Game Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs St. Francis (PA) Red Flash

Brian HoraceGame Previews0 Comments

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Duke (10-0, 0-0)

 
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St. Francis (3-4, 0-0)

When: Dec. 5 | 9:00 PM (ET)
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium
Watch Live: ESPNU

Next up for the Blue Devils is another home game against the Saint Francis Red Flash, coached by Rob Kimmel in his 6th season at the helm. Krimmel's teams have shown improvement from year-to-year in four of his five seasons, culminating with the program's first title appearance in the NEC Championship game since 1991 in 2016-17. The 17-win season was the most by a Saint Francis team since 1997-98.

Saint Francis comes in at 3-4 overall just having dropped a game to Stony Brook by 2 points on December 2nd. This is the same team that only lost to a ranked Louisville team by 12 in a true road game. The Red Flash are led in scoring by sophomore guard Keith Braxton who was named ECAC and NEC Rookie of the Year last season. Braxton averages 16.4 points per game and is also the leading rebounder on the team at 8 per game as a 6'4 guard. Jamaal King is the leading assist man for the Red Flash at 3.7 per game, he also averages 13 points a game. Saint Francis also has two other double figure scorers in guard Isaiah Blackmon at 14 points a game and Andre Wolford who comes in at 10 points a game. Wolford is also an efficient 3 point shooter right now at 63% having only shot 30 attempts in 7 games. Wolford went 8-11 from beyond the arc in 2 point loss to Stony Brook. The Red Flash typically start 4 guards and a power forward with Braxton being a taller guard at 6'4. The Red Flash do rotate out another big in Mark Flagg at 6'9 he is averaging 6 points a game and 2 rebounds in 17 minutes.

Duke will come into this game with a decided size advantage and having played a very touch schedule. The Blue Devils will once again look for marked improvement on defense. The Red Flash have shown this season that they can get hot from beyond the arc and defending the perimeter has been a weakness for this Duke team. St. Francis should look to the teams that were patient against Duke on the offensive end, with Duke switching 1 through 5, if the Red Flash remain patient they can get a mismatch late in the shot clock for either a straight line drive or a good look at a 3.

This will be Duke's final chance before their first ACC game to show that they've improved defensively. Duke will have 2 more non-conference games but Boston College will be sandwiched between St. Francis and Evansville.

Marvin Bagley leads Duke in scoring at 22 points a game, he also averages 11 rebounds as well. Grayson Allen, Duke's lone senior is averaging 17.8 points per game and is shooting 45% from beyond the arc. Freshman Trevon Duval is averaging 6.6 assists a game for the Devils against 2.4 turnovers. Wendell Carter is nearly averaging a double-double at 12.6 points and 8.9 rebounds a game, if not for recent trouble defensively and accruing personal fouls Carter would be averaging significantly more. Carters foul trouble has been a issue lately, having to cover smaller players and his penchant for reaching in fouls have caused his playing time to be cut short. Duke should have no rouble in this game provided it can use this homestead to fix the issues that have slowed them in recent games.

Projected Starting Lineups:

Duke:

F Marvin Bagley III
F Wendell Carter Jr.
G Gary Trent Jr.
G Grayson Allen
G Trevon Duval

 


St. Francis:

F Deivydas Kuzavas
G Keith Braxton
G Randall Gaskins Jr.
G Jamaal King
G Andre Wolford

Duke FG Percentage
50.2%
Saint Francis FG Percentage
49.2%
Duke 3pt Percentage
33.3%
Saint Francis 3pt Percentage
38.9%
Duke FT Percentage
69.1%
Saint Francis FT Percentage
74.6%
Duke Scoring Average
91.2
Saint Francis Scoring Average
80.7