Duke Starts 8th In Coaches' Poll

DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke men's basketball team is ranked No. 8 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, released on Thursday. The Blue Devils have now been ranked in the top 10 of the preseason Coaches' Poll in seven of the last 10 years.

Duke is one of four Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the poll with North Carolina (No. 4), Georgia Tech (No. 20) and Clemson (No. 24) also ranking in the top 25. Kansas grabbed the top spot with Michigan State, Texas, North Carolina and Kentucky rounding out the top 5. Villanova is sixth in the poll followed by Purdue, Duke, West Virginia and Butler.

The Blue Devils return four starters, including All-America candidates Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer. Singler, recently named preseason ACC Player of the Year by the league's media, averaged 16.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game a year ago. Last season, he became just the sixth player in Duke history to reach the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore. Scheyer has established himself as one of the most consistent guards in the NCAA as he enters his season season. The Northbrook, Ill., native is averaging 13.0 points per game for his career while shooting 37.9 percent (187-of-493) from three-point range.

Duke posted a 128-70 win over Pfeiffer in an exhibition game on Saturday, Oct. 24 as Singler scored 21 points to lead eight double-figure scorers. Freshmen Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee added 18 points apiece in the win. The Blue Devils close their exhibition slate on Tuesday, Nov. 3 against Findlay at 7:00 p.m.

Duke opens the regular season on Friday, Nov. 13 at Cameron Indoor Stadium against UNC-Greensboro (7:00 p.m. - Fox Sports South). The 2009-10 season marks the 70th year in Cameron Indoor Stadium for the Blue Devils and the 30th season at Duke for Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

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