NCAA Preview: Duke Blue DevilsPosted by rtmsf on March 16th, 2009
Duke (#2 seed, East, Greenboro pod)
vs. Binghamton (#15)
March 19th, 9:40 P.M.
Vegas Line: Duke -21.5
Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv). If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Conference: ACC, Won the ACC Conference Tournament
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski, 755-218 at Duke
08-09 Record: 28-6, 14-5 ACC
Last 12 Games: 9-3
Best Win: 101-91 v. Wake Forest, February 22nd
Worst Loss: 73-81 v. Michigan, December 6th
Off. Efficiency Rating: 117.6/ 6th overall
Def. Efficiency Rating: 89.0/ 13th overall
Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s): Gerald Henderson- 16.6 points/game, 4.9 rebounds/game, 1.5 steals/game, 47.9 FG%
Unsung Hero: Lance Thomas- 5.3 points/game, 3.3 rebounds/game, 63.6 FG%
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Gerald Henderson, projected 7th overall
Key Injuries: None
Depth: 34.5%, 92nd overall
Achilles Heel: Duke’s lack of a true post player since Shelden Williams left school has been well documented. But, unfortunately it is still true for Duke. Lance Thomas and Kyle Singler are the team’s best rebounders. Brian Zoubek has played well at points this season but still can’t handle a good big man.
Will Make a Deep Run if… Duke will only go as far as Gerald Henderson will take them. John Scheyer and Singler are good role players, but their offense is dependent on the drive and kick of Henderson. If Henderson has a great tournament, and Elliot Williams continues to have success running the point, the Blue Devils are a Final Four contender.
Will Make an Early Exit if…: The two biggest weaknesses of Coach K’s team is their lack of an inside presence, and the relative inexperience of Williams playing point. They will go out early if a team exploits their lack of an inside game, and pressures Williams into bad decisions. Duke’s offense is predicated on Williams making good decision and taking care of the ball, and if a defense pressures him enough, he could fold.
Last Year Invited: 2008, Lost in the second round to West Virginia
Streak: 13 consecutive seasons, last time they didn’t make it was 1995.
Best NCAA Finish: National Champions in 1991, 1992, 2001
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): +0.51 wins per appearance
Six Degrees to Detroit: Dickie V. slurps the Devils constantly, and he once coached at the University of Detroit
Distance to First Round Site: 54 miles away Greensboro, North Carolina
School’s Claim to Fame: “Tricky Dick” Nixon and Cameron Crazies.
School Wishes It Could Forget: You may not remember the incident if you were living in a cave, but there were some lacrosse players at the University who were the center of a media firestorm for quite awhile. They were acquitted, but their names, and Duke’s good reputation will forever be slightly besmirched.
Prediction: So much for the Duke Swoon, the Blue Devils stormed through the ACC Tournament to take the title and earn what amounts to a home game in the first round in Greensboro. They are a Sweet 16 team for sure, but getting by Villanova or UCLA to get to the Elite Eight will be too much for the Blue Devils.
Preview written by… Mike Lemaire