The Blue Devils return first team All-America candidates Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith along with seven other letterwinners, including Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Andre Dawkins, for the 2010-11 season. Duke also welcomes a top 5 recruiting class featuring Kyrie Irving, Josh Hairston, Carrick Felix and Tyler Thornton.
Singler and Smith averaged 17.7 points and 17.4 points per game respectively a year ago, while the Plumlees combined for 8.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Curry, a transfer from Liberty, and Dawkins give the Blue Devils two sharpshooting weapons on the perimeter, while Kelly is a skilled stepout forward.
This year's event – featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner's Cup -- will include 11 teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest from the ACC and Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Challenge will feature 11 games and include two telecasts on ESPNU with ESPN and ESPN2 combining to televise the remaining nine games. ESPN3.com, the broadband sports television network from ESPN, will simulcast the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts.
The ACC has won 10 of the first 11 Challenges with ACC teams winning 67 of the 108 games played. A year ago, the Big Ten won its first Challenge by a 6-to-5 margin. Road teams won six of the 11 games in 2009 and seven of the contests were decided by seven points or less, including four games by four of fewer points.
Duke, which lost its first game in the challenge last year, will look for its 11th win in the event, the most of any other team. The Blue Devils have won their two previous Challenge games against Michigan State, topping the Spartans, 81-74, in Durham in 2004 and, 72-50, in East Lansing in 2003.
2010 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):
Monday, November 29th
Tuesday, November 30th
Wednesday, December 1st