Breaking down Duke v. Wake Forest

Duke will wrap up the true road game portion of the 2013-2014 season with a trip to Winston Salem to face Wake Forest. Read on for the complete positional breakdown, statistics, and more.


Duke at Wake Forest
Mar. 5 at 7 pm
TV: ESPN2
Lawrence Joel VMC

DUKE

WAKE FOREST
Overall Record 23-6 (.793) 15-14 (.517)
Location Record 4-4 (.500) on road 13-4 (.765) at home
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 79.6 (21) 66.1 (75) 69.9 (217) 70.6 (192)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 1.5 (143) -0.8 (222)
Steals/G:
S(Rank)
7.1 (73) 5. (247)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
14.9 (47) 13.5 (116)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 46.5 (66) 45.0 (137)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 40.1 (5) 31.6 (273)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 44.6 (222) 42.2 (107)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #4 N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#4 N/A

BPI

5 (87.7) 115 (61.2)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Wake Forest
PG: Tyler Thornton (6-2, 190, Sr.) vs. Codi Miller-McIntyre (6-3, 195, Sr.)

Miller-McIntyre is Wake Forest's leading scorer and assist man, scoring 13.3 points per contest and handing out a team high 110 helpers on the season. Against North Carolina he produced a clunker of a game, going scoreless in 29 minutes as the Deacons were hammered in Chapel Hill. Since that game he's scored 10 points against Clemson and Boston College while shooting 6-of-14 from the field. In the first matchup against Duke he didn't play due to injury. He'll have his hands full against Thornton and Quinn Cook, but for the moment he has the slight edge on paper.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Duke
SG: Rasheed Sulaimon (6-4, 190, So.) vs. Coron Williams (6-1, 175, Sr.)

The first meeting was after Sulaimon had come out of his slump. The Texas sophomore scored 19 points in 37 minutes of action while shooting 60 percent from the field. Sulaimon also ran the offense for extended periods of action and recorded five assists and four rebounds. Sulaimon's length also bothered every Wake Forest guard he matched up with including Williams who scored just three points on 1-of-3 shooting. Sulaimon has continued his strong play and has firmly established himself as the starting scoring guard in Durham, and while Williams has averaged 12.0 points per game over the last three contests, we don't see him winning the individual matchup on Wednesday.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Duke
SF: Rodney Hood (6-8, 215, So.) vs. Travis McKie (6-7, 220, Sr.)

Duke neutralized McKie in the first meeting, holding the Wake Forest senior to just six points in 30 minutes of action. For his part, McKie did a good job on Hood as well, holding the Duke star to just 3-of-10 shooting and creating foul trouble to boot. Hood finished that game with a season low eight points, but has been hot of late, averaging 16.0 points per game over the last four, though his field goal percentage over that time is just 36.5 percent. Look for Duke to attempt to establish Hood early to not only jumpstart the offense, but to also put pressure on McKie.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Duke
PF: Jabari Parker (6-8, 240, Fr.) vs. Arnaud-William Adala Moto (6-6, 225, So.)

Parker will be the best player on the court no matter the match-up. He's listed as a power forward, but he'll also play his fair share of center as well. Regardless, Wake Forest simply doesn't have anyone on the roster who can match-up with Parker. Not on the wing, and not in the post. The last time the teams met Parker scored 21 points (8-of-10 shooting) and grabbed eight rebounds in just 27 minutes. When Parker went into the post, Moto proved himself as Wake's best rebounding option, recording 10 boards against the Blue Devils in the first round.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Wake Forest
C: Amile Jefferson (6-9, 215, So.) vs. Devin Thomas (6-9, 245, So.)

In the first game this matchup went decidedly in favor of Thomas as Jefferson was held scoreless and didn't factor in whatsoever. Duke eventually moved Parker into the post and went smaller. Thomas did better against Parker than his teammates, but he was still outplayed. Against Jefferson, however, Thomas was able to use his size and strength advantages to find 14 points and force Jefferson to the bench. That's the definition of winning a matchup.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Duke
Bench: Release the Plumlee! At least that's what Duke has been working towards over the past few weeks as the youngest brother has gotten more and more minutes - and he's produced in those minutes, averaging 3.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game. That's 9.4 points and 14.5 rebounds per 40 minutes of action. In addition to the improved stats, he's providing Duke size in the post - something the Blue Devils are desperate for. Former starting point guard Quinn Cook is now coming off the bench and has been slowed by injury. Andre Dawkins is always a threat to go off as well. On the other hand, Wake will use either three or four players off the bench with former starter Tyler Cavanaugh as the major threat. Madison Jones, who has also started the majority of the season, is the top backcourt option.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Duke
Coaching: Mike Krzyzewski vs. Jeff Bzdelik

There are a few coaches in the game today who could make a case for having the advantage over Krzyzewski, but Bzdelik isn't one of them. The Wake Forest coach appears to have lost his team and he has certainly lost the fan base. The game against Duke in the Joel will likely be his final home game as the Demon Deacon coach.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Duke
79 66
Prediction: Duke certainly faced a number of questions by playing five games in 11 days including back to back games against North Carolina and Syracuse. Towards the end of that stretch Duke's offense went from free-flowing and fun to watch to grinding for victories. After an eight day lay-off will the Blue Devils find their legs and return to form? That is certainly the hope, but playing in Winston Salem isn't easy. Duke barely held on a season ago against Wake Forest, and the Deacons will be charged up for senior night. Plus, their biggest win of the season - a home victory over North Carolina - came at home. Still, with March Madness less than two weeks away, it's time for Duke to prove they are ready for the final stretch of the season.

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