Previewing Duke

The Tar Heels head to Cameron Indoor Stadium tonight for a battle with Duke. Tipoff is 9:00 p.m. on RJ and ESPN. <br><center> (<a target=new href="">INTERNET BROADCAST</a>) - (<a href="'','GameTrackermbaskbl','toolbar=no,resizeable=no,scrollbars=no,width=780,height=540'); void('');">LIVE STATS</a>)</center>

North Carolina (11-9, 2-5) vs. No. 9 Duke (14-3, 4-3)
Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham
9:00 p.m., RJ/ESPN (ESPN - Mike Patrick, Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas)


Matt Doherty

"I hope that we prepare the same way, with the same level of concentration, wth the same intensity in practice whether we are playing Duke or getting ready to play an exhibition game. With that said, is there a little more to it, because it's Duke? Yes. There is a lot of interest. It's 'Rivalry Week' on ESPN. It is eight miles away. It's is two storied programs--there are a lot of championships between the two teams. It is different. We all recognize that and acknowledge it and enjoy it."

Duke doesn't have a dominant big man, but they have a lot of depth. Does that concern you?

It does concern me, because they can afford more fouls. They can bang the boards, they can be more physical, so what if player "X" gets three fouls in the first half? They come in with another player who is big, physical, active, and we don't have depth at the four-five spot. That is a concern. We just have to deal with it.

What do you see as Duke's weaknesses that you can attack?

"I'm not going to say, even if I thought there were weaknesses. They are like the Duke teams of the past. They just are younger. Chris Duhon is one of the best point guards, I think, in the country. They play aggressive defense, they can shoot the basketball. They have a relatively inexperienced team, and that's probably why they lost some games. They do the same things they've done in the past. Are there anyt weaknesses? I don't see any. I just hope they don't shoot the ball well. Dahntay Jones struggled the other night. I hope he, knock on wood, will struggle again. There are no guarantees. He's a fifth year senior and a tough kid. He'll probably fight through that.

"We have to operate on all cylinders to win the game. I hope we do."

LINK: UNC Players' Pregame Quotes

Mike Krzyzewski

"The game itself is a showcase game in college basketball. You have two storied programs in the history of the game playing against each other, and you get to see that at least twice a year. That's good for the sport. It happens in other parts of the country -- intersectional battles as two top programs get together. But not always does a conference have a couple programs that have had the history that these two programs have had, so it becomes even bigger. I have always felt that they have tremendous tradition at North Carolina and so do we, and it's based on good stuff. Good kids, good coaches, good fans, good school. That makes it even better."

"There's never been a time (with so many freshmen) for both teams. But there's still a lot of talent on the court. This would be a little like watching the storied freshmen teams clashing in the 1960s. The talent level and intensity will be high. We're both very much developing teams. I've been impressed with how hard their team has played. Carolina's kids have played really hard; they're playing their butts off. We have to make sure we match their effort."

Shavlik Randolph

"I know it is huge.There is not going to be any surprise, but you know it is a lot different watching it in the stands than actually playing in it, or in my case listening to it on the radio on the bus ride back from a high school game. I am actually going to be playing in it this time, so I am really looking forward to it. I know how excited all the Duke and Carolina fans get, people talking trash to me last year, so I am actually going to be playing in it this year. I am looking forward to that. This is one of the best rivalries in college basketball and all of basketball period so you know you definitely want to go out and do the best you can."

"We have a height advantage down low so I think that if we are playing well we should be able to exploit that and really try to take advantage of what we have in the post. But I also think we have a great perimeter so we will see what happens."

"We are still going to try not to let them get open looks. Even though they haven't shot well we know they are a team that has the capability of getting hot real quick and if they get hot it is definitely not good for us. We want to be sure we get hands up in their faces and not let them get any open looks. Everyone is in pretty high spirits right now and is ready to play tomorrow. Right now we are in a state where we need to come together as a team and that is what we are doing. As much as it hurts in the present time, I think all of us have the feeling that it is going to make us better, make us stronger."

Duke Scouting Report
by Brett Ayers

Offensive Schemes - Duke is a team that first, second and possibly third in their line of thinking wants to run the ball up and down the court. They love getting three point shots for Ewing, Redick, even Duhon off the dribble in transition. If you do not get back and pick up you will get lit up from long distance by a team that is truly unselfish in all ways. In the half court, here is where Duke has a tendency to struggle. They do not have the great one-on-one player(s) of the past five or six seasons. They are still using that traditional high pick and roll, usually with Ewing, that has been their trademark of the past five-plus seasons. Now, however, they have thrown in a new wrinkle by putting in an option for Redick to run along the baseline and come off a pick from Jones on the low block instead of having Redick just wait for Ewing to come into the middle off the high pick and roll and set up for the kick out. Duke will also run a lot more double post free lance motion, and when Randolph and Horvath are in they will have those guys pop out to the perimeter frequently.

Defensive Schemes - Well, there will be no surprises here. Duke will man up, maybe extend it to the full court and possibly even spring a trap or two on the Heels. Once again, like with UConn, the keys for UNC to beat this tough bumping, grabbing, holding defense is to get a lot of good high and wide spacing along with a lot of off the ball picks. If UNC tries to run the high pick and roll stuff against Duke they will get eaten alive by the much more aggressive Duke defense. Raymond Felton will find himself starting the offense out at the half court line. Duke will also cheap shot on the defensive end, especially Jones. Carolina can not let this bother them or let him get in their heads. Ignore him and move on. Duke is the kind of team that will fall apart psychologically if you are able to be patient offensively and score on them with some ease. This is where they have been programmed by Coach K to take their cue from: defensive success. If it is not there, they tend to let other parts of their game go haywire.

Players to Watch:

Dahntay Jones - A guy who has been scoring a lot more for Duke, sans the FSU game. A guy who, and don't be fooled by the shooting outburst, wants to do two things. He first wants to get to the offensive boards and second wants to bait you into getting out of your game. Don't let him get to the offensive glass, keep him in front of you and don't let him bait you and you will neutralize Dahntay. He shoots better off the dribble and with someone in his face then when he has wide open shots. He tends to think about it and aim it too much.

Chris Duhon - Not having a great season points wise, but still capable, and even more so, of lighting you up from any distance at Cameron Indoor. A very poor on the ball defender with average foot speed. He will push the ball all game long and a guy you need to jam up right off the rebound.

J.J. Redick- He is just a freshman, but has range once he starts running out of the tunnel to warm-up. Not a very good on the ball defender and shoots better off the set coming towards his right shoulder than coming towards his left because he squares better. If you stay on top of the baseline picks and stay tight with J.J. off the high picks you should be fine. Don't leave your feet on his pump fake.

Daniel Ewing - The last of this very good guard group that carries this team. Daniel is a kid who can also put points on the board in a hurry. Loves to come of that high pick and roll for the pull up around the free throw line. Also likes the pull up along the baseline. Will shoot the three but a much more comfortable shooter inside the arc.

Probable Starting Lineup:
   Chris Duhon (6-1, G, Jr.) – 8.5 ppg, 7.5 apg
   J.J. Redick (6-4, G, Fr.) – 16.1 ppg, 41% 3pt
   Dahntay Jones (6-6, F, Sr.) – 16.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg
   Nick Horvath (6-10, F, Jr.) – 5.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg
   Casey Sanders (6-11, C, Sr.) – 4.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Key Reserves: 
   Daniel Ewing  (6-3, G, So.) – 11.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg
   Shavlik Randolph  (6-10, F, Fr.) – 9.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
   Shelden Williams  (6-9, F, Fr.) – 6.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg
   Sean Dockery (6-2, G, Fr.) – 4.1 ppg

Duke Info

Photo Gallery

Dahntay Jones ... J.J. Redick

Daniel Ewing ... Mike Krzyzewski

(Photos courtesy the AP.)

Series Notes
by UNC Athletic Communications

- Carolina leads the all-time series with Duke, 122-90. Carolina is 30-35 against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium and 42-44 overall in Durham. Duke has beaten Carolina in five of the last six meetings in Durham. Overall, Duke has won 10 of the last 11 games in the series (dating back to the first meeting in 1998-99).

- Wednesday's game will the first time since March 4, 1995, that both teams are coming off losses entering the Duke-Carolina contest.

- At least one of the two schools has been ranked in the Associated Press national poll in each of the last 113 meetings. The last time Carolina and Duke met when neither team was ranked by the Associated Press was on Feb. 27, 1960. Frank McGuire and Vic Bubas coached the Tar Heels and Blue Devils, respectively, at the time.

- Carolina has been ranked in the Associated Press poll in 93 of the previous 113 games. Duke was ranked in 68 of those last 113 matchups. The longest stretch in between being ranked for the Tar Heels was 12 games (the first 12 games Dean Smith was head coach). Duke's longest stretch of not being ranked was 24 games from 1970-1978.

- Matt Doherty, Bill Guthridge and Duke's Bill Foster are the only men to win their first Carolina-Duke game as a head coach since the ACC was formed in 1953.

- Carolina and Duke have accounted for 28 of the ACC's 49 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championships.

- Carolina and Duke are No. 1 and 2 all-time in the ACC in wins, ACC regular-season wins, ACC Tournament wins and NCAA Tournament wins.

- Carolina has won the ACC regular-season title 23 times. The Blue Devils are second with 16 regular-season crowns.

- Either Carolina or Duke have played in the NCAA Final Four in 17 of the last 22 seasons (Carolina in 1981, 1982, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2000).

- The Tar Heels and Blue Devils have won five national championships in the last 21 seasons (Carolina in 1982 and 1993).

- Carolina has won 15 NCAA Regional championships and played in an NCAA record 15 Final Fours. Duke has played in 13 Final Fours.

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