Wake Forest-Duke Preview
Wake Forest coach Danny Manning says Duke is difficult to defend because it essentially uses four guards, although it's the fifth starter who is a big man who also did major damage the last time these teams met.
Marshall Plumlee turned in the best shooting effort of his career and will be one of many players for the No. 17 Blue Devils that the visiting Demon Deacons will be hard-pressed to contain Tuesday night.
Duke (21-8, 10-6 ACC) will be heavily favored with 16 consecutive home wins over Wake Forest, which has also dropped 22 straight conference road games. The Blue Devils are the ACC's second-highest scoring team at 81.6 points per game while the Demon Deacons (11-18, 2-15) allow a conference-worst 79.2.
"I think going into the game, in all instances in my eyes, they play four guards," Manning said. "I think Brandon Ingram is a very versatile talented player but he's got a guard's skill set. And so we've gotta make sure that we get back in transition, we're able to contest 3s but we also stay in front of the basketball."
Duke cruised to its 11th win in the last 12 meetings with a 91-75 road victory Jan. 6. The 7-foot Plumlee made all seven shots from the floor and all four free throws for 18 points.
Plumlee is only the Blue Devils' sixth-leading scorer, but coach Mike Krzyzewski may emphasize getting the ball inside more after Sunday's 76-62 loss at Pittsburgh. Duke shot 37.5 percent, with 32 of its 48 attempts coming from 3-point range.
"I would more like to complement what we do by the 3," Krzyzewski said.
Grayson Allen scored 22 and Ingram added 17 in Duke's second loss in three games. Now the Blue Devils must gear up for the season's final week that includes Saturday's visit by No. 8 North Carolina.
"We could never conjure up that emotion against Pitt yesterday, no matter what," Krzyzewski said. "But that's happened to my teams before, it just happens. You gotta try to make sure that you don't get bad habits when it happens and that's not the way you're going to continue to play. So we've gotta make a quick turnaround for tomorrow night against Wake Forest."
While Plumlee was perfect against the Demon Deacons, Allen isn't too far behind from being so in his career. The sophomore guard has made 16 of 21 shots for 51 points in three matchups against Wake Forest.
Wake's ACC road losing streak began with a 20-point defeat at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 4, 2014. The Demon Deacons have lost by at least 10 in every game of their skid at Duke, falling by an average margin of 21.3 points.
Top scorer Devin Thomas has totaled 45 points on 21-of-31 shooting in his last two home games against Duke. The senior forward has sandwiched the only two scoreless ACC efforts of his career at Cameron around a 14-point effort there two seasons ago. He has at least four fouls in six of seven games against the Blue Devils.
The Demon Deacons fell 81-74 to Virginia Tech on Sunday, with Codi Miller-McIntyre scoring 19. Miller-McIntyre has posted consecutive 20-point efforts against Duke.