Duke hasn’t had too much difficulty handling its past three
opponents. Its next one probably won’t give much resistance
Before opening ACC play, the seventh-ranked Blue Devils host
winless Penn on Thursday night as they try for a fifth straight
With plenty of chances to rest this month, Duke (10-1) has
thrived since losing 73-69 at Wisconsin on Dec. 2. The Blue Devils
bounced back Dec. 5 with a nine-point home win over St. John’s and
seemed to benefit from a nine-day break before a 113-68 rout of
They followed that easy win with a 35-point victory over
then-No. 15 Gonzaga on Dec. 19 in New York, and they got another
nine-day break before Tuesday night’s 84-63 home win over Long
Duke’s backcourt of Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith again led the
way in that victory.
Scheyer had a team-high 22 points and six 3-pointers, and he’s
averaged 26.0 points over the past three games while making 15 of
25 attempts from beyond the arc.
Smith, who had 19 points and matched a career high with four
3-pointers, has knocked down seven of 10 shots from long range
while averaging 18.0 points in those blowout victories.
The guards also combined for 14 assists and no turnovers in the
“We are just playing together and not trying to force anything,”
Smith told the school’s Web site. “We are just letting it come to
us. The passes that we are making are very easy passes. It is just
The duo will try to help Duke extend a few home win streaks
Thursday. The Blue Devils will attempt to earn their 76th straight
non-conference victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium, their 49th in a
row in December and 36th consecutive win against an unranked
While it might get a challenge when No. 21 Clemson visits Sunday
to open conference play, Duke shouldn’t have a problem against the
Quakers (0-8), who will play their second game under interim coach
Allen, who took over for the fired Glen Miller on Dec. 14,
didn’t have much luck turning around the team’s shooting woes in
his debut Monday night at Davidson.
Penn, among the nation’s worst teams with a 39.2 shooting
percentage, made a season-worst 33.9 percent of its shots in a
79-50 loss. Sophomore guard Zack Rosen was the only player in
double figures with 14 points, extending his streak of scoring 10
or more to six straight.
Rosen is averaging a team-best 14.8 points, and the only other
Quakers player scoring more than 10 per game is junior forward Jack
Duke holds an 8-6 lead in the series and has won five straight,
including 72-59 at home Dec. 7, 2005.
Penn’s previous win over the Blue Devils was 50-49 in overtime
at Cameron Indoor on Dec. 7, 1971, and the Quakers have lost 25
straight to Top 25 teams since beating Temple on Nov. 23, 1998.