Meet the Spartans

Duke returns to the court after the holiday break to face the UNC-Greensboro Spartans. Last year the Blue Devils beat UNCG easily in Cameron, 98-44. TDD previews this year's match up.


1/1 Duke (11-0) vs. UNC Greensboro (5-4)
Greensboro, N.C. – Greensboro Coliseum
1:00 p.m., Raycom/JP

Program Vitals
Conference: Southern
Nickname: Spartans
Colors: Blue & Gold & White
Head Coach: Mike Dement (1st year, second time as head coach)
Career Record at UNC-Greensboro: 62-42
Last Year: 18-12 (9-7 Southern)

Projected Starters: 
   Dwyane Johnson (5-9, 180, So.) – 4.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.9 apg
   Kevin Oleksiak (6-4, 195, So.) – 14.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 41% 3pt
   Ricky Hickman (6-3, 175, Jr.) – 18.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 39% 3pt
   Kyle Hines (6-6, 230, So.) – 16.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.1 bpg
   Bart Tooms (6-11, 240, Jr.) – 5.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg

Key Reserves: 
   Brian Beckford (6-6, 190, So.) – 4.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg
   David McClenny (6-9, 225, Fr.) – 3.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg
   Matt Akinosho (6-7, 210, So.) – 3.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
   Everson Simmons (6-5, 205, Fr.) – 3.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg

Storylines:

What A Way To Start: Through their first 12 games of the season, the Spartans have avoided any ranked opponents. They'll get their first shot at a team in the various Top 25 polls when they host the top rated Blue Devils on Saturday.

To pull the upset would be a monumental accomplishment since Duke holds a 5-0 advantage in the all-time series with the Spartans. The Blue Devils are 136-8 against non-ranked opponents when Duke is ranked as the nation's top team.

Last season the Blue Devils hosted UNCG at Cameron Indoor, blowing the Spartans out by a score of 98-44. Six Blue Devils reached double figures with no starter playing more than 29 minutes as Duke cruised to the easy victory.

Youth Movement The Spartans have a young tem by most standards, starting two juniors and three sophomores. The first four subs off the bench are a pair of sophomores and freshmen, leaving the rotation devoid of any seniors, and just one junior in the top nine.

Familiar Foe: UNC Greensboro head coach Mike Dement began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant under Coach K at Duke in 1982. Dement served as the architect of the program in its move to Division I. The Louisburg, NC native was the Spartans' head coach from 1991-95, leading them from a team with no conference affiliation to the top of the Big South Conference regular season standings in just four seasons. In his last two seasons at UNCG, Dement's teams went 38-18, including a school-record 23 wins in 1994-95. That year, his team won the Big South Conference's regular season title and was the runner up in the conference tournament. The team received votes in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls for the first time in school history during that record setting season.

Getting Comfortable At Home: The Greensboro Coliseum will also host first and second round NCAA Tournament games, March 16 & 18. Duke has opened up NCAA Tournament play at the coliseum four times, posting an 8-0 record there. Duke's 1992 and 2001 NCAA title runs both began at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Duke Notes:

- Freshman Greg Paulus leads the ACC in assists per game (5.27). Only three freshmen (Jeff Jones, Kenny Anderson and Ed Cota) have led the conference in assists per game. Paulus has 58 assists on the year, including 27 in the last three games. His 2.00:1 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the ACC. Paulus' assist-to turnover ratio in Duke's last three games is a remarkable 5.40:1.

- In his last five games, Sean Dockery is averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.4 steals per game while shooting 62.9 percent (22-of-35) from the field and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from three-point range. Dockery has reached double-figures in scoring in four of the past five contests.

- Shelden Williams has 42 career double-doubles, including four this year. Duke is 36-6 in those contests, including a 4-0 mark his season. Williams had double-doubles in each of the Blue Devils last two contests.

- Redick now sits with 2,077 career points. Against UNCG he is likely to pass both Jason Williams and Gene Banks who sit tied in the sixth position with 2,079 career points. Mark Alarie and Danny Ferry are immediately above Williams and Banks at 2,136 and 2,155 points respectively. On the season Redick is averaging 24.7 points per contest, which leads the ACC and ranks second in the country.


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