Duke vs. Miami Preview & Predictions

Duke is riding a two game winning streak into Miami, but are looking to pick up their first true road win of the season (0-2). The Hurricanes are looking to help build momentum after beating Georgia Tech over the weekend.

Projected Starters:

#18 Duke (14-4, 3-2)

G Quinn Cook, Jr., 13.6 ppg, 6.1 apg

G Matt Jones, Fr., 2.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg

F Rodney Hood, R-So., 18.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg

F Jabari Parker, Fr., 19.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg

F Amile Jefferson, So., 6.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Miami (10-7, 2-3)

G Manu Lecomte, Fr., 7.5 ppg, 2.7 apg

G Rion Brown, Sr., 14.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg

G Garrius Adams, Sr., 9.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg

F James Kelly, Jr., 7.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg

F Donnavan Kirk, Sr., 9.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg

What to watch for:

Duke's Intensity

This has been a problem all year for the Blue Devils, and is the main reason they haven't won a true road game yet this year. Duke is every team's Super Bowl because of their prestige, and Miami is looking for a statement win. They thought they had one against UNC - until everyone starting beating the Tar Heels - and were six points away from beating Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.

The Hurricanes are hungry, and the Blue Devils have to match their intensity level if they want to win this game.

Duke's Offense vs. Miami's Defense

One of the ACC's best kept secrets is how good Miami has been defensively this season. The Hurricanes only give up 58.5 ppg, which ranks 8th nationally.

A large part of this is due to head coach Jim Larranaga's decision to play more zone this year. Actually, a lot more zone. Only Syracuse, which runs a zone defense on practically every possession, runs one more in the ACC.

This has helped them transition through college basketball's new, tougher hand-check rules, something Duke struggled with (like most teams) early in the season.

Now, Duke's offense is more successful playing an up-tempo style, as we saw in their 95-60 blowout victory over NC State. In order to do this, they have to get stops defensively and/or get down the court before Miami's defense can get set up.

If they can get some easy baskets, the Blue Devils execute their offense well enough to be able to score enough points to win. If not, they're going to have to shoot really efficiently to avoid their third straight road upset in conference play.

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