1/1 Duke (28-1, 14-0) vs. Florida State (17-8, 7-7)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – DONALD L. TUCKER CENTER (12,100)
7 p.m., ESPN
Program Vitals Conference: ACC Nickname: Seminoles Colors: Garnett, Gold, & White Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton (4th year) Career Record at Florida State: 62-56 (262-266 overall) Last Time: Duke-97, Florida State-96 OT
Projected Starters: 3 Isaiah Swann (6-1, 197, So.) – 8.4 ppg, 3.0 apg 4 Todd Galloway (5-11, 178, Sr.) – 7.6 ppg, 3.3 apg 21 Jason Rich (6-3, 185, So.) – 10.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg 12 Al Thornton (6-7, 208, Jr.) – 16.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg 32 Alexander Johnson (6-10, 25o, Jr.) – 12.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg Key Reserves: 20 Andrew Wilson (6-6, 220, Sr.) – 6.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg 25 Diego Romero (6-10, 240, Sr.) – 4.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg 11 Jerel Allen (6-4, 195, Jr.) – 3.6 ppg 41 Uche Echefu (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg
You're Not In Cameron Anymore: After squeaking out a one point win at home in the first meeting, the Blue Devils will have their hands full on the road against the Seminoles. In fact, Florida State has won two of the past four meetings at the Tucker Center, including a win over then No. 1 ranked Duke, 77-76, on Jan. 6, 2002 and a victory over the then No. 5 ranked Blue Devils, 75-70, on Feb. 2, 2003. If the Seminoles can earn another win on Wednesday, it'll be just the second time they have defeated the nation's top ranked team in school history.
Star Watch: Junior All-ACC candidate Al Thornton has been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 6 First-Team. Thornton, who has developed into one of the nation's top players, enters Wednesday's game averaging a career-high 16.4 points and a career-high 6.7 rebounds per game. He was a man among boys in the first match up, killing the Blue Devils on the boards and in the paint to the tune of 37 points and 15 rebounds.
That performance prompted high praise from Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
"There aren't many kids like him (Al Thornton). He's one of the best players in the country," said Krzyzewski He's having an all-conference type of season. He has more athleticism than a second big man and he's bigger than most perimeter guys."
Thornton is shooting a career-high .546 from the field this season and has made a team-leading and career-high 149 field goals this season. He has made an average of nearly six field goals per game as compared to an average of 2.2 field goals made per game during the first two years of his career. He's also shooting a career best .531 from the 3-point arc as well as setting a career mark of 71% from the free throw line.
The Series: Florida State last beat Duke 75-70 in February of 2003 at home. Since then the Seminoles have dropped five straight to the Blue Devils. Last year in Tallahassee the Blue Devils jumped to an 18-8 lead and steadily building it to as many as 33 late in the game. Redick was nine of 18 from the floor, including eight of 11 from 3-point distance and perfect in five tries at the line. Isaiah Swann came off the bench to lead Florida State with 13 points and Von Wafer added 10, eight in the second half. Daniel Ewing added 14 points, and Shelden Williams contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds to help Duke to a 37-28 advantage on the boards. Shavlik Randolph was five-for-five from the field and finished with 10 points. Florida State started cold, hitting just four of its first 20 field goal tries as Duke bolted to a 31-14 lead. Duke shot 55.4 percent for the game to Florida State's 33.3 percent.
Emotions Will Be High: Seniors Todd Galloway (Baltimore, Md.), Andrew Wilson (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Diego Romero (Comodoro, Rivadavia, Argentina) will be honored prior to Wednesday night's game against Duke.
- Duke is 27-1 for just the second time in school history (Duke's 1999 squad was 37-1 entering the national championship game). The Blue Devils are 14-0 in ACC play for the third time in school history. Duke has twice finished conference play undefeated (14-0 in 1963 & 16-0 in 1999). Six other teams in ACC history have finished conference regular season play undefeated (1957 North Carolina, 1970 South Carolina, 1973 N.C. State, 1974 N.C. State, 1984 North Carolina, & 1987 North Carolina).
- Duke is shooting an ACC-high 50.4 percent (785-of-1,557) from the field. The Blue Devils last shot over 50 percent for the year during the 1998-99 season. Josh McRoberts (61.8 pct.) and Shelden Williams (58.8 pct.) are each shooting over 58.0 percent from the field, while Sean Dockery (49.7 pct.), J.J. Redick (49.7 pct.) and DeMarcus Nelson (49.4 pct.) all are shooting over 49.0 percent from the field this season.
- The Blue Devils are shooting an ACC-best 40.4 percent (216-of-534) from three-point range, while holding the opposition to an ACC-low 29.2 percent (103-of-353). On the year, J.J. Redick has more treys (106) than the Duke defense has allowed (103).
- J.J. Redick (28.0 ppg.) and Shelden Williams (18.8 ppg.) rank one and three in the ACC in scoring (North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough is second at 18.9 ppg.). In the 53 years of the ACC, no teammates have ever finished in the top two spots of the conference scoring race.
- Freshman Greg Paulus leads the ACC in assists per game (5.29). Only three freshmen — Jeff Jones (Virginia), Kenny Anderson (Georgia Tech) and Ed Cota (North Carolina) — have led the conference in assists per game. Paulus has 148 assists, the fifth most in a season by a Blue Devil freshman (Chris Duhon is immediately ahead with 163 assists).
- Shelden Williams collected ACC Player of the Week accolades on Feb. 27 after registering back-to-back double-doubles in wins over Georgia Tech and Temple. For the week, he averaged 24.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game while shooting 64.3 percent (18-28) from the field.
- Duke has played 24 of its 28 games against teams currently ranked in the top 125 of the RPI. The Blue Devils are 23-1 on the season in those games. Duke is 3-1 versus top-25 teams, 7-1 against teams in the top 50 of the RPI and 15-1 against top-75 teams.