Previewing The Radford Highlanders

Previewing the Blue Devils and Highlanders who will tip off on Saturday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium


Duke (3-0) vs Radford (1-0)
Durham, NC - Cameron Indoor Stadium
TV: ACC Select / Tip: 3:00 PM EST

Program Vitals
Conference:  Big South
Nickname:  Highlanders
Colors:  Red and White 
Head Coach:  Brad Greenberg (3rd season)
Career Record at Radford: 33-32

Projected Starters:
25 Blake Smith (6-4, 175, Fr.) – 13.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg
 1 Jeremy Robinson (5-10, 170, Jr.) – 7.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
45 Artsiom Parakhouski (6-11, 270, Sr.) – 25.5 ppg, 15.0 rpg
40 Joey Lynch-Flohr (6-8, 220, Sr.) – 21.0 ppg, 11.5 rpg
30 Phillip Martin (6-6, 190, Sr.) - 10.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Key Reserves:
 2 Evan Faulkner (6-1, 175, Fr.) – 4.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
10 Cole Wilder (6-1, 180, Sr.) – 2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
33 Jamal Curry (6-8, 190, Fr.) – 2.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Story Lines For Radford:

How They Got Here:
Both teams enter the game with perfect starts and a short track record of dominating their opponents. Radford has dispatched Navy by nine and Lynchburg by 24 at home. The Highlanders will now head out on a five game road trip that will include stops in Durham to face the top 10 Blue Devils and Lawrence to play the top rated Kansas Jayhawks.

Meanwhile the Blue Devils have also been cruising along in the early going and seemed to pick up the pace in their last victory thanks to the return of senior scoring guard Nolan Smith who returned from a two game ban to record a career high 24 points in Duke's 101-59 victory over UNC Charlotte.

Series History:
This will be the second time the two programs have met on the hardwood with the Blue Devils winning the initial matchup in the 1998 NCAA Tournament. In that game, five Duke scorers reached double figures, led by Roshown McLeod's 23, and Duke shot 54 percent from the field for the top-seeded Blue Devils in a 99-63 win over 16th- seeded Radford in NCAA South Region first round action at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. on March 13, 1998.

The Highlanders are looking for their first victory against an ACC opponent. Duke will be the fourth ACC the program has faced in the last calendar year. All-time, Radford is 0-16 against teams from the ACC, including NCAA Tournament losses to Duke (1998) and North Carolina (2009). Including the Tar Heels (March 19 - L 58- 101) in last year's NCAA South Region first round, Radford also traveled to Virginia (Nov. 21 - L 66-68) and then-No. 6 Wake Forest (L - 61-83).

Injury Report:
Radford red-shirt junior Lazar Trifunovic ´ (Belgrade, Serbia) will be sidelined due to a fractured wrist. In addition, freshman Görkem Sönmez (Istanbul, Turkey) will have to sit the first six contests of the 2009-10 season. Freshman forward Tommy Spagnolo (West Jefferson, N.C. / Ashe County) has been grant- ed an indefinite leave of absence from the team and Radford University for personal reasons.

The Blue Devils will be without starting big forward Mason Plumlee who is sidelined with an injured left wrist.

A Tale Of Two Streaks
The Blue Devils have an NCAA-best 71 game home court winning streak against non-conference opponents at Cameron Indoor Stadium. That streak will be on the line and matched up against Radford's nine game road win streak - the second longest in the nation. The Highlanders' last road loss came to an ACC opponent when they fell at Wake Forest 83-61.

Strong Frontcourt Powers Highlanders:
Though it's just two games, the Radford frontcourt is putting up huge numbers so far this season. Seniors Art Parakhouski and Joey Lynch-Flohr have each logged back to back double-doubles while both scoring at least 20 points. In the last game, Parakhouski had his second career 30- plus point performance, netting 31 on a career-high 15-of-22 shooting, in addition to his 17 rebounds. Lynch-Flohr scored 21 points for the second straight game to start the season, adding 12 rebounds. Parakhouski has a history of big performances in the Big South, but he's also been solid against ACC and Big East opponents - averaging 13.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game including a 16 and 16 showing against the Deacons last December.

Inexperienced Overall:
A lot has changed for Radford since last season as the Highlander program welcomes an astonishing nine new players to the fold in 2009-2010. Two newbies - Blake Smith and Evan Faulkner - have earned places in the starting lineup. Smith, a freshman from Charlotte, opened his career by scoring 17 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. It was good enough to be named Big South Freshman of the Week.

Meanwhile Faulkner, the team's starting point guard, handed out three assists while scoring five points in the season opener. Junior transfer Jeremy Robinson and freshman forward Jamal Curry have also made their presences felt as rotational players.

Scheyer Closing In On History:
Jon Scheyer is three points, six three-point field goals, four steals and 11 rebounds shy of becoming the first Blue Devil to record 1,400 points, 400 rebounds, 250 assists, 200 three-point field goals and 150 steals in a career.

Fearless Predicition(s)
The Highlanders certainly have the size up front to manager Duke's usual advantages in that department. While Duke will start a front court of 6'10, 6'8, and 6'8, the Highlanders will actually be a bit bigger up front. What's more the Highlanders actually have a better pedigree when it comes to putting up big numbers on the boards. On paper the two teams appear to be somewhat similar until you revert back to the quality of opponents. While Duke has certainly not faced a team that will challenge for the top 25 at any point this season, the Highlanders have played opponents several notches below. Add in Radford's struggles against ACC opponents over the last year and it's hard to figure a Highlander upset in Cameron. Duke will look for Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer, and Kyle Singler to set the tone while also looking to get freshman wing Andre Dawkins going off the bench. Radford may hang around early, but Duke should pull away easily.

Prediction:

Duke 91
Radford 64


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