Previewing Colgate

After two blowout victories in two games, the Blue Devils return to action on Friday night against Colgate. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN3 beginning at 8:30 PM EST.

Colgate (2-0) vs. Duke (2-0)
Durham, N.C. -- Cameron Indoor Stadium

Head Coach: Emmett Davis (13th Season)
Record at Colgate: 158-189
Record v. Duke: 0-0

Projected Starters:

? 2 Mitch Rolls (6-0, 170 So.) – 2.5 ppg, 3.5 apg
12 Mike Venezia (6-1, 190, Jr.) – 11.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
21 Sterling Melville (6-4, 215, Jr.) – 5.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
25 J Brandenburg (6-11, 265, So.) – 6.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
33 Yaw Gyawu (6-5, 215, Jr.) – 19.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg

Top Reserves:
1 Nick Pascalenry (6-10, 250, Jr.) – 2.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg
3 Joe Hoban (6-1, 175, Sr.) – 5.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
4 Chad Johnson (6-3, 210, Fr.) - 6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
5 Pat Moore (6-5, 186, Fr.) - 3.5 ppg,

Series History: This will be the second meeting between the two programs. The Blue Devils have won one of the previous two meetings though the teams haven't met in over 30 seasons since Duke won 73-44 in 1979. Colgate's victory came in 1950 in a blowout, 84-69 victory in Raleigh.

Colgate Roster: Click Here
Colgate Statistics: Click Here
Colgate Schedule: Click Here


Season To Date: The Raiders have struggled out of the gates early this season and a trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium is the exact opposite of what the doctor ordered. Colgate lost the season opener to Binghamton by a 62-60 margin before returning to action Monday night against St. Francis (Pa.). In that game the Raiders seemed ready to even their record and held a seven point lead with just over two and a half minutes remaining. From that point the offense stalled and the defense evaporated as St. Francis used an 11-1 spurt over the final 155 seconds to drop Colgate to 0-2 on the season, 69-66.

Best One Forward: Mike Venezia expected a lot out of himself a season ago. However injury held the 6'1 now fourth junior out of action in all but three games a year ago. In that brief sample Venezia was a near 10 point per game scorer, which was similar to his sophomore season where he averaged 10.8 points per contest. A season ago he put up the best performance of his college career against Connecticut when he scored a team high 17 points, but his season would end two games later. So far in his fourth year of action Venezia has averaged 11.5 points per contest despite shooting just 32 percent from the field and 25 percent from the perimeter.

The Beneficiary Was… The player who may have benefitted the most from Venezia's absence a season ago was junior wing Yaw Gyawu who averaged more than 14 points per game - good enough for fifth in the conference scoring. Through two games he's continued to up his scoring tally to nearly 20 points per game and five rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field.

The Rest Of The Raiders: One of the players to note is junior big man John Brandenburg who played sparingly at Virginia for two seasons before transferring to Colgate. At 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds he's easily the biggest Raider on the roster. Stamina has been a bit of an issue for him, however, as he's averaging just over half a game played despite a lack of foul trouble. In 22 minutes per he's pulled in just 3.5 rebounds per night.

Stats To Note: Colgate, much like Miami of Ohio, won't be looking to get into a track meet with the Blue Devils - preferring a game with a score in the mid 60s. The Raiders don't shoot it overly well from the field (42 percent) or the perimeter (28 percent), but have countered those poor percentages by winning the battle of the boards in each of their two games by a +5.0 margin. Turnovers have, however been a problem with an average of 12 per night and just a 1.25 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. Defensively the Raiders have only forced an average of 9.5 turnovers per game.

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 24 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 104-10 all-time in the month of November under Coach K.
  • The Blue Devils are 49-17 all-time against Patriot League opponents. However, under head coach Mike Krzyzewski Duke is a perfect 13-0 against teams from the Patriot League. While 17 losses may seem high, most of those games occurred more than 50 years, and the Blue Devils have won 27 straight games against Patriot opponents.
  • Duke has won 12 straight games overall and 21 straight at Cameron Indoor Stadium dating back to last season
  • Overally the Blue Devils have won 50 of the previous 52 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium and 79 straight games against non-conference opponents at home, the longest current streak in the NCAA. Additionally the Blue Devils have won 44 straight home games against un-ranked opponents.


The game against Colgate will provide the Duke coaching staff another opportunity to tinker with potential lineups and rotations. Quite simply the Raiders don't stand much of a change and this will likely be a third straight blowout victory for the Blue Devils. However there are some distinct areas on which Duke will likely focus beginning with the interior scoring and defense. With such incredible depth and fire power from the backcourt rotation the Blue Devils, at times, don't feed the interior as much. Look for the Blue Devils to attempt to get the two Plumlees and Ryan Kelly going on the offensive side of the ball early before the guards take over and put the game out of reach.

Duke - 101
Colgate - 58

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