After a disappointing loss at Wake Forest Wednesday night, the Miami Hurricanes head to Duke for the last of three straight on the road. The Blue Devils enter the game with a two game losing streak and a week off.
Duke has not played since losing 78-69 at Louisville last Saturday. That followed being dismantled 88-72 by Florida State four days earlier. Duke has been without Hall of Fame Coach Mike Krzyzewski since they defeated Georgia Tech 110-57 on January 4. Krzyzewski had “lower-back surgery to remove a fragment of a herniated disc” on January 6 per the Charlotte Observer.
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Former Virginia Commonwealth and Oklahoma Head Coach Jeff Capel is the interim coach. Krzyzewski is expected to be sidelined for about four weeks.
The injuries have not been limited to Duke’s Head Coach. Duke freshmen Marques Bolden, Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum have also had injury problems this season. Bolden and Tatum have both missed eight games, while Giles has missed 11.
Senior Center Amile Jefferson is currently out and has missed two games with a bone bruise in his right foot.
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The Blue Devils have been led by guards Freshman Frank Jackson, Sophomore Luke Kennard and controversial Junior Grayson Allen. Allen received a one game suspension earlier this season after he tripped a Winthrop player. It was the third tripping incident of his career.
Miami is coming off its worst defensive performance of the season. Wake Forest beat the Hurricanes 96-79. It was the most points Miami’s nationally ranked defense allowed all season. Davon Reed with 24 and Anthony Lawrence with 16 were the only Hurricanes in double figures.
Miami faces a dangerous shooting team for the second straight game. Duke is 31st nationally making 48.3 percent of their field goal attempts. They are less adept on three point attempts. The Blue Devils make just 36.6 percent of their threes. They also convert 73.6 percent from the line.
Defensively Duke is average, ranking near the middle in most defensive categories nationally. Miami is going to have to get inside scoring. They will need either their guards to penetrate and get to the basket or to have one of their posts players step up and provide scoring. The Hurricanes have not gotten much scoring from the post this season.
Duke is near the bottom of the ACC on opponent overall field goal percentage by first in opponent three point percentage. Teams shoot a very uncharacteristic 53 percent against the Blue Devils inside the arc.
Duke and Miami is ESPN’s National Game of the Week. The Gameday crew will be in Durham and it has an 8:15pm EST tipoff.
Setting the Scene Date: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 Time: 8:15 p.m. Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium | Durham, N.C.
Miami Hurricanes (12-5, 2-3 ACC) Head Coach: Jim Larrañaga Record at Miami: 130-62, sixth season ACC Record at Miami: 56-37 Career Record: 600-396, 33rd season
18 Duke Blue Devils (14-4, 2-3 ACC) Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski Acting: Jeff Capel Coach K Record at Duke: 984-266, 37th Season Career Record: 1,057-325, 42nd Season
TV: ESPN – Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Maria Taylor Radio: 560 WQAM – Joe Zagacki Online: Watch ESPN http://es.pn/2jcvIvK
Series All-time: 6-17 Since rebirth in 1985-86: 5-17 Home: 4-7 Away: 2-8 Neutral: 0-2 Under Coach Larrañaga: 4-2 Coach L all-time vs. Duke: 4-3 Current streak: Miami won 2. Last matchup: Jan. 25, 2016. No. 15/16 Miami def. No. 24/20 Duke 80-69. Last Duke win: Jan. 22, 2014. No. 18 Duke won, 67-46.
Polls Miami – AP: NR / USA Today: RV (5) / NCAA RPI: 70 / KenPom: 34 Duke – AP: 18 / USA Today: 18 / NCAA RPI: 15 / KenPom: 11
Next Game: Miami returns home on to face Boston College on Wednesday night for the first of three straight and four of their next five at the Watsco Center. The Eagles are 9-10 and 2-4 in the ACC. BC has lost three its last two and four out of five. They host North Carolina on Saturday.