Duke (15-1) vs Georgetown (12-3)
Durham, N.C. - Cameron Indoor Stadium
TV: CBS / Tip: 1:30 PM EST
Program Vitals Conference: Big East Nickname: Hoyas Colors: Blue and Gray Head Coach: John Thompson III (5th season) Career Record at Georgetown: 112-39
Projected Starters: 4 Chris Wright (6-1, 205, So.) – 12.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.6 apg 21 Jessie Sapp (6-3, 210, Sr.) – 7.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg 10 Greg Monroe (6-11, 250, Fr.) – 13.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg 3 DaJuan Summers (6-8, 240, Jr.) – 15.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg 15 Austin Freeman (6-4, 220, So.) – 13.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg Key Reserves: 20 Jason Clark (6-2, 176, fr.) – 5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg 31 Omar Wattad (6-5, 225, So.) – 2.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg 22 Julian Vaughn (6-9, 245, So.) – 1.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg 30 Henry Sims (6-10, 225, Fr.) - 1.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Storylines For Georgetown:
How They Got Here:
Duke has started 15-1 and raced out to the top of the ACC standings with a perfect 3-0 record in conference play. In each of those three wins it has been the Blue Devil defense that has been the difference maker - holding opponents to less than 53 points per contest.
Meanwhile the Hoyas will be playing just their third true away game of the season - previously posting a 1-1 mark with a win over then #2 Connecticut and a loss to Notre Dame. The Hoyas have won two straight since losing in South Bend including Wednesday night's 14 point victory over #9 Syracuse.
This will be the 13th meeting between the two programs. In the previous 12 games of the series each team has won six of the match ups. Duke won the most recent contest, 61-52, during the 2006-2007 season. The Blue Devils are a perfect 2-0 against the Hoyas in games played in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke's Greg Paulus continues to be somewhat hampered by an injured forearm, although he has been able to play through the injury with varying degrees of success.
A Balanced Offensive Attack:
Normally top rated teams have one or two "go to players" easily identifiable in scouting reports. When scouting the Hoyas it's impossible not to notice that several players are capable of putting the team on his back. So far this season five different players have led the team in scoring with seven different players posting team high rebounds and four more logging the most assists at one time. All told the Hoya offense has four traceable frontline weapons in the form of Summers, Monroe, Freeman, and Wright - with only 38 points separating the top scorer from the fourth scorer.
For most of last season Duke fans followed the recruitment of Louisiana big forward Greg Monroe who spent much of his senior season as Scout's top rated prospect. After choosing Georgetown Monroe went to work in hopes of making an impact early on - a goal he has achieved. The talented freshman is second on the team in scoring (13.3) and leads the roster in rebounding (6.3) while shooting 55% from the floor and blocking 1.8 shots per night.
Youth Is Served For Georgetown:
Youth is a big theme for Coach Thompson's group which starts two sophomores and one freshman and brings another three sophomores and one freshman off the bench. In short underclassmen have accounted for a remarkable 69.4 percent of the team's scoring and gobbling up 72 percent of the available minutes through 15 games.
The most productive upperclassman has been forward DaJuan Summers who is nearing 1,000 career points - just 67 points shy. In the last seven games Summers is hitting for 16.4 points and shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 43 percent from the perimeter.
Former one time Duke prospect and current starting Georgetown point guard Chris Wright has stepped up in his first year as a starter. After missing last year with a foot injury, Wright has returned to lead the team in assists while ranking fourth on the team in scoring (12.6). In addition he has improved at the free throw line hitting 34-of-45 in the last 14 games.
Numbers Don't Lie
The Hoyas are among the NCAA's better teams in a number of statistical categories including ranking eighth in Field Goal Percentage Defense holding opponents to just 36.7 percent. Georgetown also ranks 26th in the country in Scoring Defense and Scoring Margin, while also checking in at 27th in Field Goal Percentage. The Hoyas are the nation's #36 team in free throw percentage (73.7%).
In addition to the statistical success, the Hoyas have a goal of scoring more than 69 points per contest. Since Coach Thompson took over the program the Hoyas are 61-6 when scoring at least 69 points. It's a calling card for Thompson coached teams who have posted an 86-11 record when eclipsing the 69 point plateau.
The Blue Devils will certainly need to pressure the Georgetown backcourt early and often in hopes of disrupting the Hoya offensive flow which will look to run thrown touches by Monroe who causes all kinds of match up problems with the Duke front court. In order for the Blue Devils to come out on top it will be imperative to get better performances on the wing from Jon Scheyer who struggled mightily against Georgia Tech (3-of-13) and Nolan Smith. Being back at home and rested should be a shot in the arm for the team which should be enough to help them extend the nation's longest non-conference home winning streak.