What UVA Basketball fans need to know about Duke

dukeZion Williamson doesn’t play there anymore. They lost to Stephen F. Austin. (Not to be confused with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.)

Just gave up 113 points to Wake Forest.

(Which didn’t have Tim Duncan or Chris Paul in uniform.)

But in this watered-down year, Duke is still fringe elite, ranked seventh in both national polls this week, sixth in the NET, fifth in KenPom.com.

A big reason is the one-and-done from last year who came back. Sophomore point guard Tre Jones (16.1 ppg, 6.5 assists/g, 4.3 rebs/g, 43.3% FG, 33.3% 3FG) isn’t the leading scorer, but he’s their dude.

The latest one-and-done to star for Coach K is 6’10” freshman Vernon Carey (17.6 ppg, 8.8 rebs/g, 57.6% FG), who does a lot considering that he’s only getting 24.6 minutes per game.

Part of the reason there is foul trouble: Carey has fouled out of three games, including the loss at Wake on Tuesday, and had five other games in which he has committed four fouls.

Another part of the reason is matchups. Carey can be a liability against teams that go small, which is why you saw him get 15 minutes in Duke’s comeback win at Virginia Tech in December, 19 minutes in the win over Florida State on Feb. 10, in a game in which he had just two fouls.

Otherwise, Carey is a kid with off-the-charts numbers and a physique from the works of Michelangelo.

Two other guys in this year’s Big Four for Duke:

  • 6’6” freshman Cassius Stanley (12.4 ppg, 4.8 rebs/g, 48.9% FG, 37.8% 3FG)
  • 6’9” freshman Matthew Hurt (10.5 ppg, 4.0 rebs/g, 49.1% FG, 40.4% 3FG)

Rotation guys:

  • 6’6” freshman Wendell Moore (7.7 ppg, 4.2 rebs/g, 42.4% FG, 23.5% 3FG, 24.1 mins/g)
  • 6’6” junior Alex O’Connell (5.4 ppg, 40.8% FG, 27.3% 3FG, 13.7 mins/g)
  • 6’7” sophomore Joey Baker (5.3 ppg, 42.2% FG, 41.2% 3FG, 12.5 mins/g)
  • 6’2” junior Jordan Goldwire (4.7 ppg, 2.2 assists/g, 48.6% FG, 37.2% 3FG, 23.6 mins/g)
  • 6’10” senior Javin DeLaurier (3.5 ppg, 3.6 rebs/g, 56.1% FG, 13.2 mins/g)
  • 6’7” senior Jack White (3.3 ppg, 3.0 rebs/g, 40.8% FG, 34.0% 3FG, 16.0 mins/g)

That’s 10 guys averaging 10+ minutes per game. Unusual depth and lineup flexibility for a recent vintage Coach K team.

How Duke matches up with UVA

Krzyzewski has been tinkering with his lineup with the recent skid (two losses in three games), going with four guards around Carey at five in his starting lineup, with the 6’6” Moore at four, and Hurt getting minutes at four off the bench.

If he holds to what he’s been doing of late, the minutes are going to Jones at one, Goldwire starting at two, Stanley at three, Moore at four, Carey at five, and O’Connell and Baker getting minutes off the bench at two and three, and Hurt getting minutes at four, with DeLaurier an option at five to spell Carey.

I’d wonder, though, if K doesn’t want to use his veterans – DeLaurier, O’Connell, White – more than he has been lately, just because they have reps against Virginia’s old-man basketball.

How UVA matches up with Duke

For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll assume Coach K is going with Moore at four. Assuming that, I then assume that Tony Bennett counters with a four-guard lineup around 6’9” senior Mamadi Diakite (13.6 ppg, 6.7 rebs/g, 48.2% FG, 36.7% 3FG).

6’8” senior Braxton Key (10.0 ppg, 7.3 rebs/g, 43.5% FG, 20.3% 3FG) is a good matchup for Stanley at three or Moore at four.

6’5” junior Tomas Woldetensae (7.2 ppg, 37.3% FG, 37.8% 3FG) might have his hands full with Moore, giving up about 20 pounds, so he may get more Stanley.

6’3” freshman Casey Morsell (4.3 ppg, 27.8% FG, 17.9% 3FG) may also get some reps on Stanley.

Keep your eyes on 5’9” sophomore Kihei Clark (10.8 ppg, 6.0 assists/g, 4.3 rebs/g, 38.2% FG, 35.6% 3FG) one-on-one with Jones.

(Not sure if he’s on the call, but if he is, Jay Bilas may spontaneously combust.)

7’1 junior Jay Huff (7.9 ppg, 6.0 rebs/g, 57.1% FG, 34.9% 3FG) gets some minutes when K uses Hurt off the bench in a two-big lineup, and backing up Diakite.

Details

Duke (23-5, 13-4 ACC) at Virginia (20-7, 12-5 ACC)
Bart Torvik: Duke 60-58, 60% win probability)
KenPom.com: Duke 62-58 (63% win probability)
ESPN BPI: Duke +6.4 (74.6% win probability)

Story by Chris Graham

         
 

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