It's always a treat when one of the marquee programs in all of college sports heads to Coral Gables. Wednesday night (7:30 PM ESPN 2) Miami hosts Coach K and Co with a chance to capture the Nation's attention....again!
How do the Devils look heading into this one?
Check out the full Q&A with Duke Sports Blog below:
SOTU: Duke has had more than its' fair share of fantastic players from Grant Hill to Bobby Hurley. Where does Jabari Parker rank among the best players to come through the program?
DSB:Parker is clearly one of the most talented players to come through Duke in quite sometime. He is quite honestly the most talented player I've seen in person at Duke. Where he stacks up to the greats remains to be seen and unless he stays in school for at least three seasons it will be nearly impossible to get most to agree definitively. He ranks very highly in my book though.
SOTU: The Devils have been maddeningly inconsistent. Can they get it together and make a run in the tourney? What are this team's greatest strengths and weaknesses?
DSB: Maddening is one way to put it. They have certainly not lived up to the hype, though, there is still time for them to make a run but they have to prove to be consistent in all phases. Defense and rebounding remains the biggest question mark. With no real inside presence Duke is definitely vulnerable. Will the defensive play they showed against NC State continue, I don't know. If it does that would make me feel better.
There is so much this team could do well. They can be devastating on offense when they are on and when Parker plays well they can compete with anyone.
SOTU: Everyone knows what happened the last time these two teams met in Coral Gables. Do you think they will play with a chip on their shoulders Wednesday night?
DSB: I think they will remember it but I'm not sure they will look at it as a chance for revenge seeing as so much of the two teams who played then are no longer at their respective schools. I do expect and intense match-up as Duke hasn't played very well on the road this year.
SOTU: What players or match-ups on the Hurricanes concern you?
DSB: I'd say the combination of Rion Brown's scoring and Donnavan Kirk's rebounding could cause problems for Duke.
SOTU: How do you feel about the ACC additions of Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Syracuse, not to mention Louisville next year?
DSB: I think it was a necessary evil. I was never in favor of expanding but the ACC had no choice but to expand or die. Given that possibility I think the additions are good for the conference in both revenue sports and could add some intriguing new rivalries.
SOTU: Has there been a player or performer on the Blue Devils that has surprised you? Disappointed?
DSB: I think the most pleasant surprise for me has been the performance of Andre Dawkins. After sitting out last year as he dealt with his personal issues, many didn't know if he would contribute at all to this team. He as been an inspiration and there isn't a Duke fan who isn't as happy as could be for him to have materialized into such a solid contributor.
The biggest disappointment probably was the decision by Alex Murphy to transfer. I can't say I blame him, he wasn't playing and he has always been a guy that I felt could be a very good player. I wonder if the new expanded rotation that Mike Krzyzewski has been using came too late. I feel Murphy would have benefited had he stayed. I would have liked to have seem him contribute.
SOTU: How do you see this game playing out? Who wins and by what score?
DSB: I really have no feel for this team. I feel like Duke could win but I also feel like they could on any given night lose. Miami I think has been a bit better than expected. If Duke plays poorly they will lose a close game. If they play well on both ends of the floor I think they could win by a small double-digit margin. I think giving the intensity I'd expect Miami to have for this game it will fall somewhere in between and I see the game a push. I'll go with Duke but not by much.
Thanks again to Mike Kline of Duke Sports Blog for working with us. Be sure to check out tomorrow night's game and head back to State of the U for more coverage.
Last time Duke visited (A Great Documentary, lots of behind the scenes looks):
- Hurricanes Hoops Update: 01/20
- Looking Forward to the Big Week Ahead
- Miami Hurricanes Best of 2013: Unsung Performer
- The Twilight ZONE: 'Canes Roll Georgia Tech 56-42
- Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar - What's Happening?
- Four #Canes Prep for Postseason Games
- Here's a map of where all University of Miami players come from