2007 Duke Blue Devils Basketball Preview
The Duke Blue Devils (22- 11 overall, 8- 8 ACC) finished tied for sixth in their conference. Coach Mike Krzyzewski (702- 202 in 27 years at Duke, 775- 261 in 32 years) seems to create winners at will, but in last season’s NCAA tourney his team fell to VCU in round one by the score of 79- 77. That type of performance is something that the folks at Duke simply don’t get. The Blue Devils have been included 31 times in March Madness coverage, gone to the Final Four 14 times and won three titles.
Although Duke kept opponents to an average of 62.0 PPG, leading the ACC in scoring defense, the Blue Devils were only good for 70.4 PPG, which ranked them last in the conference and 136th in the NCAA. At the free throw line rivals outmatched them-- .705 to .689.
Forward David McClure (4.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG), a junior, is the only returning starter upfront. At center 7’ 1” Brian Zoubek (3.1 PPG, 2.3 RPG) could have a breakout season and college basketball betting lines, as long as the broken foot he suffered in the summer heals in a timely manner. Sophomore forward Lance Thomas (4.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG) will be a starter this season.
The backcourt has three guys who could earn All-ACC honors this year. Senior DeMarcus Nelson (14.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 47.8 FG%) is a vet who possesses versatility, athleticism and leadership ability. Junior Greg Paulus (11.8 PPG, 3.8 APG, 45.6 FG%) can sink threes, but he’s got to handle the ball better. Junior Jon Scheyer (12.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG) has another fine downtown shot and is an excellent playmaker.
Duke had a tough time manufacturing points last season. But “Coach K” had only one major loss in the scoring department—forward Josh McRoberts (13.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG). For the team, and college basketball betting, that’s good news, especially because rookie forward Kyle Singler brings a fine shot that he can fling and sink from anywhere. Another first year player, Taylor King, offers some fine shooting chops. Krzyzewski, who plays with eight permanent players, should have enough guys to give him some extra oomph in the point production department. Look for Duke to do better this year than they did in 2006- 2007.