ACC Action: #2 Duke At Maryland
- CoachingDuke took control in the second half on Wednesday to beat North Carolina, a nice birthday present for Mike Krzyzewski, who turned 66. Now he will get his team refocused to play another rival.This is a huge game for the Terrapins; they’re 5-6 in the ACC, with just one of those wins coming against a team ahead of them in the conference standings (NC State). Mark Turgeon, in his second season, might need this one to give his team a shot at the NCAA Tournament.
- OffenseDuke is a great offensive team due to Player of the Year candidate Mason Plumlee and sharpshooter Seth Curry. The Blue Devils rank in the top 10 in the country in three point shooting and fewest turnovers per possession.7’1” Ukrainian center Alex Len has really improved his game in his sophomore season, leading the Terps with 12.5 points and eight rebounds per game. Dez Wells is shooting 53 percent and averages 12 points.
- DefenseDuke has lost only two games, but defense was a problem in both. Plumlee will have to stay out of foul trouble against Len.Maryland forces very few turnovers but has been sound defensively, ranking fourth in the conference in points per possession allowed. Len swats two shots per game.
- Bench DepthIt’s always nice when you can bring a McDonald’s All-American off the bench, and Coach K has that option in forward Amile Jefferson. He has an experienced point guard in Tyler Thornton as well.Ten Terps average at least 12.9 minutes per game. Maryland gets contributions from all of them; Logan Aronhalt is the sniper off bench, hitting 47 percent of his threes.
College Park will be rocking, but an 84-64 Duke win on Jan. 26 doesn’t inspire much confidence for the home team. Each of the last three seasons, Duke has played Maryland the game after playing UNC; Duke has won all three. -Andrew Kahn, College Basketball Contributor