#6 Duke (15-3, 3-2) at #16 Clemson (15-4, 3-2)
When: 9PM on ESPN
All 3 of Duke's losses have been road games. They dont have a true road win this season.
"I think it's one of the best in the league," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said of Clemson's home-court advantage. "I think it's one of the best in the country. It's evolved into that."
"It is a significant day for us, one thing we set out to do when we got here was make this a fun place to watch a basketball game and a place that's hard to get a ticket. We certainly have gotten to that point."
"It's going to be crazy," senior forward Trevor Booker said.
Duke seeks revenge at hostile Littlejohn after their spanking last year, but Clemson wants it after the spanking we got a few weeks ago too.
Duke has the #1 ranked offense by efficiency according to KenPom and the #7 scoring offense in the nation. Like the last time we played them, the goal is to control the Big 3 of Singler, Scheyer and Smith. In the loss against Georgia Tech, they went 6-26 from the arc and the Big 3 went 14-42 from the field total. In their most recent loss to NC State, Scheyer and Singler both shot under 37%.
Duke shot 50% against us in Game 1, and even outrebounded us. Scheyer and Singler both had 22, and Smith 16.
"We've watched that one a few times," sophomore guard Tanner Smith said, grinning. "We're ready. It's not something we want to happen again."
Singler tends to drive to his right and must be forced to take a pull up jumper instead of taking the ball inside, while Scheyer needs to controlled by a bigger guard, and Stitt was still hurting and had trouble in practice yesterday. Smith has been pretty hot lately and could be the difference maker tonight.
Clemson forward Tanner Smith said the key to maximizing the home-court advantage is having an effective pressure defense.
"The (crowd) energy is going to flow from our defense," Smith said. "If we are able to push the envelope defensively, I think the points will come." (source)
If Clemson is going to win, and take utmost advantage of what could be the most important weekend in CU basketball history, we have to force turnovers and the crowd must be intense to keep the energy of the Press sky high. As you all know, we cant be forced into playing half-court offense, we'll lose this game if our offense can't generate in transitiion or off turnovers and we must get the ball inside to Booker. I don't have much faith in the Plumlees yet, but they certainly have the potential to be great inside for Duke, so Booker must respect them and really challenge them inside. Lance Thomas showed the ability to handle him inside in Game 1.