Preview: Duke (8-0) v. Michigan (3-5)

Previewing the Blue Devils and Wolverines who will tip off in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday at 2:00 PM. The game will be nationally broadcast on CBS.


Duke (8-0) vs Michigan (3-5)
Durham, NC - Cameron Indoor Stadium
TV: CBS / Tip: 2:00 PM EST

Program Vitals
Conference: Big 10 Conference
Nickname: Wolverines
Colors: Blue and Gold
Head Coach: John Beilein (1st year)
Career Record at Michigan: 3-5 (554-323 Overall)

Projected Starters:
24 Ron Coleman (6-6, 210, Sr.) – 7.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.3 apg
34 DeShawn Sims  (6-8, 235, So.) – 12.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg
32 Zach Gibson (6-10, 220, Sr.) – 6.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg
 3 Manny Harris (6-5, 180, Fr.) – 16.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.1 apg
44 Kelvin Grady (5-11, 170, Jr.) – 7.0 ppg, 2.6 apg

Key Reserves:
22 Ekpe Udoh (6-10, 230, So.) – 5.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg
 1 Jerret Smith  (6-3, 195, Jr.) – 4.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
12 Anthony Wright (6-6, 235, So.) – 2.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg
 2 C.J. Lee (6-0, 180, Sr.) - 2.0 rpg, 1.4 rpg

Storylines:

How They Got Here:
Duke has reeled off eight straight victories to begin the season 8-0 for the third time in the last four seasons. In those eight victories the Blue Devils have out-scored their opponents by a 24.2 point per game margin. Most recently the Blue Devils defeated Davidson in Charlotte 79-73.

The Wolverines haven't started nearly as strong in 2007, winning just three of their first eight games of the season under new coach John Beilein. It's no surprise as Michigan lost four starters from last year's 22 win squad. The Wolverines will enter Cameron Indoor Stadium after losing five of their previous six including Saturday's 11 point loss to Harvard. The Blue Devils will be the third ranked opponent Michigan has faced this season. The Wolverines fell 74-52 to No. 5 Georgetown and 79-65 to No. 22 Butler in mid-November.

Series History:
Tuesday's game will mark the 25th time the Blue Devils have faced Michigan with Duke holding a 17-7 advantage overall and a 7-3 lead in games played in Durham. More recently the Blue Devils have won five straight in the series, scoring 100 points in four of those five contests.

On The Road Again:
Despite implementing a new system, under a new coach, with four new starters, the Wolverines are playing six of their first nine contests on the road this season. It began with the trip to Alaska and continued with stops at Eastern Washington, Western Kentucky, and then a trip to Harvard. Each of those last five games has come within a grueling 11 day stretch.

Individual Stats Worth Noting:
Manny Harris has reached double figures in each game this season, and leads the team with a 16.6 ppg average - reaching 22 points twice this season. Ekpe Udoh has recorded a blocked shot in each game this season, and leads the Big 10 with an average of 3.14 blocks per game. Both Udoh and Ron Coleman have played in every game during their careers. Kelvin Grady leads the team's perimeter attack, shooting 52.2% from the perimeter (12-for-23).

Changes All Around For Michigan:
In addition to hiring a new coach, the Wolverines begin the season with eight new players or rarely used on the 14 man roster. Zack Gibson transferred into the program from Rutgers, while C.J. Lee made the switch from Manhattan. Meanwhile, reserve K'len Morris missed 28 games a year ago because of injury and Anthony Wright redshirted. A four man freshman class of Kelvin Grady, Manny Harris, Adam Block and Eric Puls is also new to the equation.

Despite the several new faces, Michigan seems to have settled on a starting five of Coleman, Sims, Gibson, Grady, and Harris. That group has started in each of the first eight games of hte season.

Valuing the Basketball:
Even with the new faces, the Wolverines have been able to take good care of the basketball this season, committing just 12.0 turnovers per game. That number will be put to the test against the Blue Devils who have forced an average of 19.8 turnovers per game from their opponents.

Coach K continues assault on wins list
Duke's victory over Davidson was Krzyzewski's 783rd, good enough for eighth on the all-time list. Coach K has 783 wins overall and 710 as the head coach of Duke.

Notable Numbers:
Duke has won 55 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents - the nation's best active streak. Duke has posted a record of 185-3 (.984) against non-conference foes in their last 188 games in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke has won 34 straight games in December and is 38-1 (.974) in the month since the 2000-01 season. The Blue Devils' last December loss was an 84-83 setback against Stanford on Dec. 21, 2000. Since 1997-1998 the Blue Devils are 119-4 against unranked opponents at home.

Prediction:

Duke 91
Michigan 67


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