This is an important game for the Devils as the last look they got at Clemson was one of the most embarrassing losses in recent memory, a 47 – 74 drubbing. In the game, Duke played so poorly and were so outmatched by the Tigers, leading scorer Trevor said, “They quit at the end”. That’s probably the worst thing an opponent can say about you.
Trevor Booker returns a year older and still leading the Tigers in scoring, averaging nearly a double-double at 14.8 points and 8.9 rebounds a game.
Both Duke and Clemson played a tough Long Beach State team, both won, Duke by a little more but Clemson played them on the road.
The difference between this year and last year’s game should be Duke’s improved front court, Duke should be able to run multiple bodies in and out of this game against Clemson and Duke should also have the advantage at the guard position.
On paper this match-up looks pretty even but to just think that Duke can out-shoot Clemson and expect to win this game is harking back to the reason they lost the last game by 27 points. Duke needs to establish toughness, they did this against UCONN and Gonzaga.
Expect a grudge match in this game, emotions will run high. If you think the Devils have simply put this loss behind them then just ask Nolan Smith. He was personally disappointed with not only his play but the way in which the Devils lost this game last year.
This game will help define what type of team Coach K is bringing to the table in the ACC.