Preview: Syracuse (12-7, 2-4) vs. No. 20 Duke (14-4, 3-2)

Previewing Syracuse vs. No. 20 Duke:

Game 18Syracuse (12-7, 2-4) vs. No. 20 Duke (14-4, 3-2)

All-time series: Duke leads 5-3

Date: Monday, Jan. 17th

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Location: Cameron Indoor (Durham, N.C.)


The Blue Devils will enter Monday's game against the Orange on a 2-game losing streak. Clemson and Notre Dame both upset the Dukies last week, which will drop their national ranking come Monday afternoon.

Duke has a plethora of scoring options, all beginning with sophomore Grayson Allen. Allen, a 6-foot-5 guard, can shoot it or get to the basket. He's averaging just over 20 points per game this season, which leads the team. Freshman point guard Brandon Ingram is second on the team in scoring, averaging 16.8 points per game, to go along with 5.9 assists. He scored a career-high 26 points against Georgia Southern on December 15th. 

Duke hasn't beaten a ranked team yet this season. They lost their only ranked game, 74-63, to then 2nd-ranked Kentucky

Three things to watch:

1. Defend the 3: As a team, the Blue Devils shoot just under 40% from 3-point range. If Syracuse has any chance of winning, they have to contain Duke on the 3-point arc. Matt Jones, who leads the team with 107 made 3-pointers, shoots just over 40% from deep. The Orange will have their hands full on Monday, but won't have a shot if they can't defend the 3. Duke has attempted the second-most 3-pointers in the ACC, and have the second-highest field goal percentage from behind the arc. In SU's last three wins, they're holding opponents to 17.7% (11-of-62) from 3-point range. 

2. Avoid foul trouble: Against Wake Forest on Saturday, DaJuan Coleman and Tyler Lydon finished the game with four fouls each, while Chinonso Obokoh fouled out. Michael Gbinije and Tyler Roberson each had three fouls. In what turned out to be a 28-point victory, the foul trouble didn't come back to haunt the Orange. But on Monday, SU cannot afford to lose Coleman, Lydon, Gbinije or Roberson to foul trouble at any point in the game. 

3. Can Trevor Cooney stay hot?: Cooney, who is coming off a 25-point performance at Wake Forest, will need to stay hot on Monday night. He scored 27 points against UNC earlier this season, and SU will need a similar performance against Duke. When Cooney is hitting 3's, he opens up the Syracuse offense and extends the floor. The last thing the Orange need is for Cooney to an off night and become a non-factor on the offensive end of the court. 

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