and your actions reflect upon the entire university from the past, present and future.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | January 23, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

This could be the game that turns things round for our Terps. Duke is good, very, very good, so the odds greatly favor them. And they're at home too. Can our guys take it if they play their best game?

Posted by: AncientTerp | January 23, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey terps.. let's hope that the cameron crazies go home with their heads down crying tomorrow afternoon because our beloved Terps CAN win in Durham.. everyone has to bring their A game and watch the cheap fouls and turnovers.. rebound rebound rebound is also key on both ends of the court.. carefully run the flex offense and take excellent care of the ball... sit on kyle singler and be in his face to prevent his 3's from from raining down.. henderson needs a bodyguard for 40 mins .. these are how the terps pull off a win at DUKE... Go UMD go terps

Posted by: whatbull | January 23, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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