Duke Will Stay Perfect at Cameron Indoor

Steve O Speak

By Fanspeak Contributing Writer Geoff Nelowet:

The Maryland Terrapins will travel to Durham on Saturday for a meeting with the seventh-ranked Duke Blue Devils. Maryland is 16-6 on the season and one game behind Duke for tops in the ACC. Duke is coming off a decisive road victory over the struggling North Carolina Tar Heels – with whom the Blue Devils share a long and storied rivalry. The Duke-Maryland match-up, though, takes center stage, as both teams are posturing for the ACC title, and the Tar Heels will likely fail to reach the NIT (which is an embarrassment to say the least). The Duke-Maryland rivalry is back in full-gear with this game bearing such major conference implications.

All-ACC guard Greivis Vasquez leads Maryland, and Vasquez has been a stalwart for the terrapins averaging 18 points and 6 assists per game. Senior guard Eric Hayes complements Vasquez’s aggressive, penetrating style with his steady play and his ability to knock down the three. Senior Forward Landon Milbourne has been another key contributor averaging nearly 15 points per game. Gary Williams’ team is lead by a triad of seniors, so their time to make a conference statement will have to come now at Cameron Indoor.

Duke, like Maryland, lives by their guard play. In fact, Duke’s only scorers in double-figures are guards. Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler each average over 16 points a game, but beyond those three, not one player on the roster averages more than 6 points per contest. This is troubling for Duke because it signifies that they lack depth, but fortunately, shutting down Duke’s three stars is difficult – if not impossible – to accomplish.

Unlike past years, Duke is beatable – but not at home. The Blue Devils are a perfect 17-0 on home court, and even with Duke being a hair below a top-five caliber team, it is still difficult to see Maryland pulling out a road victory. Maryland will play tough for the first half, but Duke will pull away late in a similar fashion as they did against UNC. Final Score: Duke 84 Maryland 72

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