Marquette (4-0) vs. Duke (3-0)
Kansas City, Missouri. -- KC Spirit Center
TV: ESPN2 (Dan O'Brien & Dick Vitale)
MEET THE Golden Eagles
Head Coach: Buzz Williams (3rd Season)
Record at Marquette: 51-22
Record v. Duke: 0-0
?33 Jimmy Butler (6-7, 220 Sr.) – 15.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
1 Darius Johnson-Odom (6-2, 215, Sr.) – 11.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
42 Chris Otule (6-11, 260, So.) – 5.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg
2 Vander Blue (6-4, 190, Fr.) – 9.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
23 Dwight Buycks (6-3, 190, Sr.) – 12.3 ppg, 4.8 apg
4 Reggie Smith (6-0, 175, Fr.) – 1.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg
5 Junior Cadougan (6-1, 205, So.) – 1.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg
32 Jae Crowder (6-6, 225, Jr.) - 11.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg
12 Erik Williams (6-7, 210, So.) - 4.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
22 Jamil Jones (6-6, 210, Fr.) - 1.0 ppg
Series History: This will be the eighth meeting between the two schools with the Blue Devils enjoying a 5-2 series advantage. Duke won the last meeting between the two programs during the 2007-2008 season by a 77-73 score.
Season To Date: The Golden Eagles have surged out of the game, much like Duke. Marquette has posted four victories by a margin of 39, 11, 20, and 13. The two closest games have come against Bucknell (72-61) and South Dakota (82-69).
The Champs Are Here: Which may spell trouble for the Golden Eagles in a big way. In the history of the program the Eagles have faced the defending national champions seven times, but not since the 1989-1990 season. In each of the previous seven match-ups the Golden Eagles have come up short including the 82-73 loss to Michigan during the 1990 season.
From Teammates To Opponents Team USA's U18 team won gold this past summer at the FIBA World Championships held in San Antonio. Most Duke fans remember Kyrie Irving's big performances during the five game event, but Irving wasn't the only talented guard on the USA roster who will be involved in Monday's game. Marquette freshman Vander Blue averaged 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in an average of 19.0 minutes per outing. He shot 56.5 percent from the field and finished sec- ond on the roster and eighth among tourney participants in steals (9). Irving averaged 13.6 points and 5.0 rebounds in the five-game tourney.
Near-Sighted: Through four games the Golden Eagles have certainly been able to put up points, averaging 85 per night. However, Marquette has not relied heavily on the perimeter jumper to do it. In those four contests the Eagles are shooting a paltry 32.5 percent from the perimeter and have made just 13 three pointers. While they may not extend the defense as efficiently as in the past, the Golden Eagles are very aware and capable of getting buckets inside the arc, shooting a robust 56 percent from the field excluding threes.
Who To Watch: Aside from the outstanding freshman, Blue, the Golden Eagles present a matchup problem for most teams on the wing in the form of 6-foot-7 Jimmy Butler. The Texas senior leads the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game and was a preseason second team All-Big East performer. As a four year player for the Eagles, Butler's career has been filled with various roles and now as an upperclassman he's the team's leader and likely the player who will be called upon to deliver much needed buckets in crunch time. Defensively he's battle tested and has guarded everything from scoring guards to center in the often physical Big East. Given that head coach Buzz Williams has stressed the importance of flexibility in his players as the overall versatility of his roster, Butler is a perfect fit and does a lot of what Kyle Singler is asked to do for Duke.
Duke Noteables: The Blue Devils will be looking to move to 4-0 on the season against Marquette, but there are some additional notes worth following:
- Duke is now 5-1 in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic after posting wins over Princeton and Miami. The Blue Devils went 3-1 in 2006, losing to Marquette in the championship game, 73-62. Monday's game marks a rematch of the 2006 CBE Classic title game.
- Duke has won 25 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 105-10 all-time in the month of November under Coach K.
- Duke's starting backcourt of Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving is combining to average 30.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 14.0 assists per game. The tandem delivered 29 points and 18 assists (with just four turnovers) in Friday's win over Colgate.
- Duke's bench is averaging 37.0 points per game with Seth Curry (14.0 ppg.) and Andre Dawkins (12.7 ppg.) leading the way. The Blue Devils have scored 30 or more points off the bench in all three games this season, including a 45-point effort against Colgate.
- Duke is the only team in the ACC with five double-figure scorers. The Blue Devils have had four double-figure scorers twice this season..
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Three straight blowout victories against clearly overmatched opponents didn't tell the nation much about this year's edition of the Blue Devils. In fact several more questions were raised as the post game struggled. Perhaps that's a bit harsh, but any perceived criticism is only magnified by the sheer brilliance of the Duke backcourt through three games. This year's team is deep and deadly at the guard positions - something Marquette is actually fairly well equipped to deal with. The Eagles want to run and they want to slash and attack the basket. Each of their guards can and do like to crash the boards. It's going to be a huge ramp up of competition for both teams and the winner will likely be rewarded with a matchup against No. 3 Kansas State the next night. Look for Duke's depth to win out, but the Blue Devil post game must be aggressive and stronger than in the first three contests. Especially on the glass and in protecting the rim.
Duke - 86
Marquette - 75