Virginia Tech at Duke
Date: Saturday, February 22
Virginia Tech (15-11, 6-9) will face No. 6 Duke on Saturday night in what will be a very tough game from Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils (22-4, 12-3) have had a very good year, but they are coming off an 88-66 beating at the hands of NC State in Raleigh on Wednesday, and they’ll be looking for a much better performance at home this weekend.
The Wolfpack hammered the Blue Devils from start to finish, leading by 15 points at halftime before easily closing out the game over the final 20 minutes. Duke doesn’t get handled like that very often, so you can bet that Mike Krzyzewski was striving for better play in practices on Thursday and Friday.
These teams met in Cassell Coliseum back on December 6 for a Friday night game. The Blue Devils won 77-63, though the Hokies did lead for nearly 25 minutes before Duke took control and eventually won by double digits. The Hokies had a full week to prepare for Duke that night, whereas the Blue Devils were on a short week. This time the preparation time between each team is equal, and Tech will be playing on the road.
Here are the key players for Duke…
G Tre Jones (6-3, 185, So.): 15.8 ppg, 155 assists. Jones is an elite defensive guard, and he’s improved his three-point shooting this year. Currently projected as an early second round pick.
G Jordan Goldwire (6-2, 185, Jr.): 4.7 ppg, 57 assists. Goldwire is only a part-time starter, but he’s a 39% three-point shooter.
G Cassius Stanley (6-6, 193, Fr.): 12 ppg, 4.8 rpg. Stanley is projected as an early second round pick this year, but could return and potentially move into the first round next year.
F Wendell Moore (6-6, 213, Fr.): 7.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg. Right now Moore is considered to be a first round pick after another year of seasoning at the college level.
C Vernon Carey (6-10, 270, Fr.): 18 ppg, 8.8 rpg. Carey is considered a lottery pick in the NBA Draft this summer.
Carey struggled with Virginia Tech’s guards cutting to the basket in the first meeting, and it was not until Coach K made a change and went with a smaller lineup that Duke took control of the game. Carey played just 15 minutes that night, scoring 12 points and pulling down five rebounds. Tre Jones led a balanced effort with 15 points, but it was the defensive performance of Jack White (6-7, 222, Sr.) after the in-game defensive adjustment that was key in Duke’s victory. Oddly enough, White only played four minutes in the NC State game.
Duke is a balanced team, ranking No. 10 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 8 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Ken Pomeroy’s metric predicts a 78-62 victory for the Blue Devils.