1/1 Duke (26-1, 13-0) vs. Temple (15-10, 8-6)
Philadelphia, Pa. – Wachovia Center
2:30 p.m., ESPN
Program Vitals Conference: Atlantic 10 Nickname: Owls Colors: Red & White Head Coach: John Chaney Career Record at Temple: 514-248 (739-307 Overall)
Projected Starters: 25 Mardy Collins (6-6, 205, Sr.) – 16.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.8 apg 3 Dustin Salisbery (6-5, 205, Jr.) – 10.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg 13 Mark Tyndale (6-5, 210, So.) – 10.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.2 spg 24 Antywane Robinson (6-8, 210, Sr.) – 12.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg 50 Wayne Marshall (6-11, 285, Jr.) – 7.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg Key Reserves: 22 Dionte Christmas (6-6, 190, Fr.) – 3.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg 33 Nehemiah Ingram (6-8, 250, Sr.) – 1.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg 4 Dion Dacons (6-6, 210, Jr.) - 2.0 rpg 32 DaShone Kirkendoll (6-5, 200, So.) - 0.9 ppg
Back To Basketball: Much was made of last year's ugly incident involving Temple coach John Chaney's decision to "send in the goon" to rough up an opposing player. The fact that the player in question suffered a serious injury compounded an already ugly situation. The Owls ended the season with a disappointing loss to Rutgers in the NIT saw the Scarlet Knights knock down 10 perimeter jumpers on the night, an occurrence that was all too familiar to the Owls as their once vaunted match-up zone defense routinely allowed open looks a season ago. This year the Owls continue to stick with the zone defense, which has yielded a 36% shooting clip from the perimeter by opponents through 25 games.
The Series: This will be the 24th meeting between Temple and Duke with the Blue Devils holding a 14-9 advantage. Duke has won the last five meetings in the series and seven of the eight encounters during the John Chaney Era. The Owls' lone win under Chaney came on January 25, 1996, a 59-58 decision at the Spectrum. Two of Duke's wins, 63-53 in 1988 and 85-64 in 1999, came in the Elite Eight and denied Chaney a berth in the NCAA Final Four. Duke has been ranked among the Top 5 in the nation in all seven of its wins in the Chaney Era, with four of the games holding the #1 spot.
Last Time: Mardy Collins scored 23 points and Dustin Salisbery contributed 21, but it was not enough as #5 Duke remained undefeated (11-0) with an 82-74 win. The Owls drew within five points at 77-72 with 1:31 to play but Duke went 5-for-6 from the line to close the game. After Temple took an 8-2 lead, Daniel Ewing, who had a game-high 24 points, scored the next five, igniting a 12-2 run to give the Blue Devils a 14-10 lead. The Owls would quickly tie the game on two baskets by Salisbery, but would never regain the lead. The game was a chess match between two Hall of Fame and 700-win coaches, John Chaney and Mike Krzyzewski. Duke appeared to be on the verge of breaking the game wide open early in the second half, as Lee Melchionni drained two threes from the right corner and J.J. Redick (21 pts) pulled up for one of his five three-pointers to cap a 9-0 run. That gave the Blue Devils their largest lead, 49-39, with 14:07 to play.
No. 1 Woes: Temple is 2-9 all-time when playing the nation's top-ranked team. The Owls won at Cincinnati, 77-69, on February 20, 2000 for their last upset of a Number One team. The other win over a Number One came on December 22, 1995, a 74-66 overtime win over Kansas at the Meadowlands. Duke is 4-0 against Temple when holding the Number One slot. The Blue Devils also defeated Temple in the 1988 NCAA Elite Eight when the Owls were Number One, 63-53. Duke was ranked fifth at the time.
Valuing the Basketball: Temple led the nation in fewest turnovers per game for the third straight season in 2004-05, averaging a mere 9.2 per contest. In John Chaney's 23 previous years at Temple, the Owls have averaged 10 turnovers or less 11 times. The best average for a Temple team under Chaney came during the 1992-93 season when the Owls posted an 8.54 turnovers per game average. In the 13 years that the NCAA has been tracking fewest turnovers per game, Temple has led the nation 10 times. Besides last year, the Owls ranked first nationally in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004. The three years that Temple did not lead the nation, it was among the Top 10 in the country, ranking third in 2002, fourth in 1998 and seventh in 1996.
Besides leading the nation in fewest turnovers per game (through games of 2/20/06), Temple ranks 16th in scoring defense (58.9 ppg.) and seventh in fewest personal fouls (15.0 fpg.). The Owls are 12th nationally in steals per game (10.0 spg.). Individually, Mardy Collins ranks 12th (2.8 spg.) and Mark Tyndale (2.3 spg.) is 34th in steals per game. (-Temple Sports Info.)
- J.J. Redick now has 2,579 career points, second most in ACC history behind Dickie Hemric and his total of 2,587.
Redick has now connected on 105 three-pointers this season and remains in sixth place on Duke's season chart. Immediately ahead in fifth place is Jason Williams, who hit 108 triples in 2002. He now has 774 points this season and moved into seventh place on Duke's season chart. He passed Christian Laettner's total of 771 in 1991 and is immediately behind Shane Battier's 2001 total of 778. Redick has now scored 422 points in 14 ACC contests becoming the first Duke player to score 400 points in a conference season. His total of 383 from 2005 was Duke's ACC record.
- Shelden Williams scored a game-high 26 points and added 11 rebounds and two steals in 32 minutes for Duke. He connected on 11-of-17 field goals and 4-of-5 free throws.
It was his 27th career 20 point game and his 14th of the season. Williams has reached double figures in scoring in 92 career games and 25 of 26 this season and has 52 career double-doubles, and 14 this season. Both are tops in the ACC. His 52 career double-doubles is tied with Mike Gminski for third-most in Duke history.
Williams now has 1,148 career rebounds and remained in third place at Duke and 13th in ACC history. Immediately ahead on both lists is Christian Laettner with 1,149 career rebounds.
- Duke is now 14-0 in the ACC for the third time in school history. Duke's 1963 team (14-0) and 1999 team (16-0) both finished with perfect ACC marks. Additionally, Duke's 14 wins ties the '63 team for fourth-most in Duke history behind the 1999 team's 16. The 1998 and 2000 teams both went 15-1 in ACC play.
Coach K now has 747 career victories and moves out of a tie with Phog Allen for and now has sole possession of 11th place in NCAA history. He also has 674 wins at Duke, eighth most in NCAA history and just one win shy of Louisville's Denny Crum (675) on the chart for most wins at one school.