Duke - VCU Preview

Duke (6) Vs. Virginia Commonwealth University (11)
Thursday, 3/15 @ 7:10
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Duke -6.5

The Duke Blue Devils (22- 10, 8- 8 ACC) were average in their conference but able to beat #23 Georgetown, #24 Gonzaga, #17 Clemson and #21 Boston College during the regular season. In their tournament unranked NC State beat them 85- 80. The Virginia Commonwealth Rams (27- 6, 16- 2 CAA), who were picked to finish sixth in the CAA, were tops in their conference. They’re playing to prove their critics wrong.

This Duke team lacks scoring off the bench and although it has talent, the club is very young and prone to mistakes. Top scorers include junior guard DeMarcus Nelson (14.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.0 APG), sophomore swingman Josh McRoberts (12.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.4 APG) and freshman Jon Scheyer (12.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG). Duke had the lowest average point total in the ACC (70.2 PPG). Sophomore guard Greg Paulus (11.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 3.8 APG) had a slow start but gained momentum during the season.

VCU’s high scoring backcourt can run, keeping the game up-tempo. They can also press opponents, slowing them down and controling the game. Guards B.A. Walker (14.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.0 APG), Jesse Pellot-Rosa (13.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.2 APG) and Eric Maynor (13.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 6.3 APG) have combined for 41.4 PPG.

Duke needs consistent scoring and sound ball handling in order to ensure victory. To win the VCU defense needs to slow down Duke and create opportunities through turnovers.

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