Duke vs. Virginia Preview & Predictions

The Blue Devils have fallen to #23 in the country following a weekend defeat to Clemson, and return home to face a tough Virginia team who is unbeaten in conference play.

Projected Starters:

#23 Duke (12-4, 1-2)

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

G Rasheed Sulaimon, So., 7.2 ppg, 2.6 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

Virginia (12-4, 3-0)

G London Perrantes, Fr., 4.6 ppg, 3.4 apg

G Malcolm Brogdon, R-So., 9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg

G Joe Harris, Sr., 10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg

F Akil Mitchell, Sr., 6.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg

C Mike Tobey, So., 7.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg

What to watch for:

Duke's Defense

This has obviously been one of the issues that has plagued Duke all season, but tonight is chance to get things turned in the right direction.

Virginia is a smart team, meaning they will take advantage of poor defense via back cuts and ball movement, but they have very little offensive firepower. If the Blue Devils can stay focused defensively and with the intensity they need to, the Cavaliers will struggle to score points.

Playing at home in Cameron Indoor Stadium should help, too.

Quinn Cook & Jabari Parker

Duke's offense is full of shooters, and these two are the only ones on the roster that can get into the lane with any consistency.

Cook is at his best (and the team, for that matter) when he's driving into the lane and forcing the action, opening up shots from the outside or easy layups. His ability to force a defense to help on him triggers the rest of Duke's offensive sets.

Parker has been slumping lately (11.5 ppg over his last four games), and as you could imagine, that has largely contributed to his team's struggles. He will still be the most talented player on the floor (he is every night), but he needs to get back to playing relaxed and playing like Jabari Parker, not like the guy who tries to be better than Andrew Wiggins. If he can do that, he'll have a big night and Duke will win.

Prediction: Duke 72-59

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