Previewing Shaw (0-0)

The Blue Devils tip off the 2006-2007 hoops season on Thursday night at 7:00 PM EST in Cameron Indoor with a game against the Shaw Bears. The Bears are coached by former Duke player Robert Brickey.

11 Duke (0-0) vs. Shaw (0-0)
Durham, N.C. – Cameron Indoor Stadium
7:00 p.m., Inside Access

Program Vitals
Conference: CIAA
Nickname: Bears
Colors: Maroon & White
Head Coach: Robert Brickey  (2nd year)
Career Record at Southern: 6-19 (6-19 Overall)

Projected Starters:
42 Melvin Smith (6-3, 190, Jr.) – 12.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.6 apg
25 John Kornegay (5-11, 170, So.) – 3.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg
23 Larry McCullers (6-4, 190, Jr.) – 1.1 ppg, 0.9 rpg
21 Brandon Greene (6-6, 210, Jr.) – 4.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg
30 Damola Obadina (6-5, 225, Jr.) – N/A

Key Reserves:
10 Mike Backet (6-1, 200, Jr.) – N/A
 4 Jonathan Mudd (6-1, 170, Fr.) – N/A
 3 Cori Gaither (6-5, 180, Jr.) – N/A
34 Stephen Yamoah (6-6, 215, Jr.) - 0.5 ppg


Old Hat For The Coach: Though they aren't likely to be accomodating when the ball is tipped, the Blue Devils will happily welcome back former player and current Bear head coach Robert Brickey, who played under Duke's Mike Krzyzewski from the 1986-87 season through the 1989-90 season. He served as team captain in 1990 and received first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament honors in 1988. He was a member of three Final Four teams and started in the national championship game in 1990.

The Series: This will be the first meeting between the Bears and Blue Devils.

Bears Lack Height: Shaw returns no player over 6-foot-5 from last year's team that went 6-19 overall. The Bears do welcome transfer Damola Obadina, who averaged 10 points per game for Minneanpolis Community College a season, while helping the Marauders to a 29-5 overall record and the number two Division III national ranking.

Duke Largely Unproven: The Blue Devils enter the 2006-2007 without a proven scorer for the first time in years, and will be the youngest team to wear the royal and white since the early 1940s. Junior swingman DeMarcus Nelson is the lone scholarship player to have played two seasons in Durham.

On top of the youth, the Blue Devils will be without starting point guard Greg Paulus as the junior continues to mend an injured foot sustained in practice. In his place will likely be 6-foot-5 Illinois freshman Jon Scheyer. In the annual Blue-White Scrimmage Scheyer logged five points and five assists in 27 minutes, though he struggled with his jumpshot, going just 2-of-9 from the field and 0-of-5 from the perimeter.

Size Could Matter: With the Bears having no player over 6'6, it's likely that the Duke frontline will be highly successful inside. Sophomore Wooden Award candidate Josh McRoberts will lead the charge along with freshmen Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas. On Saturday Zoubek was the talk of the annual Blue-White game, logging 27 points while pulling down 10 rebounds, and blocking three shots. Thomas added 15 points , three rebounds and three blocks in 30 minutes.


Duke by a lot.

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