Previewing Duke

This is it -- the game's best rivalry -- UNC vs. Duke. Tip-off Wednesday at Cameron Indoor will be at 9 p.m. and televised locally by RJ and nationally by ESPN. <br><br><b> <center>(<a target=new href=>Live Stats</a> ... <a href=>In-Game Chat</a>)</b></center>

No. 2 North Carolina (19-2, 8-1) vs. No. 7 Duke (17-2, 7-2)
Durham N.C. - Cameron Indoor Stadium
Wednesday, 9 p.m., ESPN/RJ


"J.J. Redick has been just sensational. He's such a threat from a deep range on the court that he spreads your defense and kind of gets you unbalanced because you're trying to do things to stop him. That opens up a lot of things for other guys, whether it's Daniel Ewing or Shelden Williams, or whomever. He's just such a threat, because his baskets add up at ‘three at a time.' The other thing is you can guard him pretty well some times and he still makes magnificent shots, and I think that hurts you mentally sometimes as well." -- Roy Williams

"Nobody is a favorite going into Cameron Indoor Stadium. There is no way anyone is a favorite going into playing Duke at Duke. You pick a home court on any of the top 20 teams in the country, and if the other team is also in the top 20, it makes no difference. The team playing at home has a huge advantage, even though I will say there have been more road wins this year in the ACC than I can remember last year." -- Roy Williams

"Everybody knows that it's always tough to play there: one, because it's so hot and two, because of the fans. But the fans aren't the most brutal; they're just the most clever. And they come up with some clever things. My experiences there the last two years have been fun." -- Sean May

"Carolina's style of play is the style of play Carolina has had for most of the time that I've been here. They play really well together and they want to score in transition. When they force a turnover, they would like to turn it into points. They're secondary break is well-conceived, with a number of options. They keep fresh people in there, and they haven't had any interruptions all year. They're just an outstanding basketball team, and they've been pretty much that the entire time I've been here. So I look at them like I always look at them – with a lot of respect. … We know that Carolina is one of the top teams in the country. They've earned that. I don't see that changing, whatever happens in our game. They're going to be a team that can play for the national championship." -- Mike Krzyzewski


Last Year Vs. UNC: In the first matchup in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels let it slip away. UNC was up seven with under six minutes to go when Duke responded with a 12-2 run and it took a Jawad Williams three with 18.3 seconds remaining to force overtime. In the extra session, a Chris Duhon layup in the final seconds gave Duke an 83-81 win. Rashad McCants had 27 points, while Sean May posted 15 points and 21 rebounds. Shelden Williams led Duke with 22 and 12. In the rematch, it was the Luol Deng show, as the freshmen was unstoppable en route to 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting. McCants, who had 20 points, had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds but lost the ball and Duke went on to win, 70-65. May added 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Season To Date: Depending on whom you ask, Duke has either overachieved this season or taken advantage of a light schedule loaded with home games. Then again, maybe they were just better than preseason expectations. Regardless, few expected the Blue Devils to win their first 15 games, especially in light of a lack of depth furthered by injuries. Victories over Michigan State and Oklahoma highlighted the non-conference slate. Since that 15-0 start, Duke is 2-2, losing at home to Maryland and at Wake Forest. Over the last four games, the Blue Devils haven't outrebounded any of their opponents.

Injury Report: Senior forward Reggie Love (2.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg) is out with a broken foot, while freshman forward David McClure (1.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg) injured his left knee two weeks ago and will not play. As a result, Duke is essentially playing a rotation of only seven players.

The Scorer: At 22.8 points per game, J.J. Redick is the conference's leading scorer. He's shooting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc, connecting on an average of 3.7 threes per game. And while he has attacked the basket more this year and better utilized the mid-range jumper, he still does most of his damage on three-pointers and foul shots. Of the 433 points he's scored this year, 219 are from threes and another 110 are from the foul line -- that's 76% of his output. His stats against UNC, however, have been below par. In four games against the Tar Heels, he's shot 34.7% (16-46) from the field and 33.3% (11-33) on three-pointers.

Other Shooters: Duke relies on the three-pointer more than any other team in the conference, and it's not just from Redick. While Daniel Ewing (36%) is well below his career three-point percentage, he's still capable of huge scoring nights -- and some of his teammates have picked up the slack. Lee Melchionni (41%) and even Sean Dockery (46%), who has silenced those critics who said he couldn't shoot, are both long-range weapons.

The Defense: Duke has not allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50% from the field this season. In 11 of 19 games, opponents have shot less than 40% from the floor against the Blue Devils' defense. And it's not just because of Shelden Williams, as Daniel Ewing and Sean Dockery combine for 3.95 steals per game. As for Williams, he stands atop the ACC in all three rebounding categories and his 3.74 blocks per game also leads the conference.

Recent Matchup History: While the Tar Heels lead the overall series 123-94, Duke has won 14 of the last 16 meetings -- and the Heels have won only one of the last eight games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. No current player on the UNC roster has won at Cameron.

Projected Starters:
15 Sean Dockery (6-2, 185, G, Jr.) - 6.7 ppg, 2.5 apg
 5 Daniel Ewing (6-3, 185, G, Sr.) – 15.6 ppg, 4.0 apg
 4 J.J. Redick (6-4, 190, G, Jr.) – 22.8 ppg, 2.7 apg
42 Shavlik Randolph (6-10, 240, F, Jr.) – 5.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg
23 Shelden Williams (6-9, 250, C, Jr.) - 16.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg

Key Reserves:
13 Lee Melchionni (6-6, 205, F, Jr.) – 7.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg
21 DeMarcus Nelson (6-3, 195, G, Fr.) – 6.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg

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Dockery ... Redick

Ewing ... Williams

Melchionni ... Randolph

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