Preview: Duke (7-0) v. Purdue (5-1)

Previewing the Blue Devils and Boilermakers who tip off in the 2008 ACC/Big10 Challenge on Tuesday night at Purdue's Mackey Arena. The game will be broadcast live by ESPN beginning at 9:00 PM EST.


Duke (7-0) vs Purdue (5-1)
West Lafayette, Ind. - Mackey Arena
TV: ESPN / Tip: 9:00 PM EST

Program Vitals
Conference: Big Ten
Nickname: Boilermakers
Colors: Black and Gold
Head Coach: Matt Painter (4th season)
Career Record at Purdue: 61-41

Projected Starters:
 4 Robbie Hummel (6-8, 212, So.) – 14.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg
25 Jajuan Johnson (6-10, 215, So.) – 9.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg
 3 Chris Kramer (6-3, 207, Jr.) – 4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg
 5 Keaton Grant (6-4, 208, Jr.) – 8.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
33 E'Twaun Moore (6-4, 188, So.) – 16.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.0 apg

Key Reserves:
44 Nemanja Calasan (6-9, 247, Sr.) – 10.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg
20 Marcus Green (6-6, 222, Sr.) – 6.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg
23 Lewis Jackson (5-9, 165, Fr.) – 4.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
24 Ryne Smith (6-3, 173, Fr.) - 1.3 ppg

Storylines For Purdue:

How They Got Here:
The Blue Devils have raced out to a perfect 7-0 start after a 23 point blowout of Duquesne at Cameron Indoor last Friday. Meanwhile the Boilermakers will be looking to rebound from a five point loss to No. 11 Oklahoma in the NIT Season Tip-Off title game. Against the Sooners the officiating was called into question as OU went to the free throw line 46 times compared to just five chances for Purdue.

Series History:
This will be the sixth meeting between Purdue and Duke. Historically this has been a one sided series against the Blue Devils with Purdue holding a 4-1 series advantage including a 78-68 victory in the 2003 Great Alaska Shootout Championship game. Duke's lone victory in the series came in 1994 when Grant Hill led the Blue Devils past Glenn Robinson and the Boilermakers in a battle of National Player of the Year candidates.

Injury Report:
Duke point guard Greg Paulus continues to rehab from an injury to his right forearm. The injury is expected to be nearly 100% by game time.

Should Be A Banner Year For Purdue:
Purdue began the seaosn ranked No. 11 in the country - the highest preseason ranking for the program since the 1997-1998 season when the Boilermakers started the season ranked ninth. The media also predicted the team to win the Big 10 conference with sophomore forward Robbie Hummel as the top candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year. Hummel joined Purdue teammate E'Twaun Moore (So., G), Michigan's Manny Harris (So., G), Michigan State's Raymar Morgan (Jr., F), and Marcus Landry (Sr., F) of Wisconsin on the preseason fi rst team All-Big Ten team.

The ACC/Big 10 Challenge History:
The Blue Devils are the only original team in the two team series to never lose a game (although Boston College has won both games it has participated in) posting a complete 9-0 overall record in the event. Meanwhile the Boilermakers have not enjoyed much success at all, posting just two wins in seven games against ACC competition. Over the nine year history of the series the ACC, like Duke, has posted a perfect 9-0 record.

Make Sure To Lookout For...
Robbie Hummel - voted Big 10 Preseason Player of the Year - a 6'8 combo forward in the mold of Duke standout Kyle Singler. Hummel, however, probably has a better outside game while Singler is better inside. So far this season Hummel has improved his outside game to the point of becoming the program's top three-point shooter for accuracy, hitting 45.8-percent of his long range shots (54-of-118). Sophomore forward Robbie Hummel registered his sixth career double-double against Coppin State (Nov. 22), scoring 20 points and pulling down 11 boards. The game was the fourth career 20-point performance for Hummel. The double-double was the fi rst of the season for Hummel.

Classmate E'Twaun Moore was named to the NIT Preseason Tip-Off All-Tournament team as well as earning Big 10 Player of the Week Honors after he averaged more than 20 points per game in New York. The sophomore has scored in double fi gures in all six game this season, and in 11 consecutive games dating back to last year. Recruitniks will remember Moore as the former prep sidekick of one time Duke target Eric Gordon. A season ago he averaged nearly 14.5 points per game in league play and showed himself ready for a breakout season when Purdue spent a five game tour in Australia by averaging more than 27 points per game over those five contests.

Fearless Predicitions
This will, most likely, be the season's biggest test to date for the Blue Devils and first in front of what promises to be a hostile environment. The Boilermakers have a roster full of blue collar contributors backing up Moore and Hummel and will not shy away from playing a physical brand of basketball. The match-up to watch will be Singler and Hummel as well as Moore against Gerald Henderson. In all liklihood those two duos will cancel each other out, which should provide a player such as Jon Scheyer or Nolan Smith to step up and prove to be the difference. Look for the Blue Devils to be in for a battle and maybe trail at the half before rallying to win by around six points.

Prediction:
Duke 82
Purdue 76


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