PREVIEW: Duke v. Livingstone

The Blue Devils will wrap up the exhibition season against the Livingstone Blue Bears on Wednesday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

LIVINGSTONE BLUE BEARS
0-0 Overall, 0-0 Conference 

PROJECTED STARTERS

F- 10 Ty Newman (0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)

F- 15 Hakeem Jackson (0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)

G- 02 Valworth Jones (0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)

G- 44 Juwan Cole (0.0 ppg, 0.0 apg)

G- 12 Eric Dubose (0.0 ppg, 0.0 apg) 

STAR WATCH

The Blue Bears return three starters from last season’s CIAA Championship squad in starters Juwan Cole, Daryl Traynham and junior Valworth Jones.  

After capturing their conference title last season, Livingstone was ousted in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by West Liberty University by a score of 127-89.

That loss ended their 2015 season with a 19-10 overall record.  The team has won the CIAA title for the last two years.   

For the third straight season the Blue Bears are picked as the preseason favorite in the CIAA Southern Division with Eric Dubose and Ty Newman named preseason all-conference.   

STORYLINES

SHOWING SIGNS
Duke is getting better.  That’s the general consensus after the team made its second public appearance of the year in the 112-68 win over Florida Southern on October 30th.   

For the most part the Blue Devils displayed a much more fluid and dynamic offense and the ability to control the rebounding game as well.  Especially when compared to the first public showing  - the exhibition of Countdown to Craziness.  

Inside the Blue Devils got a combined 27 points from Marshall Plumlee and Amile Jefferson while freshman point guard Derryck Thornton led all scorers with 22 points.  It was a marked improvement from CTC where Thornton appeared to be some what out of control on a number of drives.  

Perhaps the only performance that raised eyebrows in the first exhibition - a game in which Duke was never tested - was that of Grayson Allen.  The sophomore has been praised by the coaching staff throughout the offseason and preseason, but he struggled with both scoring and body language in the first game against FSC.

Duke will, once again, have a chance to refine the rotation and the overall game agains the Blue Bears before heading into the season opening game on November 13th against Siena.  

Notebook:

- Mike Krzyzewski owns a 1,018-310 record over 40 seasons as a head coach, including a 945-251 mark at Duke (35 seasons). 

- The 13 players on Duke’s 2015-16 roster have an average height of 79.231 inches, making this year’s team the third-tallest in Coach K’s tenure.  10 of the 11 scholarship players stand 6-foot-5 or taller. 

- As a team, Duke returns just 24.0 percent of its scoring (19.0 ppg), 32.3 percent of its rebounding (11.9 rpg) and 16.6 percent of its assists (2.5 apg) from last season. 

- Duke has been ranked in the AP Poll an NCAA- best 155 straight weeks. Duke’s current streak is the second-longest stretch in program history and the seventh- longest consecutive weeks ranked streak in NCAA history. Duke is the only program to finish in the top 10 of the AP poll in each of the last eight seasons. 

- Duke has posted an 832-154 record in Cameron, including a 474-59 mark under Coach K. The Blue Devils have 18 undefeated home seasons, including 11 under Coach K and four in the past six years. The Blue Devils have won 279 of their past 298 games in Cameron. 

They Said It:

“It was a good first outing for us. We handled the ball well. We had nine turnovers in a game where you have 75 shots. We have a lot of young guys and it’s the first time for Brandon (Ingram) and Luke (Kennard) and Derryck (Thornton) and all those guys. Overall, I thought they did well.” - Coach Krzyzewski on the first exhibition game

The Prediction

For the second straight week, it is unlikely that Duke will be truly challenged.  However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of areas the Blue Devils will be looking to tweak and refine as the season opener looms.  We’d look for a deep rotation to be played while also establishing the top eight players.  

The pick…

Duke - 96
Livingstone - 61


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