Jan 29, 2021 7:09 p.m. PST
The Duke Blue Devils (6-5, 4-3 ACC) will host the Clemson Tigers (10-4, 4-4 ACC) on Saturday at Cameron Indoor, Tip at 12 p.m. ET. Both teams come into play after breaking three lost foils.
The home team is a 3.5 point favorite, but neither team has done well for the weather this season. The two teams have teamed up to go just 4-10-1 against the spread in conference play.
Sophomore Matthew Hurt, Duke’s top scorer, is the only Blue Devil to have started all eleven games as coach Mike Krzyzewski is looking for a fit from his precocious freshman class, which includes NBA lottery Jalen Johnson and DJ Steward from Consensus 2021. Freshman has made a total of 29 starts this season.
The Blue Devils have used seven different starting lineups, three alone when 6-foot-9 Johnson was out with an unknown foot injury. Johnson missed five games after losing to Illinois on December 8 and played just four minutes on his return to Virginia Tech. He has regained his form in the last three games, taking a total of 51 points in 19-of-33 shoots, 25 rebounds, nine assists and six blocked shots blocked shots in the opening season 81-71 win over Coppin State, becoming the first player in Duke history to hit these totals in one game. He’s had at least 15 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in one game twice this season, only the second player in a Power 6 conference to do so in the last 10 seasons.
« Maybe let’s build a team here. » – Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski after a 73-68 win over Georgia Tech on Tuesday.
Hurt, 6-9, averaged 19.2 points and 8.2 rebounds, while he was 53 in almost 34 minutes per game , Shoots 3% from the field. Nominal starter senior Jordan Goldwire played 35 minutes off the bench and freshman Jeremy Roach played just 16 in a 75-68 win over Georgia Tech on Tuesday. Roach has not scored a goal in his last 42 minutes.
Clemson has also mixed and voted with 10 different starters this season. Only Simms and Senior Guard Clyde Trapp (7.6 points, 5.4 rebounds) started every game.
Duke and Clemson have fought mightily against the spread this season. Duke is 2-9 against the line, 2-5 in the ACC. The Blue Devils were favored in every game but one, a 70-63 loss in Louisville in which they were 2.5 point underdogs.
Clemson was 5-1 against the spread in the non-conference game, but has been 2-5-1 since then. The Tigers’ 54:50 home win over Louisville on Wednesday as a 1.5 point favorite broke a 4-1 stretch against the spread. The Tigers are 0-3 as underdogs in the ACC.
The Blue Devils broke a streak of five losses to the line when they hit a six-point spread in their 75-68 home win over Georgia Tech on Tuesday. Duke scored the last seven points, all free throws, when the yellow jackets fell apart. Georgia Tech made sales, missed two field attempts and gave up two offensive rebounds in the final 1:19 after the game was drawn at 68.
Duke has won 18 straight wins at Durham and is at home 63-4 against the Tigers.
Duke has a length in strikers Hurt and Johnson and Mark Williams in 7-foot freshman center, but Clemson has possibly the most physical presence in striker Aamir Simms, who was one of 15 players recently, who were placed on the watch list of the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
Simms leads the Tigers in the rating (12.0), rebounds (5.9), helps (2.4) and shoots 52, 9% of the field. He has 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists and one blocked shot in the 54-50 win over Louisville, and had 25 points (including the game winner) and seven rebounds in the 66-65 win in Miami on Jan. 2.Aamir Simms included in the top 10 of the Karl Malone Award Watch List, which was given to the top power forward in 🇺🇸
Simms was up and down this season. After the Miami game, Simms scored eight, two, 19 and five points as the Tigers lost three of four before defeating Louisville. He averages 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in three career games against Duke.
Duke is not a good shooting team, he makes 44.8% off the field and 33.1% off the three point range, and Clemson is worse. The Tigers shoot 41.8% from the ground, making it 270th among the 340 teams in Division I. They shoot 31% out of three-point range, which equates to 265.
The Blue Devils have scored 42.1% of their field goals in the last four games, Georgia Tech’s second top mark with 18 of 22 free throws and the third highest attempts of the season. Growing pain in the two newcomers has contributed to the inconsistency of the offense.
Clemson has made at least 50% of his field attempts this season, shooting six times in the 1930s, including in the last two games. The Tigers shot 35.8% off the field against Louisville but kept the Cardinal at 31.6%.
Jack has covered college and professional sports for various Arizona media, including AP, USA Today and Baseball America written. He was a contributor to the 2015-17 World Series and has occupied four Super Bowls.
Jack has reported on college and professional sports for various Arizona media, including writing for AP, USA Today, and Baseball America. He was a contributor to the 2015-17 World Series and has occupied four Super Bowls.
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