2/2 Duke (19-1, 7-0) vs. 15/14 Boston College (16-4, 4-3)
Chestnut Hill, Mass. – Silvio O. Conte Forum
9 p.m., ESPN
Program Vitals Conference: ACC Nickname: Eagles Colors: Crimson, Gold, & White Head Coach: Al Skinner (9th year) Career Record at Boston College: 163-104 (301-230 overall) Last Year: 25-5 (NCAA Second Round)
Projected Starters: 11 Louis Hinnant (6-4, 190, Sr.) – 6.6 ppg, 4.4 apg 23 Sean Marshall (6-6, 212, Jr.) – 12.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg 3 Jared Dudley (6-7, 225, Jr.) – 16.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg 1 Craig Smith (6-7, 250, Sr.) – 18.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg 32 John Oates (6-10, 255, So.) - 3.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg Key Reserves: 4 Tyrese Rice (6-0, 183, Fr.) – 9.7 ppg, 2.8 apg 5 Akida McLain (6-8, 220, So.) – 5.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg 00 Marquez Haynes (6-3, 185, Fr.) – 2.9 ppg 51 Sean Williams (6-10, 230, So.) – 3.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Bouncing Back: Picked to finish second to the Blue Devils in the Preseason ACC Polls, and ranked in the top 10 in every national poll. However, the Eagles shocked many by losing their first three conference battles to Maryland, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina State. The losses to the Terrapins and Yellow Jackets were by two points apiece, but the Wolfpack were able to handle the Eagles with relative ease in Chestnut Hill, 78-60.
Since that big loss to NC State, the Eagles have put together a five game winning streak that includes four straight in the ACC over Miami, Georgia Tech, Florida State, and North Carolina.
Dynamic Duo: Any defensive scheme set up to slow down the Eagles has to start with Craig Smith and Jared Dudley, both of whom were named first-team All-Big East last season. Smith, who stands 6-foot-7, operates almost exclusively in the paint where he uses everyone of his 250lbs to muscle his way around, and sometimes through, opposing big men to the tune of a team best 18.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Meanwhile Dudley is able to operate inside or outside depending on the defender he draws. At 6-foot-7 he's proven the ability to serve as Coach Skinner's ‘go-to-guy' throughout his career.
Supporting Cast is Pretty Good Too: Junior guard Sean Marshall, BC's third-leading scorer (12.6 ppg), has been "scoring in bunches" of late. Against North Carolina, Marshall scored nine of 11 BC points in a two minute stretch in the first half to turn a six-point deficit into a three-point lead. Against Georgia Tech, the junior tallied seven straight BC points in a 77-second, first-half rally to turn a one-point deficit into a five-point advantage. Senior guard Louis Hinnant, who currently ranks second in the ACC in assist-turnover ratio, has committed one turnover or less in 11 games this season. He played more than 20 minutes in each of those contests.
The Series: Boston College has a 1-4 all-time record against Duke. The two teams had not met in 10 years before playing a home-and-home series in 2000-01 and 2001-02. In the most recent meeting, the top-ranked Blue Devils earned an 88-78 victory in Conte Forum (Jan. 24, 2002). One year earlier -- on Jan. 16, 2001 -- second-ranked Duke downed the 25th-ranked Eagles, 97-75 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
I Know You: Craig Smith and Duke's Shelden Williams joined forces this past summer to lead Team USA to the gold medal at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey ... While nearly four years separate them in age, Smith and Duke freshman Jamal Boykin share at least one thing in common. Both proudly proclaim Los Angeles' Fairfax High School as their alma mater.
- J.J. Redick scored a game-high 40 points against Virginia on Saturday night in Cameron, while hitting a blistering 11-of-13 from the field, 8-of-10 from behind the arc and 10-of-11 from the free throw line. Redick recorded his third 40-point game of the season and third of his career. He ties Dick Groat for most 40-point games in both a season and career in Duke history.
Redick now has 2,360 career points and passed Mike Gminski for third place on Duke's career chart and sixth place on the ACC's career chart. Immediately ahead on both charts is Christian Laettner (2,460).
- Josh McRoberts recorded his second consecutive start and responded with nine points, and four rebounds in just 20 minutes of action.
- Freshman Greg Paulus leads the ACC in assists per game (5.20). Only three freshmen — Jeff Jones, Kenny Anderson and Ed Cota — have led the conference in assists per game. Paulus has led the Blue Devils in assists 12 times and has had at least four assists in a game 14 times.
- Shelden Williams has 1,608 points, 1,074 rebounds, 359 blocked shots and 140 steals in his career. He is 10 steals shy of joining Pervis Ellison (Louisville) and David Robinson (Navy) as the only players in NCAA history with at least 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 350 blocks and 150 steals in a career.
- Duke is shooting an ACC-best 51.4 percent (565-of-1100) from the field on the year. The Blue Devils last shot over 50 percent for the year during the 1998-99 season.
- Duke also leads the ACC in free throw shooting at 77.0 percent (358-of-465) and has made more free throws (358) than its opponents have attempted (306). Duke has accomplished that feat eight times (1972, 1978, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999 & 2000). The Blue Devils are 13-0 this season when making more free throws than an opponent has attempted.