Previewing Bradley

Previewing the Blue Devils and Braves who will tip off on Wednesday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN beginning at 9:05 PM EST.

Bradley (4-4) vs. Duke (8-0)
Durham, N.C. -- Cameron Indoor Stadium
TV: ESPN 9:05 PM EST (Mike Patrick & Len Elmore)
MEET THE BRAVES

Head Coach: Jim Les (9th Year)
Record at Bradley: 146-124
Record v. Duke: 0-0

Projected Starters:
? 1 Dodie Dunson (6-3, 210 Sr.) – 11.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg
32 Dyricus Simms-Edwards (6-3, 205, So.) – 5.4 ppg, 2.9 apg
44 Jordan Prosser (6-9, 240, Fr.) – 3.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg
54 Will Egolf (6-9, 240, Jr.) – 6.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg
24 Andrew Warren (6-6, 210, Sr.) – 19.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Top Reserves:
25 Walt Lemon (6-3, 185, Fr.) – 8.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg
34 Milos Knezevic (6-8, 225, So.) – 1.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg
41 Anthony Thompson (6-10, 235, Jr.) - 1.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg


Series History: This will be the third meeting between the two programs all time. The teams split the previous two encounters with the Braves winning a 93-58 home victory in 1950 and Duke countering a season later with a 87-69 win in Durham.

Against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference the Blue Devils own a 6-2 all-time mark. The other loss coming to Souther Illinois during the 1966-1967 season. Meanwhile the Braves own a robust 12-4 all-time record against the ACC and a four game winning streak against the conference.

Bradley Roster: Click Here
Bradley Statistics: Click Here
Bradley Schedule: Click Here


PRE-GAME NOTES:

Quote To Note: "The one thing that really stands out is how hard they compete. We have to go in there with that mindset that we'll play our tails off. We are going to go there and compete." - Jim Les.

"Just watching tape over the last 24 hours, they don't have a weakness on either end of the floor. They make you choose what you don't want to get beat by. They have depth, size, they play well together and they're well-coached. They're very sound defensively." - Jim Les on Duke

Season To Date: The Braves have split their first eight games against various levels of competition. The Braves rolled out of the gate with wins over Texas A&M-Kingsville, Northern Illinois, Loyola Marymount, and Southern California. After the 4-0 start things started to unravel as the Braves fell to TCU, Eastern Illinois, Western Carolina, and Utah.

Injury Bug Bites: Many of Bradley's struggles can be traced to injury. Most notable is senior guard Sam Maniscalco who will seek a medical hardship as he continues to seek treatment for chronic ankle pains. It's a big loss for the Braves. A three-time team captain, Maniscalco was a second-team All-MVC choice last season when he averaged 13.1 ppg and 3.4 apg.

The Braves will also be without junior forward Taylor Brown who is sitting out this season for precautionary health reasons. Like Maniscalco, Brown was expected to play a major role for Bradley. A season ago he was the team's second leading scorer (13.5 ppg) and one of the top rebounders (6.9 rpg)

The Best Of The Bunch: With the loss of Maniscalco and Brown the Braves have placed more responsibility on the shoulders of Andrew Warren. The team's leading returning scorer from a year ago (14.4 ppg as a junior), Warren is leading the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring at 19.0 points per game. He's also leading his team in rebounding at 6.5 boards per game. Over the past four games he's averaging 9.0 boards. On Saturday Warren put on a show against Utah scoring 27 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, while adding four steals, two blocks, and two assists. Each a team high.

Speaking Of Injury: The Blue Devils will be without freshman phenom Kyrie Irving who sustained a toe injury against Butler on Saturday. Through his first eight games as a collegian, Irving is averaging 17.4 points and 5.1 assists per game. He currently ranks in the top 10 of the ACC in six statistical categories.

Duke Noteables: The Blue Devils will be looking to move to 9-0 on the season against Bradley, but there are some additional notes worth following:

  • Mike Krzyzewski is one win shy of passing Adolph Rupp for third place on the all-time coaching wins list. Coach K enters Saturday's game with 876 career wins.
  • The Blue Devils have won 18 consecutive games dating back to a 79-72 loss at Maryland on March 3, 2010. Duke has won 26 of its last 27 games overall.
  • The Blue Devils have won an NCAA-best 81 consecutive non-conference home games. The last home loss against a non-conference opponent for the Blue Devils was on Feb. 26, 2000 against St. John's, 83-82. Duke has won 45 straight home games against unranked opponents. The Blue Devils' last loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium to an unranked opponent was to Florida State on Feb. 4, 2007.
  • Duke's starting backcourt of Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving combines to average 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game. The tandem is also shooting 52.3 percent (90-of-172) from the floor. Smith and Irving have both reached double-figures in scoring in all eight games this season.
  • Andre Dawkins is expected to make his first career start on Wednesday. Dawkins is fourth on the team in scoring at 10.6 ppg. and leads the ACC in three-point percentage (.528, 19-of-36).


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Before yesterday this game was thought to be another chance for the Blue Devils to tune up against an opponent who was overmatched after Duke had spent the early season playing some of the country's better competition including a pair of top five opponents. Now, after the announcement that Irving will be out of action for this game - and possibly a few others - there are questions on how the offense will work with Nolan Smith, Seth Curry, and Tyler Thornton running the point. It will be a good chance to get Curry going as the transfer has struggled to find his range over the last few weeks. Similarly, the Blue Devils will be looking for Dawkins to continue his strong play of late as a starter. Look for Duke to show signs of rust and inefficiency without Irving before pulling away in the second half and coasting.

Prediction:
Duke - 88
Bradley - 64


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