Duke will play a fifth game in nine days when the Blue Devils host the Delaware Blue Hens in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
After four straight games against high major caliber opponents, including two straight games against top five opponents, the Blue Devils will host a 2-5 Delaware looking to spring the upset of the season. Delaware enters Cameron Indoor on a four game losing steak which included a 26 point defeat at the hands of Pittsburgh.
"Going down there to play in Cameron Indoor Stadium, they won’t have any trouble bouncing back." — Delaware coach Monte Ross on his team's mindset after losing to Lafayette.
"I’ve watched every possession of the season and I didn’t see many I liked" - Delaware assistant coach Jeff Rafferty
"After playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium I don’t know if playing at George Mason or Old Dominion will make us nervous, or at Drexel will make us nervous, going down the line." - Monte Ross.
Series Notes: This will be the second time the two programs have met. The previous game saw Duke come away with a 79-73 victory during the 1995 season. All three Duke assistant coaches - Jeff Capel, Chris Collins, and Steve Wojciechowski were playing in that game Collins led the trio with 16 points, Capel scored 15 points and dished out six assists, and Wojciechowski scored 10 points with two steals.
Perimeter game swells: The Blue Hens were averaging 12 three point attempts per game on the season before launching a season high 27 perimeter attempts against Lafayette. Eight of the 27 found their mark, but it wasn't enough as the Leopards' zone defense was enough to stifle the Blue Hens en route to a 16 point half time lead before holding off a late rally - fueled by the threes - to win 63-60. The best perimeter option for Delaware is sophomore Kyle Anderson who has taken 77.2 of his shots from behind the arc over the course of his college career. This season, however, Anderson has struggled from the perimeter hitting just 12 of 33 attempts compared to 4-of-10 on two point field goals.
Over the last 666 games, dating back to November of 1990, the Blue Hens have made at least one three pointer. Additionally, since the NCAA adopted the three point arc in 1986, the Blue Hens have made a long distance shot in all but five games.
Man in the middle: Duke has National Player of the Year candidate Mason Plumlee inside. Delaware has someone who is also producing on a big time level in the form of Jarnelle Hagins, a 6-foot-9 senior. Hagins is averaging 13.0 points and 13.4 rebounds while shooting nearly 64 percent from the floor. Over the last two games, Hagins has been incredible for Delaware, hitting for 29 and 12 against Temple and then 18 points and 23 rebounds against Lafayette. Hagins is a preseason all-CAA honoree, and has registered five games with 12 rebounds or more, and has recorded at least seven boards in each of the Blue Hens' games. On the season Hagins is third in the NCAA with 13.4 rebounds per game, and is tied for second in the nation with five double-doubles in seven games. If you put the big guy on the line, it's likely as good as a basket as the senior is shooting 89.5 percent from the charity stripe this season.
Defense faltering: The Blue Hens have struggled at times with the defensive end of the court. That was most evident in the back to back games against Pitt and Temple when Delaware allowed 165 points over those two games. It was the first time the program had allowed 80 points in back to back games in more than three years. The Panthers hit 85 points thanks to shooting 59 percent from the floor while the Owls hit 48 percent.
Top option: The Blue Hens' leading scorer is 6-foot-2 junior guard, Devon Saddler who is scoring at a 21.4 point per game clip. Entering the game against Duke, Saddler is the reigning CAA Player of the week following a three game performance that saw him average 28.3 points over Thanksgiving week. Saddler not only scored a lot, he scored efficiently, hitting 53 percent of his shots (and taking 20 shots per contest) and 88 percent from the line. On the season the junior is 18th in the country in points per game. He has scored in double figures in each of the seven games so far, and has topped 17 points in all but two contests.
courtesy of Duke Sports Information
- Duke, ranked No. 2 in the latest AP Poll, has been ranked in the top 10 of the poll 97 consecutive weeks. The last time Duke was not ranked in the top 10 was Nov. 19, 2007. The Blue Devils are playing their 184th straight game as a top-10 team in the AP poll. Duke is 153-30 in that span. Duke is 111-16 all-time when ranked No. 2 in the country. The Blue Devils have won five straight when holding the second spot in the AP poll.
- The Blue Devils have won 43 of their last 48 non-conference contests. Duke is 75-9 in non-league games since the start of the 2008-09 season.
- Duke’s starting lineup has accounted for 91.5 percent of the team’s total scoring this season with 496 of Duke’s 542 points through seven games. The starters have scored 293 of Duke’s 305 points over the last four games.
- Duke ranks 11th nationally in free throw percentage, shooting .783 (137-of-175) from the line. That is an improvement of .082 from last season's free throw percentage of .702 (606-of-864). All five of Duke's starters are shooting 70.0 percent or better from the free throw line.
- Mason Plumlee has shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in each of the past 13 games dating back to last season. Plumlee is 74-of-113 (.655) from the field during that span, including 47-of-72 (.653) this season. Plumlee is one of only four players in the country averaging at least 18.0 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game. He is the only one of those four shooting over 60.0 percent from the floor (.653).
- Quinn Cook has scored in double figures in three of his past four games while accounting for 27 assists during that span. Cook has improved his scoring average 6.5 points per game and his assist average 4.0 per game from the 2011-12 season.
10 Devon Saddler (6-2, 210, Jr.) - 21.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg
12 Terrell Rogers (5-8, 160, Fr.) - 5.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
13 Kyle Anderson (6-2, 195, So.) - 7.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg
33 Carl Baptiste (6-9, 245, Jr.) - 4.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg
44 Jarnell Hagins (6-9, 235, Sr.) - 13.0 ppg, 13.4 apg
04 Jarvis Threatt (6-2, 165, So.) - 10.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg
32 Josh Brinkley (6-6, 250, So.) - 7.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg
21 Marvin King-Davis (6-7, 210, Fr.) - 1.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg