Game Preview by @RandyDunson – Duke Blue Devils vs. William and Mary Tribe

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#3/6 Duke Blue Devils [2-1, 0-0] vs. #UR William & Mary (W&M) [4-0, 0-0]

November 22, 2016 • 7:00 PM ET • Durham, NC • Cameron Indoor Stadium

Media: ESPNU, Watch ESPN App, Local Radio

By Randy Dunson [Note: Please direct comments, suggestions, etc. to @RandyDunson]

Team Overviews

Duke

The Blue Devils are 4-1 on the year after winning two games over the week to claim the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. Duke downed Penn State, 78-68, on Saturday, before downing No. 21 Rhode Island, 75-65, in the title game on Sunday. Earlier in the week, the Blue Devils suffered their first loss of the season, 77-75, to No. 7 Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic.

Duke entered the 2016-17 season as the preseason No. 1 team in the country. The Blue Devils come into Wednesday’s contest ranked No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25.

According to KenPom.com, Duke possesses one of the top offenses and defenses nationally in terms of efficiency. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 1 in offensive efficiency (121.3), while coming in 13th in defensive efficiency (91.9). Duke has been particularly stingy from 3-point range, holding opponents to 19.8 percent from long range, which ranks seventh nationally.

Sophomore Luke Kennard, who scored a game-high 24 points in the win over URI, leads five Blue Devils in double figures at 18.2 points per game. He shoots 52 percent (13-of-25) from 3-point range.

Graduate student Amile Jefferson, who posted back-to-back double-doubles in the Hall of Fame Tip-off, averages a double-double at 13 points and 10 rebounds. He also averages 2.6 blocked shots per game and shoots 64.1 percent from the floor.

Freshman Frank Jackson is second on the team at 15.6 points per game followed by junior All-American Grayson Allen at 15 per contest. Senior Matt Jones rounds out the double-digit scorers at 12.2 points per game.

Duke has been hampered in the early going by injuries with three heralded freshmen, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, and junior Sean Obi all having yet to appear for the Blue Devils in season play.

Notables:

  • After back-to-back games with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds, Amile Jefferson is averaging a double-double for the season. He also did so in 2015-16 before sustaining an injury.
  • Frank Jackson has burst onto the scene with five double-figure scoring games to open his career. He is shooting .810 (17-of-21) from the free throw line on the year.
  • Matt Jones has played 115 of 120 available minutes over the last three games and leads Duke with an average of 36.2 minutes. He has started 53 straight games in which he has played.

Probable Starters

Guard – Sophomore Grayson Allen

Guard – Junior Matt Jones

Guard –Sophomore Luke Kennard

Forward – Sophomore Chase Jeter

Forward – Grad Student Amile Jefferson

William & Mary

For the third-straight season, the William & Mary men’s basketball team hits the road for a contest against a top-10 foe, traveling to No. 3/6 Duke on Wednesday night for a Thanksgiving Eve tilt.

The Blue Devils, who have been ranked in the top 10 in seven of the last eight meetings, leads the all-time series with the Tribe at 27-3. It marks the third straight season that W&M has played a top-10 opponent (No. 7 Florida in 2014 and No. 10 Virginia in 2015).

W&M is in search of its first win over a ranked opponent since knocking off No. 2 North Carolina in 1977. A victory over Duke would be the program’s first Top 25 road win. W&M is 5-49 all-time against the AP Top 10.

The Green and Gold owns three ACC victories in the last eight seasons under head coach Tony Shaver, including an 83-77 triumph over ACC regular season co-champion Maryland in 2010. Last season, W&M won at N.C. State, 85-68, to open the year.

The Tribe connected on double-digit 3-pointers in two of its first three games, including 15 vs. Presbyterian. W&M leads the CAA and ranks 20th nationally in 3-pointers per game (10.3).

W&M dished out 27 assists on 32 made field goals in its win over Presbyterian. The Tribe leads the CAA and ranks 24th nationally in assists per game (19.9). According to KenPom.com, W&M ranks third in the country in assist rate, recording an assist on nearly 75 percent of its made field goals against Division I competition.

Senior Omar Prewitt will play in his 100th career game when W&M travels to Duke. He is only six points away from becoming the 12th player in program history with 1400 career points.

Notables:

  • W&M is 16-95 all-time against the ACC, including a 3-7 mark under head coach Tony Shaver the last eight seasons.
  • Last season, W&M used a 17-2 run in the opening half to claim a 20-point cushion on the way to an 85-68 win at N.C. State. The Tribe shot 51.7 percent from the field and controlled every facet of the game, including a 17-4 advantage in fast break points and a 40-28 cushion in the paint. Daniel Dixon and Omar Prewitt topped W&M with 19 and 17 points, respectively, vs. the Wolfpack.
  • However, not a member of a Power 5 conference, the Tribe dropped a three-point game, 69-66, to the Atlantic 10 Champion Dayton Flyers in 2015. The Green and Gold trailed by as much as nine in the second half, before using a 13-2 run to take a 62-60 lead with 1:29 remaining. Dixon led the Tribe with 24 points, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range, while Prewitt added 10 points.
  • In 2014, W&M rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit to pick up a 72-62 win at current Big Ten team Rutgers. Marcus Thornton led all scorers with 28 points for W&M, while Terry Tarpey and Prewitt chipped in 11 and nine points, respectively.
  • During the 2012-13 season, the Tribe suffered a pair of narrow losses against two Power Five opponents, despite halftime leads. The Green and Gold fell at ACC foe Wake Forest, 63-57, but led 30-23 at the half. Later in the season, W&M led Purdue of the Big Ten, 40-39, at the half, but could not hold on before falling to the Boilermakers, 73-66.
  • In 2010-11, W&M nearly upset No. 10-ranked Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. The Tribe led by four points with five minutes to go, but the Orange rallied by scoring the game’s final seven points to pull out a 63-60 win. Syracuse finished the year ranked No. 12 nationally after going 27-8 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Tribe upset a pair of ACC foes who went on to the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10. W&M became the first team to win at Joel Coliseum in November, knocking off Wake Forest, 78-68. Later in the season, the Tribe posted an 83-77 win at Maryland. The Terps went on to earn a share of the ACC regular season title. It marked the first time in the history of the CAA that a team won on the road at two ACC opponents in the same season.

Probable Starters

Guard – Senior Daniel Dixon

Guard – Senior David Cohn

Guard/Forward – Senior Omar Prewitt

Forward – Senior Jack Whitman

Forward – Junior Paul Rowley

Last Time Out

Duke

Freshman Frank Jackson led five players in double figures with 17 points and top-ranked Duke defeated Penn State 78-68 Saturday in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament.

Amile Jefferson added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Blue Devils (3-1), who lost forward Chase Jeter to injury early in the game. The 6-foot-10 sophomore rolled his left ankle in the first half and did not return.

Tony Carr had 20 points and Shep Garner added 15 to lead Penn State (2-2).

Jeter went down under the Penn State basket while going for a rebound and was on the floor for several minutes before being helped off the court. His injury came minutes after Grayson Allen left the game, favoring the right foot he hurt in the recent loss to Kansas.

Allen went back to the locker room, but returned to the floor a few minutes later. He finished with 12 points and needs just three more to become the 65th Duke player with 1,000 points for his career.

Matt Jones and Luke Kennard added 15 points each for Duke.

Despite the injuries, the Blue Devils were able to go on an early 13-2 run that turned a tie game into a 21-10 lead. They led 36-24 at the half, despite some poor shooting from Allen and Kennard, who were a combined 4-15 from the floor. However, Jackson picked up the slack, scoring 11 of his points before intermission.

A 3-point play by Allen stretched the lead to 64-51 midway through the second half and Duke held off Penn State the rest of the way.

Jeter’s injury further depletes a Blue Devils’ team that is still without three highly touted freshmen, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden, as well as junior Sean Obi. They may have just seven players available for Sunday’s championship game.

Notables:

  • NA

William & Mary

In its last time out, William and Mary’s started fast and poured it on with a long-range arsenal and unselfish style in routing Presbyterian, 89-59, on Saturday night at Kaplan Arena. The Tribe (2-1) connected on 15 3-pointers, the sixth-most in school history, while sharing the basketball to the tune of 27 assists on 32 made field goals in easily outdistancing the Blue Hose (1-2).

Senior guard Daniel Dixon led the Tribe attack with 20 points on five 3-pointers to go with four rebounds and four assists. Junior forward Jack Whitman scored a career-high 16 on 5-of-6 from the floor and added a game-high six rebounds to go with two blocked shots. The pair dominated from the beginning, scoring the Tribe’s first 24 points. Sophomore forward Paul Rowley tallied a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 from 3-point range, while junior Greg Malinowski rounded out the Tribe’s double-digit scorers with 10 points and five rebounds. Junior guard David Cohn turned in a nice floor game with nine assists compared to zero turnovers.

The Blue Hose closed the gap to 26-19 via a 10-0 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Will Adams and J.C. Younger. W&M pushed the lead to double-digits again on the back of a 13-4 run. Whitman scored five during the run, and Dixon capped it with a lay-up to give the home side a 39-23 cushion with four minutes remaining in the opening half. Presbyterian’s Ruben Arroyo tallied four of his team’s final six points, cutting the deficit to 41-29 at the intermission.

Presbyterian closed to within 10 points twice in the opening four minutes of the second half, but W&M responded with a 15-4 run to push the advantage to 20 and out of reach. The Tribe strengthened its lead to 51-36 behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Rowley and senior Omar Prewitt. Malinowski dished to Knight for a dunk and then tipped in a miss to extend the margin to 60-39 with 11:40 left.

The Tribe scored 16 of the game’s final 21 points in picking up the 30-point victory. Back-to-back alley-oop dunks by Knight from Prewitt and Prewitt from Dixon highlighted the stretch and brought the Green and Gold faithful to its feet.

W&M finished the night shooting 52.5 percent (32-of-61) from the floor, including a 56.7-percent (17-of-30) clip in the second half. The Tribe drilled 15 of its 34 3-point attempts (44.1 percent), finishing just one off the school-record mark of 16 set five different times. The Tribe’s 27 assists were the sixth most in school history. Knight tallied eight points, five rebounds and two blocked shots off the bench. Despite being held to just five points, Prewitt turned in a nice all-around stat line with five assists, four rebounds, a block, and three steals.

Notables:

  • NA

Head-to-Head

Duke leads the all-time series with W&M at 27-3 and have won the last 15 games between the programs. Wednesday marks the sixth-straight meeting and seventh in the last eight that Duke enters the game ranked in the top 10. The Tribe will look for its first win over the Blue Devils since downing No. 18 Duke, 85-82, in overtime in 1953.

[NB: Full statistical parameters will not be displayed until after the fifth game is played. Some statistics will be noted in other sections though.]
Duke 2015-16 Regular Season Key Stats Comparison William & Mary
PPG (Scoring Margin)
Opponents PPG
Effective FG%
FG%
Opponent FG%
3PT FG%
Opponent 3PT FG%
RPG (Rebound Margin)
Opponent RPG
FT%
APG
SPG (%)
Turnovers Per Game (Margin)
Opponent TOPG
BPG
Fouls Per Game

Four Factors to Winning

[NB: Same applies here as for statistics] [If you wish to learn more about how the four factors are calculated and implemented, a description can always be found here, http://www.dukeblogger.com/four-factors-winning/.]

Summary

Headed our way in Wednesday college basketball action from Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, we have an interesting matchup between the William & Mary Tribe and the Blue Devils.

William & Mary comes into this game with a 2-1 record on the year. The Tribe won their first game versus Division III Bridgewater 96-44, and then dropped one to Louisville 91-58 before bouncing back against Presbyterian 89-59. Daniel Dixon led the way in that game for William & Mary with 20 points to help key the victory.

On the year so far, Dixon is the Tribe’s top scorer on 12.7 PPG and 3.3 RPG. Omar Prewitt and Nathan Knight are also averaging in double figures for William & Mary, with Prewitt bagging 11.0 PPG and 3.3 RPG and Knight sitting on 10.0 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

In stark contrast to its Duke, the Tribe (2-1) use a deep rotation, as 10 different players have averaged double-digit minutes through William & Mary’s first three contests. After a 30-plus-point drubbing at the hands of Louisville in its second game, the Tribe responded Saturday with a resounding 89-59 victory against Presbyterian.

Where the Tribe is lacking, however, is in the post. Although William & Mary has a number of big men, the Cardinals dominated the battle of the paint last week, outscoring the Tribe 46-22 down low and winning the rebound battle by seven.

For a shorthanded Blue Devil side, gang rebounding and an all-around team effort will be key come Wednesday evening and going forward.

As for Duke, they are sitting on a 4-1 record this year. The Blue Devils won their opener against Marist 94-49 and their second game against Grand Canyon 96-61, but then dropped the Kansas game 77-75. Duke responded with wins over Penn State 78-68 and Rhode Island 75-65. In that game, the Blue Devils had a 34-26 lead at halftime and stretched it with a 41-39 result in the second half.

Duke has several players averaging in double figures so far, including Luke Kennard (18.2 PPG; 6.0 RPG), Frank Jackson (15.6 PPG) and Grayson Allen (15.0 PPG; 6.0 RPG). Amile Jefferson leads the Blue Devils in rebounding (10.0 RPG; 13.0 PPG), while Matt Jones (12.2 PPG) is averaging in double digits as well.

William & Mary has been playing pretty well so far, with the exception of the Louisville game, which is understandable due to how much they were outmatched. Duke, meanwhile, has not quite lived up to their lofty preseason expectations but on the whole they still look pretty good.

Notables:

Endgame

Duke should come into this game a little healthier with Jeff Capel announcing that junior guard Grayson Allen is feeling much better and Chase Jeter  and the rest of the team getting a few days off. With another set of games with quick turnarounds Duke should be able to use the bench in this game. It will be interesting to see if Duke is able to use freshman Javin DeLaurier and Jack White in this game also whether Duke will finally get to see Jayson Tatum or Marques Bolden. Duke should also look to correct some of the stagnation on the offensive end and the holes in transition and perimeter defense.

There is little chance that this game ends up being anywhere close, so I will take the Blue Devils and their balanced scoring attack to overwhelm the Tribe, 96-63.