Preview: Duke (10-0) vs. St. Johns (5-3)

After knocking off some rust against Valparaiso after exam week, Duke returns to action on Wednesday to face the Red Storm of St. John's. TDD introduces SJU and previews the match up.


1/1 Duke (10-0) vs. St. John's (5-3)
Durham, N.C. – Cameron Indoor Stadium
6:00 p.m., espn2

Program Vitals
Conference: Big East
Nickname: Red Storm
Colors: Red & White
Head Coach: Norm Roberts (2nd year)
Career Record at St. John's: 14-21
Last Year: 9-18 (3-13 Big East)

Projected Starters: 
   Daryll Hill (6-0, 168, Jr.)  - 14.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.4 apg
   Eugene Lawrence (6-1, 217, So.) – 8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.9 apg,
   Anthony Mason, Jr. (6-7, 203, Fr.) – 7.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
   Lamont Hamilton (6-10, 253, Jr.) – 13.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg
   Aaron Spears (6-10, 256, Jr.) – 5.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg

Key Reserves: 
   Dexter Gray (6-7, 214, So.) – 5.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg
   Cedric Jackson (6-2, 195, So.) – 5.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg
   Ricky Torres (6-5, 221, Fr.) – 3.4 ppg
   Phil Missere (6-9, 206, Sr.) – 1.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Storylines:

Welcome To The Big Time: Through eight games this season, the Red Storm have yet to face a nationally ranked opponent. That will change on Wednesday night as they face off against the No. 1 Blue Devils in Cameron.

The most notable opponent has been the Virginia Tech Hokies, who defeated SJU 73-64 in Blacksburg on December 10th. The Red Storm followed that loss up with another defeat against Marist (56-53) on December 17th.

Defense in NYC The Red Storm has held its opponents to 54.9 points per game so far in 2005-06, which rates as the seventh-best mark in the country. St. John's has also held opponents to just a 36.2% mark in field goal shooting – good enough to be ranked in the top ten of that statistical match up in the NCAA.

If the defensive effort isn't good enough, then the board work put in by the Red Storm certainly is. Through eight games the Storm are pulling in an average of 43.4 rebounds per contest – yet another category in which they claim a top ten spot amongst all NCAA Division One teams.

Right Man For the Job: Native New Yorker Norm Roberts returns for his second season on the Red Storm sidelines. Roberts' energy has revitalized the basketball program and has St. John's moving toward being a formidable competitor in the BIG EAST once again. His career record at St. John's is now 14-21. During his first season at SJU, Roberts guided his team to victories over No. 17 North Caroina State and No. 21 Pittsburgh. Though the team struggled to just a 9-18 mark in 2004-2005, the Red Storm saw 17 contests decided by 10 or fewer points including a 58-48 loss to No. 7 Duke in Madison Square Garden.

Hill Living Up to the Hype: Red Storm junior guard Daryll Hill was named to the 2005-06 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, and St. John's was picked to finish among the Top 10 teams in the new-look Big East.

Hill became the 42nd St. John's player to score more than 1,000 points on Nov. 26, as he netted 16 in the 67-61 win over Niagara. Hill is one of 29 St. John's players to achieve the feat in three seasons or less.

Historical Notes: When the Blue Devils and Red Storm face off on Wednesday, it will be a meeting of the No. 4 and No. 5 place teams on the all-time win list. Duke sits fourth with 1,765 all time victories, while SJU is fifth with 1,677 all time wins.

With an all time record of 1,677-803 (.676), the Red Storm rank eight in all time winning percentage. Duke ranks fifth all time with an overall record of 1,765-787 (.692).

Duke Notes:

- J.J. Redick scored 30 points against Valparaiso to reach double figures for the 96th time in his career including all 10 games this season ... he now has scored in double figures in 40 straight contests and 47 of 49 dating back to the 2003-04 season ... Redick has now scored 20 or more points six times this season, including three straight, and in 48 career games, pushing Duke's record to 42-6 in those contests (6-0 this year) ... Redick has reached the 30-point plateau three times this year, including two straight, and nine times in his career. Duke is 8-1 when Redick scores 30 and 3-0 this season.

- With his 30 points, Redick pushes his career total to 2,059 and he remains in eighth place on the Duke chart. He is just 10 points behind Gene Banks (1978-81) and Jason Williams (2000-02), who both scored 2,079 in their Duke careers

- Shelden Williams picked up 19 points and 11 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season and 41st of his career, pushing Duke's record to 35-6 when he records a double-double ... Williams remains in 28th place on Duke's career scoring chart with 1,441 points, 15 away from Chris Carrawell and Vince Taylor with 1,455. He also remains in seventh place on Duke's rebounding chart with 960 career boards as Gene Banks is sixth on the list with 985 ... Williams' two blocked shots gives him 320 in his career and he remains in second on Duke's list and eighth on the ACC chart..

- The Blue Devils have won 200 of their last 214 games against unranked opponents at home. Duke is now 135-8 as the top-ranked team against unranked opponents and now 61-0 in such games at home.

- Duke is now 117-6 in the last 123 games played at Cameron Indoor Stadium, a winning percentage of .951.


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