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Previewing Duke

Scouting Report / Game Plan
Season Stats (pdf)
Schedule
Roster

Duke Offense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%53.167Turnover Rate24.0269Off Reb Rate36.578FTM/FGA31.927


It's not hard to see what's been holding their offense back. The Blue Devils' in-conference turnover rate is even worse: 25.6%. They'll be thrilled to see our no-turnover-forcin' team, I'm sure.

Probable Starters:

Greg Paulus (6-1, 180) -- I think he's surpassed Anthony Harris as my Favorite Inefficient Player On An Opposing Team (but you still my boy, Anthony). To Paulus's credit, though, he's dramatically improved on his outside shooting. And his in-conference turnover rate (28.9%), while still bad, is an improvement on his full-season TO rate (35.9%).

Jon Scheyer (6-5, 180) -- It's uncanny how Duke does this. Out with the old Annoying White Guy (Melchionni), in with the new, improved more-annoying-than-ever Annoying White Guy. Dear god, where will it end? He has already inspired a huge photoshop thread at Terp Town--here's a good one. In ACC play, Scheyer averages 16.4 points and 2.3 moths eaten per 40 minutes.

DeMarcus Nelson (6-4, 200) -- Leads Duke in the percentage of possessions used and percentage of shots taken while on the court. The Blue Devils are pretty balanced, but the player most resembling a "go-to guy" has been Nelson.

Lance Thomas (6-8, 215) -- Thomas starts more often than not, but he's only getting about 16 minutes per game and doesn't factor into the offense very often. He is averaging 5.1 turnovers per 40 minutes in conference play.

Josh McRoberts (6-10, 240) -- On the year, he's taking 21.7% of the team's shots while he is on the court. In Duke's four conference games, though, that figure is 18.2% and he's averaging an unimpressive 13.3 pts/40. He'll block shots and rebound well enough, but the Blue Devils could really use some added scoring.

Bench:

David McClure (6-6, 200), Gerald Henderson (6-4, 215), and Brian Zoubek (7-1, 250) round out the bench. McClure and Henderson should see about 20 minutes each.

In four conference games, McClure has seven field goal attempts. Henderson will be more involved offensively.

Duke Defense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%42.57Turnover Rate23.690Off Reb Rate29.530FTA/FGA25.914
This is currently the #1 ranked defense in the country--no team allows fewer points per possession. It's no illusion created by a soft schedule, either. The Blue Devils have faced a lot of excellent offenses and they have in most cases gotten the better of them. Only a few Duke opponents have managed to score over a point per possession against the Devils.

Team SeasonOE OEvsDuke

Air Force 123.2 100.2
Ga Tech 116.3 100.7
Georgetown 113.7 87.3
Indiana 112.6 79.8
Gonzaga 111.9 91.0

[OE = Offensive Efficiency]

All of those teams rank in the top 20 in adjusted offensive efficiency. Assuming the pace of the Duke/State game is somewhere in the 60s, we'll be lucky to break 70 points.

I think this Duke team is one people are going to sleep on in March. When you watch them, nothing they do stands out as impressive, and they seem to be involved in a lot of ugly games. They're getting the job done with defense, and they're playing at a much slower pace than they did in 2006. Those qualities aren't good for the image. With the way they're able to neutralize great offenses, they can play with anyone. [/end tangent]

I've got Duke winning 74-59.