Indiana-Duke Preview

Indiana coach Tom Crean has never sat on the opposing bench at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where every non-ACC team Duke's hosted in the last 15 years has experienced defeat.

He'll bring his Hoosiers there to face the seventh-ranked Blue Devils in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday night in a matchup that has lost a bit of luster after Crean's squad had earlier slip-ups away from home.

The reason he's feeling a little better about Indiana's chances to snap Duke's 120-game nonconference winning streak is because of how well it played defensively Monday.

The Hoosiers (5-2) held Alcorn State to 41.8 percent from the field and had 12 steals in a 112-70 victory. Crean raved about the 15 deflections from James Blackmon Jr., who had four steals to go along with a career-high 33 points.

''(Crean) said, `See what happens? The offense comes so easy to you,''' Blackmon said. ''`You shouldn't worry about that. That's what you do. But when you defend like that, that's what's going to happen.'''

The rout was much more rewarding than the Hoosiers' trip to Hawaii, where they lost two of three at the Maui Invitational after entering the tournament ranked 13th in the country. They shot a season-best 67.2 percent from the floor after hitting worse than 47 percent twice in Maui.

That trip also marked Indiana's only time away from Bloomington, and Crean knows he and his players are faced with a tough task in trying to beat Duke (6-1) on its home floor. The Blue Devils haven't lost a nonconference game at Cameron since St. John's won 83-82 on Feb. 26, 2000.

The streak includes a 54-51 win over the Hoosiers in 2006, which marks the most recent meeting between the schools.

“I think the thing is, it's going to be their first (true) road game in a tough environment,” Crean said. “I've coached against Duke and Mike (Krzyzewski). I haven't coached against them at Cameron, so I can't prepare them as much for that. But it wouldn't matter if I could. Because it's different, right?”

Duke extended its NCAA-best streak with Sunday's 85-52 win over Utah State, its fourth home win of the year. Its only loss came to top-ranked Kentucky 74-63 on Nov. 17 in Chicago.

Freshman Luke Kennard shot 0 for 5 in that game, part of his 33.3 percent start from the field over his first six. He snapped out of his slump against the Aggies, shooting 7 of 9 – including 4 of 5 from 3-point range – and finishing with 22 points.

''Shooters, they can have off nights,'' Kennard said. ''I had a few in a row just to start the season.

“I could tell, when I looked at (Krzyzewski) in the eyes, he was very excited about how I was playing, how I was attacking, the energy that I brought to the floor. I just knew then that's what I need to do every game.”

Duke's most consistent performer has been sophomore Grayson Allen, who is averaging 22.6 points and shooting 51.1 percent from the field. His only down game was against Kentucky when he scored six on 2 of 11 from the field, resulting in him coming off the bench the next contest.

Allen answered with 30 points in a win over VCU on Nov. 20 and a career-high 32 against Georgetown two nights later.