Duke (5-0) vs Montana (2-1)
Durham, N.C. - Cameron Indoor Stadium
TV: Fox Sports Net / Tip: 1:00 PM E
Program Vitals Conference: Big Sky Nickname: Grizzles Colors: Maroon and White Head Coach: Wayne Tinkle (3rd season) Career Record at Montana: 33-32
Projected Starters: 2 Jordan Hasquet (6-9, 245, Sr.) – 13.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg 44 Jack McGillis (6-6, 215, Jr.) – 6.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg 41 Bryan Qvale (6-11, 255, So.) – 10.3 ppg, 8.0 apg 3 Ryan Staudacher (6-4, 205, Jr.) – 16.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 68.7 3pt% 5 Ceylon Elgin-Taylor (6-2, 185, Sr.) – 3.3 ppg, 6.0 apg .0 ppg Key Reserves: 40 Kyle Sharp (6-7, 220, Sr.) – 2.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg 13 Michael Taylor (6-4, 190, So.) – 5.3 ppg 23 Anthony Johnson (6-2, 195, Jr.) – 7.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg 24 Derek Selvig (7-0, 225, Fr.) - 5.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Storylines For Montana:
How They Got Here:
The Blue Devils return home after routing Southern Illinois and Michigan on back to back days in the final two rounds of the 2k Sports Coaches v. Cancer Classic in New York's Madison Square Garden. Currently Duke sports a 5-0 record.
Montana enters the game riding a two game win streak, albeit over a different caliber opponent having defeated UM-Western by eight and Mississippi Valley State by 23. The Grizzles' only loss was to Colorado State by a score of 85-55.
Both clubs were picked to finish second in their respective conferences.
This will be the first meeting between Montana and Duke. The Blue Devils have never faced a team from the Big Sky conference.
Duke point guard Greg Paulus continues to rehab from an injury to his right forearm, though he averaged just under 20 minutes per game in the two games in New York.
Montana Hopes For Sixth Man Advantage:
In all liklihood it's going to take a monumental effort for the Grizzles to pull off an upset on Sunday afternoon. One thing they have going for them, however, is that Duke returned to Durham very late on Friday night and into Saturday morning. After playing back to back days and then dealing with travel to Durham and then playing less than a day later, fatigue could be an issue.
Make Sure To Lookout For...
Junior scoring guard Ryan Staudacher is a very good shoot from the perimeter having made 11-of-16 so far this season (68.7%). Staudacher will rarely, if ever, look for a shot that isn't in the vicinity of the perimeter having taken 195 of his 275 shots from three point range a season ago (71%). As a sophomore he shot 45.1% from behind the arc (65-of-144) and is the team's second leading returning scorer.
The team's leading returning scorer and best overall player is fourth year starting big forward Jordan Hasquet. A true power forward, Hasquet led the team in scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg) last season. His 7.2 rebounds per contest was good enough for fourth in the conference. Despite his size and frame, Hasquet likes to take his game to the perimeter as well - having attempted 14 three pointers this season (making six for a percentage of 43%). Last season he was 13th in the conference with an average of 1.37 three pointers made per game. He has scored in double figures in 54 career games and has scored 20 or more points 10 times.
Lining up along side Hasquet in the front-court will be sophomore center Brian Qvale. After recording a double-double in the Grizzles' 30 point loss to Colorado State, Qvale's numbers have declined to a steady output of around 8 points and seven rebounds per contest. More of a defensive presence than Hasquet in the middle, Qvale led Montana and was ranked second in the Big Sky Conference in blocks at 1.5 a game, despite averaging just 14.6 minutes per game.
Short of the plane getting lost on the way home from New York, the Blue Devils should have little trouble dispatching Montana on Sunday afternoon. There is always a chance of tired legs and general fatigue setting in, but even with those factors Duke has enough depth to win comfortably. Look for Coach K to use his bench more and more after the outcome is no longer in doubt - perhaps to get some much needed extended minutes for freshman post player Miles Plumlee and fourth year junior wing Martynas Pocius. In the end Duke simply has too much for Montana and should earn their 63rd consecutive non-conference victory at home.