The No. 7 Blue Devils will get their first look at Jim Larranaga as the Miami head coach when the Hurricanes storm up to Cameron Indoor Stadium for action at 3 p.m. this afternoon.
Miami (13-7): G Malcolm Grant, G Durand Scott, G Shane Larkin, F DeQuan Jones, C Reggie Johnson
Duke (18-3): G Austin Rivers, G Tyler Thornton, G Andre Dawkins, F Josh Hairston, F Mason Plumlee
1. Can Johnson stay out of foul-trouble?
Johnson is one of four Hurricanes who averages double-digit points, with 10.4 per game, and with 6.4 rebounds per contest is their best shot at grabbing rebounds in the post. The 6-foot-10 junior, however, regularly gets into foul trouble and will be put into some tough spots this game having to battle Mason and Miles Plumlee in the post. He fouled out in Miami’s most recent game – a double-overtime win against Maryland – and he will need to stay on the court to give the Hurricanes a shot down low in this one.
2. Which Andre Dawkins will come out today?
Dawkins has been nothing short of an enigma this season; beginning the year in the starting lineup, almost falling completely out of the rotation and emerging once again as a top scoring threat for Duke. After a five game stretch in which he averaged four 3-pointers per game, he was quiet again in Duke’s most recent win over Virginia Tech, scoring only five points. He has looked particularly comfortable playing at home this year – Grant, Scott and Larkin will need to know where he is at all times this afternoon.
3. Who will run the point for Duke?
According to pregame information, Tyler Thornton is starting this game but head coach Mike Krzyzewski has shown that who he starts can often mean little in terms of who receives the most minutes. Quinn Cook has flashed more offensive potential than Thornton this year, having already been named ACC rookie of the week twice this season. He played well against Virginia Tech in his 12 minutes of action, notching four points and three assists in that time while clearly providing a spark of offense for the Blue Devils. But, Krzyzewski may look for a more veteran presence in this tough ACC game, giving the ball to Thornton and Curry more often. One thing to watch out for – that may benefit the 6-foot Cook – is that the Hurricane backcourt is not especially tall. Duke has struggled with bigger backcourts this season (see Temple), and with Shane Larkin and Malcolm Grant at 5-foot-11 and 6-foot-1, respectively, Duke will not have to worry about that in this game.