Preview: Duke (0-0 vs. Boston U. (0-0)

Duke opens the 2005-2006 season against the Boston Unviersity Terriers in Cameron Indoor Stadium. TDD previews the game and offers a look at the season's first opponent.


Vitals:
Location: Boston, Mass.
Conference: America East
Nickname: Terriers 
Colors: Red & White
Head Coach: Dennis Wolf (12th year)
Career Record at BU: 192-133
Last Year: 20-9 (14-4, NIT First Round)

Returning Starters: 
   Brian Graves (6-2, 200, Sr.)  - 6.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.2 apg
   Kevin Gardner (6-8, 222, Sr.) – 7.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg
 
Key Returnees: 
   Matt Wolff  (6-5, 195, So.) – 4.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
   Tony Gaffney  (6-8, 185, So.) – 3.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg
   Bryan Geffen  (5-10, 165, So.) – 4.3 ppg
   Omari Peterkin  (6-8, 255, Jr.) – 2.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg

Newcomers: 
   Ben Coblyn (6-8, 245, Fr.*) Amherst, Mass.
   Irahim Konate (6-8, 194, Fr.*) Bamako, Mali
   Marques Johnson (5-11, 160, Fr.) Hazlet, N.J.
   Brendan Sullivan (6-8. 210, Fr.) Darien, Conn.
   Corey Hassan (6-4, 185, Fr.) Merrimack, N.H.

Notable:

- The Blue Devils boast a 5-0 record all time against the Terriers with all five meetings coming within the last 20 years. The two teams last met in 1994 with Duke winning 71-54.

- Last season the Terriers went 20-9 overall and 14-4 in the America East Conference to earn a bid to the Post Season NIT. There they were defeated in the opening round by Georgetown.

- Coach Wolff lost first team All-Conference performers Rashad Bell and Chaz Carr to graduation and big forward Etienne Brower to transfer (Umass). The trio accounted for 37 points and 14 rebounds per game a year ago. Returning seniors Shaun Wynn and Kevin Gardner are expected to step into leadership roles according to Coach Wolff. Still the team is picked second in the annual America East preseason poll by the league's coaches.

- Coach Wolff has led BU to a record of 85-36 over the past four seasons – the most wins in any four year period in the program's 103 year history. BU earned an NCAA Tournament bid in 2002 and has been to the post season NIT in each of the three season since.

- Coach Wolff spent eight years in the heart of ACC country as an assistant coach for Virginia and Wake Forest. From 1985-89, Wolff was an assistant for the Demon Deacons under Bob Staak, then re-appeared in the league at Virginia under Jeff Jones from 1990-94. Wolff helped the Cavaliers advance to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 1993 and win an NIT title in 1992. Wolff was hired at BU directly from Virginia.

- The NCAA will try out a few experimental rules as per usual during its early-season tournaments. These changes will affect the Terriers only as far as they advance in the NIT and will not apply to the remainder of the season: The three-point line will be extended to 20'9", 12 inches longer than the standard 19'9". The free-throw lane will be extended by one foot on each side, increasing from 12' to a total of 14'. A restricted arc will be in place extending as a 3' radius from under the basket. Defenders standing in this arc cannot draw charges.

- Last season Boston led the NCAA in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 37% on the season. The Terriers also held their opponents to just 55 points per contest – third best in the NCAA.

- Freshman guard Tyler Morris (Indianapolis, Ind.) will miss the entire season after tearing several ligaments in his foot in preseason practice. Morris, who was expected to contend for playing time in the backcourt, landed on a teammate's foot less than two weeks into practice, and underwent surgery on November 7 to repair the ligaments.

- The Blue Devils are 76-24 (.760) in season openers, including 23-2 (.920) under Mike Krzyzewski and won five consecutive season openers overall (last loss was vs. Stanford on Nov. 11, 1999) and 23 consecutive home openers dating back to a 76-75 setback to Vanderbilt on Nov. 28, 1981. Coach K is 24-1 in home openers at Duke.

- Duke has lost only 26 games the past five years. Opponents' average margin of victory in those games is just 5.7 points. Last season, Duke's five losses were by an average of 4.6 points.

- Duke has 248 wins over the last eight seasons, 29 more then the next closest Division I program (Kentucky - 219).


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