Previewing Princeton

The Blue Devils open the 2010-2011 season on Sunday afternoon with a game against the Princeton Tigers. The game will tip off at 5:00 PM EST and will be broadcast nationally by ESPNU.

Princeton (1-0) vs. Duke (0-0)
Durham, N.C. -- Cameron Indoor Stadium
TV: ESPN (Mark Jones & Len Elmore)
MEET THE TIGERS

Head Coach: Sydney Johnson (4th Season)
Record at Princeton: 41-46
Record v. Duke: 0-1

Projected Starters:
20 Douglas Davis (5-11, 164, Jr.) – 16.0 ppg, 4.0 apg
33 Dan Mavraides (6-4, 210, Sr.) – 26.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
44 Brendan Connolly (6-11, 250, So.) – 7.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg
2 Kareem Maddox (6-8, 230, Sr.) – 7.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
34 Ian Hummer (6-7, 225, So.) – 17.0 ppg, 3.0rpg

Top Reserves:
32 Mack Darrow (6-9, 225, So.) – 5.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
24 Will Barrett (6-10, 197, So.) – 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
5 T.J. Bray (6-6, 207, Fr.) - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg


Series History: Duke leads the all-time series 17-1 and has a perfect 9-0 record agains the Tigers in games played in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Princeton Roster: Click Here
Princeton Statistics: Click Here
Princeton Schedule: Click Here


PRE-GAME NOTES:

Season To Date: The Tigers started the season in style by defeating Big East opponent Rutgers in a Friday night season opener for both teams. The Tigers lead by six at halftime, but were held to just 21 points in the second half as Rutgers forced overtime. In the extra frame the Tigers got five quick points from Dan Mavraides, and held Rutgers to just 28 percent shooting from the field to take a 78-73 decision. For the game the Tigers shot 49.1 percent (26-of-53) from the field and 40.9 percent from the perimeter (9-of-22). The Tigers won the battle of the boards in the opener, out-rebounding Rutgers by a 36-28 margin which negated 16 turnovers.

Scoring Punch Returns: After leading his team to a bid and two victories in last year's post season, fourth year coach Sydney Johnson welcomes back his top five scorers from a season ago even though the team graduated three starters. Leading scorer Doug Davis struggled from the field in the opener (2-of-9 from the perimeter) but was picked up by senior Dan Mavraides who connected on 6-of-10 three point attempts on his way to a game high 26 points while sophomore legacy recruit Ian Hummer added 17 points from the small forward position.

Short Rotation: Coach Johnson is relying heavily on his upperclassmen much as he did a season ago. Unlike last season, however, the Tigers don't have as much scoring pop off the bench. In 45 minutes of play against Rutgers the Princeton starting five played an average of 39.2 minutes with just one reserve, sophomore Mack Darrow, earning double figure minutes in relief. Despite the heavy minute load, only Hummer fouled out and no other Tiger collected more than three fouls in the game.

Sizeable Questions: Perhaps the most critical question facing Johnson's team this season is how much the team can expect from the center position. Neither Brandon Connolly nor Will Barrett played all that much a season ago, but both players were expected to compete for early time. In game one it was Connolly earning the starting nod and playing well (7 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in 39 minutes) enough to give the team some confidence. On the flip side Barrett was underwhelming against Rutgers, failing to score or collect a rebound in eight minutes while missing both shot attempts (both three pointers).

Stat To Note: To have any hope of derailing a number of Duke streaks and pulling off a major upset, they will have to shoot a very high percentage from the perimeter. History, however, is not on the Tigers' side. During the last four trips to Durham, Princeton has shot a combined 10-of-58 from the perimeter including 3-of-35 over the last two games. (Credit to PrincetonBasketball.com)

Streaking In Cameron: Speaking of streaks that will continue with a Blue Devil victory, here's a sampling from Duke Sports Information's pre-game notes:

  • Duke has won 22 consecutive games in November, dating back to a 73-62 loss to Marquette in the championship game of the 2006 CBE Classic. The Blue Devils are 102-10 all-time in the month of November under Coach K.
  • The Blue Devils are 48-9 all-time and have won 22 consecutive games against Ivy League opponents. Duke's last loss against an Ivy League foe was a 72-55 decision against Princeton on Dec. 12, 1981. Mike Krzyzewski is 22-1 against the Ivy League as the head coach at Duke.
  • Duke has won 10 straight games overall and 19 straight at Cameron Indoor Stadium dating back to last season
  • Overally the Blue Devils have won 48 of the previous 50 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium and 77 straight games against non-conference opponents at home, the longest current streak in the NCAA. Additionally the Blue Devils have won 42 straight home games against un-ranked opponents.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The Tigers have a fair amount of size with 6 of the 9 players in the rotation standing 6-foot-7 or above. Each of those players has range out to the perimeter and, of course, the Tigers will be looking for umpteen backdoor cuts. Given that Duke has questions surrounding post defense and post presence in general, the Tigers will provide the Plumlee brothers, Ryan Kelly, and Josh Hairston a fair amount of on the job training. Aside from the Princeton offense being tough to prepare for, don't expect a lot of drama for the Blue Devils in this one. The Tigers have no match-up for Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, or Kyrie Irving. The most pressing question for Duke fans will be which lineup head coach Mike Krzyzewski finds to be most effective, and how long he stays with it. Princeton has some experience and has shown the ability to play tough already, but there's not enough fire power to match Duke for 40 minutes. In the end the streaks will continue and Duke should win convincingly.

Prediction:
Duke - 93
Princeton - 64


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