19th ranked Duke heads to Blacksburg, Virginia to face 20th ranked Virginia Tech in a battle of supremacy within the ACC to stay in contention for an ACC regular season title.
The game can be seen on the ACC Network starting at 7 P.M.
Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski will take his 5-2 Blue Devils (3-0 in conference play) into territory where they have struggled in recent memory – losing 2 of the last 3 matchups on the road in Blacksburg.
Could freshman Jalen Johnson return to game action tonight?
Coach K revealed during a presser yesterday that Jalen Johnson had started practicing with the team. Johnson will travel with the team according to K and been cleared by medical personnel, but not sure if he will actually play. Johnson will suit up, nevertheless.
What to watch out for?
V-tech is a team led by seniors who account for 44 percent of all their scoring. Senior forward Keve Lumna leads V-tech averaging 15 points and 7 rebounds. With 6 players averaging over 20 minutes a game, the Hokies go at least 8-9 deep. Look for Duke to match going to a 3 guard rotation with Hurt playing a lot of stretch-4 and center.
I would expect Jalen Johnson, who as stated before has been cleared by doctors to play, will get some early action. If he’s gotten into game shape, and ready to play, you can’t deny him minutes.
Worth noting, during Duke’s 3 game win streak in conference play, sophomore Matthew Hurt has averaged 20 points and 8 rebounds. Teams have struggled to counter Duke with Hurt playing the 5. Coaches have attempted to space the floor and use the pick and roll to force Matthew to defend guards attacking downhill. Duke’s ability to use their guards to defend off their man, playing help-side defense in the paint, helps hide Hurt’s weakness – stopping penetration.
Do the Hokies continue to tap into the blueprint that other teams such as Boston College & Wake Forest used – enforcing Duke to guard the pick and roll? Can V-tech guard the perimeter? The Hokies are 8-0 this season when holding their opponents field goal percentage below 43 percent.