Preview: Duke (13-1) v. Florida St (12-5)

Previewing the Blue Devils and Seminoles who tip off on Wednesday night in Tallahassee, Fla. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN beginning at 7:00 PM EST.


Duke (13-1, 1-0) vs Florida State (12-5, 1-1)
Tallahassee, Fla - Donald L. Tucker Center
TV: ESPN / Tip: 7:00 PM EST

Program Vitals
Conference: Atlantic Coast
Nickname: Seminoles
Colors: Garnet & Gold
Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton (6th year)
Career Record at Florida State: 99-76 (299-286 Overall)

Projected Starters:
25 Jason Rich (6-3, 211, Sr.) – 12.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg
33 Matt Zitani (6-7, 230, 5th.) – 2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
41 Uche Echefu (6-9, 225, So.) – 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg
 3 Isaiah Swann (6-2, 198, Sr.) – 12.4 ppg, 3.3 apg
23 Toney Douglas (6-1, 200, Jr.) – 13.8 ppg, 3.0 apg

Key Reserves:
10 Ralph Mims (6-3, 205, Sr.) – 10.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg
 2 Jordan Demercy (6-7, 204, Fr.) – 1.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg
42 Ryan Reid (6-8, 237, So.) – 5.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg

Storylines:

How They Got Here:
The Blue Devils opened their 2008 ACC Regular Season schedule with an impressive showing against Virginia on Sunday evening, knocking down 11 perimeter jumpers and swarming the Cavaliers en route to an 87-65 victory. DeMarcus Nelson scored a game high 20 points to lead the Duke charge.

Meanwhile the Seminoles had two chances to move to 2-0 in conference play at Clemson, but failed to put the Tigers away both times, before falling 97-85 in double overtime. Overall the Seminoles have lost three of their last five games to sit at 12-5 overall.

Series History:
The Blue Devils and Seminoles have met 31 times before with Duke holding a 25-6 series advantage. However, Florida State has a two game winning streak over Duke, including last season's 68-67 victory in Cameron Indoor Stadium - the first time FSU had ever won at Duke. The Blue Devils hold a 10-5 advantage in games played in Tallahassee.

Injury Report:
Duke center Brian Zoubek is expect to miss the game against Florida State. He is expected back in a week.

Two Florida State freshmen basketball players - Solomon Alabi and Julian Vaughn - will be sidelined because of medical conditions that need to be corrected in order to allow both players to recover as soon as possible to continue their productive careers. Alabi underwent successful surgery on Jan. 2 to correct a tibial stress fracture in his right leg and will be out indefinitely and Vaughn will be out indefinitely while undergoing medical testing. Vaughn was at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio on Jan 8-9 to undergo testing.

Coaching Milestone Available:
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton will be looking to win his 300th career game, and 100th as the head coach of the Seminoles.

Don't Foul Florida State:
One of the most dangerous offensive weapons the Seminoles have utilized this season is their ability to make teams pay for putting them on the free throw line. Entering the game against the Blue Devils, FSU shooting .800 from the free throw line and rank first in the nation and conference. The Seminoles shot a season-high .938 from the free throw line (30-of-32) in defeating La Salle, 81-76, in Tallahassee on Jan. 5. It marked the third time this season the Seminoles shot better than 90 percent from the free throw line (also .935 vs. Cleveland State and .914 vs. Georgia State). Florida State has now shot 70 percent or better in 12 of 16 games; 80 percent or better in five of 16 games and 90 percent or better in three of its 16 games.

Balanced Attack For FSU:
Florida State enters Saturday's game against Duke with five players averaging in double figure scoring – Toney Douglas (13.8), Isaiah Swann (12.4), Jason Rich (12.0), Uche Echefu (11.4) and Ralph Mims (10.5). A total of five players had either led, or been tied for the lead in scoring, in the first 16 games of the season

Another Strong Backcourt Awaits Duke:
After dealing with Sean Singletary in the opener, the Blue Devils will now face off against the Seminole trio of Rich, Swann, and Douglas. Not only is the group talented, they are also very experienced. Rich (111 career games played and 88 career games started), Isaiah Swann (112 games played and 79 games started) and Ralph Mims (110 career games played) are all approaching career marks for games played and games started. The Seminole record for games played in 129 by Andrew Wilson (2001-06) while the school record for games started is 117 by Delvon Arrington (1999-02).

Rich as scored in double figures in seven straight games. He is averaging 16.5 points per game since scoring 15 points in the Seminoles' victory over Maine on Dec. 8 and is shooting 50% from the field in the last six games.

Douglas is ranked 19th in the nation with 42 steals and his career-high 2.6 steals per game average. He is the only ACC player who is ranked among the nation's top 50 players in the steals category.

Swann enters the game against Duke with 986 career points and needs only 14 points to become only the 40th player in Florida State history to score 1,000 or more career points. He has scored 199 points for a career-high 12.4 points per game scoring average this season and is averaging in double figure scoring for the second consecutive season. Swann averaged 10.3 points per game as a junior during the 2006-07 season. He's also hitting 97% from the free throw line.

Coach K continues assault on wins list
Duke's victory over Virginia was Krzyzewski's 788th, good enough for sixth on the all-time list. Eddie Sutton is fifth overall and second among active coaches with 798 win while first overall is Coach K's college coach, Bob Knight, with 899 wins. Coach K now has 715 wins at Duke, eighth all-time for most wins at one school and third among active coaches. Don Haskins from UTEP ranks seventh with 719 wins while Syracuse's Jim Boeheim is fourth overall and the top active coach with 762 wins as the Big Orange mentor. With 788 career wins in his first 33 seasons, Coach K is currently second on the NCAA's list of most victories in a coaches' first 33 season. He trails Dean Smith, who had 802 wins through 33 seasons.

Prediction:

Duke 78
Florida State 75


The Devils Den Top Stories