Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

Date 1/23 || Time 7:00 || Venue Cassell Coliseum || Video ESPN

Duke follows up the massive win over Miami with a visit to Blacksburg to tackle Mike Younger’s Virginia Tech Hokies. They’ve misplaced seven straight video games however don’t let that idiot you. It is a very harmful staff.

Virginia Tech misplaced senior Hunter Cattoor firstly of the dropping streak however Younger has mentioned that their issues are deeper than that.

The staff returns Cattoor, Justyn Mutts, Darius Maddox and Sean Pedulla from final 12 months’s staff.

Not again: Storm Murphy, Keve Aleve and Naheim Alleyne.

For our functions, Alleyne doesn’t depend as a result of he was wildly inconsistent. Murphy and Aluma had been something however.

Aluma was a high quality huge man who averaged 15.8 ppg, 6.5 boards and 1.9 assists. He may shoot from nearly wherever and averaged 53.8 p.c general and 33.3 on threes, which is principally break-even. And he gave Duke matches.

Regardless of being simply 6-0, Murphy was a strong level guard who may run his staff and take over a recreation. He was actually spectacular.

He was changed by Sean Pedulla, who has definitely held his personal.

Aluma?

He’s been tougher to interchange.

His nominal substitute is Grant Basile, who transferred in from Wright State.

Basile has carried out nicely, however in an ideal world, he’d play ahead and another person, let’s say Aleve, would deal with the put up.

We haven’t watched each Hokies recreation, however Basile has had some nice video games. He opened with 30 factors within the season opener in opposition to Delaware State. He had 23 in opposition to Dayton and 26 in opposition to Syracuse.

However you possibly can discover a sample. Except for Syracuse, when he goes up in opposition to high quality huge males, he doesn’t do fairly as nicely. So when the Hokies confronted UNC and Armando Bacot, he had 12 factors and 4 rebounds. Once they confronted Clemson, he had 17 factors the primary time and 13 the second.

And when Virginia Tech faces actually good defensive groups, his stats undergo too. So Wake Forest held him to 9, NC State held him to 4 and Virginia held him to 12.

In fact, it’s not simply Basile going one on 5. If his teammates can’t get him the ball, he clearly can’t do a lot. However nonetheless, he can’t do the issues Aleve may.

Pedulla has stepped in at level and carried out a usually strong job. Except for main Va. Tech in scoring at 15.9, he’s averaging 4.2 apg and, impressively for a 6-1 guard, almost 4 rpg.

Mutts is a very beneficial man who’s form of a Swiss Military knife. He can do plenty of issues. However usually talking, he’s the man you’d prefer to put across the guys who can do the heavy lifting. Then he may do no matter must be carried out. He’s actually beneficial, however he’s not the man you wish to have to hold your staff.

Cattoor is a very good participant and actually environment friendly. He would not spend a variety of time trying round; he both makes a transfer or eliminates the ball and retains transferring. And he can shoot. Whenever you look how shut a lot of the losses have been currently, you possibly can think about he would have made a giant distinction (he’s solely been again for 2 video games).

In spots final season, Darius Maddox was dazzling. We thought he’d be prepared for a giant enchancment. He’s getting almost twice the minutes however his measurable consequence has improved marginally.

Freshman Michael Collins is firmly within the rotation however he’s not having an enormous statistical impression (after all you possibly can’t measure the whole lot statistically).

Lynn Kidd, a 6-10 a 6-10 junior, has had his moments however clearly he’s not the reply. if he had been, he’d be getting extra minutes (he’s pulling 13.7 presently).

And eventually, freshman Rodney Rice was speculated to be an element, however he’s missed all however one recreation and is injured once more. He’s candidate for a redshirt.

There’s extra to what Younger mentioned concerning the points his staff faces. Extensively acknowledged as a masterful offensive coach, Younger’s staff this 12 months is eighth general within the ACC in scoring offense (Duke is ninth, by the way). Virginia Tech can also be seventh in free throw proportion (Duke is second). And given Younger’s three-point joyful offense, you’d anticipate the Hokies to shoot it nicely, however they’re ninth. Duke is twelfth, however second in three level protection.

There’s a giant hole in rebounding – Duke will get 13.84 offensive boards per recreation, which is first within the convention and these groups are principally a wash in defensive rebounding with 26.63 for the Hokies and 26.16 for the Blue Devils.

Duke’s inside energy goes to be a significant problem for Virginia Tech and the guard play, as now we have seen, has come alongside properly in Roach’s absence. Tyrese Proctor has grown up rather a lot and whereas Dariq Whitehead has proven some good flashes, he hasn’t but put collectively a dominant recreation. However he calls for consideration which, at a minimal, makes life simpler for different guys. And this recreation can also be a possibility for Ryan Younger and Derrick Full of life, since Virginia Tech’s inside protection is a bit of suspect.

So a variety of issues on this recreation may line up nicely for the Blue Devils. Nonetheless, it’s no positive factor.

Why?

Nicely, a number of causes.

First, regardless of their struggles, Virginia Tech has some strong expertise and expertise. And at this level, nobody doubts that Mike Younger is a high quality coach. And Cassell Coliseum, particularly for giant video games, is pretty much as good a house court docket benefit as anyplace within the ACC.

And as now we have seen this season, youth can work in opposition to Duke. The Blue Devils may have received at Clemson if they’d closed the sport out nicely and, although they nonetheless received, did not get a basket within the final 5 minutes in opposition to Miami.

Duke lastly received Jeremy Roach again for Miami, and that was enormous. The Blue Devils didn’t rating a basket within the final 5, however Roach stripped Nijel Pack with :13 left which was the form of clutch play you prefer to see out of your chief.

Enjoying in a loud, raucous place like Cassell – would possibly as nicely name it Littlejohn North, actually – just isn’t simple for knowledgeable groups. For a younger group like Duke’s successful there could be a significant breakthrough.

By Admin

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