Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Duke, Virginia Set for Top 5 Clash Saturday

RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson lead Duke past Virginia | College Basketball Highlights Duke pokes holes in Virginia’s vaunted defense, rolls to 81-71 win
Cassandra Castillo | 11 February, 2019, 18:23

You can't blame Virginia coach Tony Bennett for hoping the Blue Devils attempted as many 3-pointers as possible. That's how gifted the roster is.

Also in attendance at John Paul Jones Arena was former Duke star Grant Hill.

Notice, though, the Blue Devils won all of those games. Virginia is putting up 72.9 points per game on offense this season while shooting 47.7 percent from the field. "Just as a point guard, he's always been able to control the game".

Duke scored the first eight points on a pair of 3-pointers by Barrett sandwiching a steal and dunk by Williamson. That night, as Duke scrambled to put together an offense without starters Cam Reddish (flu) and Tre Jones (shoulder injury), the Blue Devils made just 9 of 43 3-pointers (20.9 percent).

No. 4 Duke defeated No. 2 Virginia, 69-63, in Charlottesville on January 31, 2015; No. 2 Virginia beat No. 4 Duke, 65-63, in Cameron last season (January 27); No. 1 Duke beat No. 4 Virginia, 72-70, on January 19 at Cameron.

The Blue Devils led wire-to-wire in the victory at JPJ, and they hit 13-of-21 three-pointers against the Pack Line defense (61.9 percent). "We tried to keep them out of the lane and jam the lane, and we probably overcorrected in terms of that".

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LeBron James sat under the basket at the Duke end of the floor and didn't get up to leave until about 1:15 was left on the game clock. I think their offense will be more efficient and their defense won't have to change too much to keep Virginia down in scoring. "We didn't know whether he was going to play or not, but it was definitely a big loss".

Hey, when you get beaten by the nation's No. 2 team authoring a benchmark performance, why not show a little gallows humor?

James had built a relationship with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski while playing with the US men's national team when Krzyzewski was the head coach. "I haven't thought about Carolina yet".

"He and I are really good friends". Now, they're playing in Virginia's home gym, and the strategy could be different. And he helped me look good in Beijing and in London.

Despite Duke's blistering start, Virginia was within 41-37 early in the second half. Three of the four road games are at AP Top 25 teams Virginia (No. 3), Louisville (No. 16) and Virginia Tech (No. 11)... R.J. Barrett is leading the team with 23 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while Zion Williamson is adding 22 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

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