Nov. 13-14 ACC Previews
No. 9/8 Duke (1-0) vs. No. 3 Kentucky (1-0), 9:30 PM, ESPN (Atlanta, GA)
What to watch: Who runs the point? NC State transfer Ryan Harrow will miss this game for Kentucky with the flu, so it looks like walk-on Jarrod Paulson will see a lot of time again. Against Maryland, he was great. But can he do it again? And for Duke, Quinn Cook is not listed as a projected starter and didn’t start the opener. Tyler Thornton takes better care of the ball than Cook generally, but he’s not as much of a potential game-changer. It will be interesting to see how that rotation develops.
Is Mason Plumlee ready to assert himself? Kentucky’s bigs are inexperienced, and Maryland’s frontcourt dominated them on the backboards last Friday. Nerlens Noel was the No. 1 recruit in the country, but Plumlee is athletic enough and certainly savvy enough to get the better of that matchup. He’s “the guy” this year for Duke, and this is his time to show why.
Will Alex Murphy play? This question speaks for itself. And if the redshirt freshman – who was a healthy scratch from Duke’s opener due to “match-ups”, per Krzyzewski – does play, where will his confidence level be?
Random Duke-Kentucky facts: They’ve played just five times in the Coach K era, and Duke is 4-1 in those games. And yet this is being billed as a rivalry game. It’s a bit one-sided in that Kentucky fans still have a lot of bitterness towards Duke stemming from the 1992 Elite 8 loss. A lot of the hatred from Kentucky fans stems from the fact that Christian Laettner didn’t miss a shot, including hitting this game-winner…
…but it didn’t help that this moment came earlier.
Chris Farley as Christian Laettner. No, seriously.
This guy hates Duke almost as much as he loves Jagermeister. But a Duke football shirt?
Prediction: Duke, 67-61.
Delaware (1-1) at Virginia (1-1), 7:00 PM, ESPN3 (NIT Season Tip-Off)
What to watch: Joe Harris. Joey Hoops has literally accounted for 30% of Virginia’s scoring so far this season. He’s going to need some help at some point, but he’s been very efficient. Can he keep carrying that load until Malcolm Brogdon and Jontel Evans come back?
Random Delaware facts: According to the Delaware website, the Fightin’ Blue Hen comes from the Revolutionary War, when the Delaware regiment started putting on cockfights with the Kent County Blue Hen.
Prediction: Virginia, 57-49.
Florida Gulf Coast (0-1) at Miami (1-0), 7:05 PM (Fort Myers, FL)
What to watch: Miami’s defense. Allowing 79 points to Stetson on 44% shooting (42% from three) to go with 20 assists on 28 field goals for the Hatters? Yeah, that’s not very good.
Random Florida Gulf Coast facts: Florida Gulf Coast’s mascot is an eagle, because – per the University website – “The Eagle serves to identify not only the physical environment of Southwest Florida but also the University’s relationship with it.” Okay. He did hit a halfcourt shot and win free books for a year:
Prediction: Miami, 91-68.
Presbyterian (0-1) at Georgia Tech (1-0), 7:00 PM, ESPN3
What to watch: Presbyterian’s turnovers. It could have just been a fluke, but Georgia Tech forced Tulane into just four turnovers on Friday.
Random Presbyterian facts: One of their former football players was on “The Bachelorette”. He got in a a bit of trouble for saying he wanted a “trophy wife”.
Prediction: Georgia Tech, 81-57.
Last week: 11-1