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Clemson Basketball: Duke Preview

The Tigers travel to Durham. You know what that means.

Dec 9, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer reacts to a call during the second half against the Charlotte 49ers at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Duke University

Overall Record: 14-4

ACC Record: 5-2

KenPom Ranking: 13

Game Information

Location: Durham

Time: 4 PM

TV: ESPN

Basic Information

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Type of School: Private Research University

Mascot: Blue Devil

Head Coach - Jon Scheyer

Seasons at Duke (including ‘23-’24): 2

Other Head Coaching Jobs: None

Career Record: 41-13

Conference Championships: 0

Conference Tournament Championships: 1

NCAA Appearances: 1 (1-1)

Final Four Appearances: 0

Kenpom Style of Play

() = National Ranking per Kenpom

Offense

Adj. Efficiency: 121.1 (9)

Avg. Poss. Length: 16.8 (108)

Defense

Adj. Efficiency: 99 (38)

Avg. Poss. Length: 18 (316)

Adjusted Tempo

68

Kenpom 4 Factors

() = National Ranking per Kenpom

Offense

Effective FG%: 55.1 (28)

Turnover %: 13.5 (5)

Off. Reb. %: 29.7 (155)

FTA/FGA: 36.3 (97)

Defense

Effective FG%: 49.8 (147)

Turnover %: 18.8 (94)

Off. Reb. %: 24.1 (18)

FTA/FGA: 27.6 (65)

Personnel

Duke Starters

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Point Guard 3 Jeremy Roach Sr. 6'2" 180 N/A 32 14.4 2.5 3.2 1.5 0.1
Shooting Guard 0 Jared McCain Fr. 6'3" 197 N/A 28.4 12.1 3.9 1.6 1 0
Small Forward 1 Caleb Foster Fr. 6'5" 197 N/A 26.2 8.1 2.4 2.3 0.7 0.1
Power Forward 25 Mark Mitchell So. 6'9" 232 N/A 27.4 12.7 6 1.3 0.8 0.4
Center 30 Kyle Filipowski So. 7'0" 248 N/A 30.4 18.2 9 3.1 1.2 1.8

Duke Bench

Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Position Number Player Class Height Weight Previous Team Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
Guard 3 Tyrese Proctor So. 6'5" 183 N/A 27.9 10.7 2.5 3.9 0.7 0.2
Forward 13 Sean Stewart Fr. 6'9" 227 N/A 8.2 2.7 3.1 0.1 0.5 0.5
Center 15 Ryan Young Sr. 6'10" 238 Northwestern 11.9 3.3 3.5 1.1 0.1

Duke on Offense

Take one uber-talented, multi-dimensional center (Kyle Filipowski) and surround him with a horde of sharpshooters and shot makers. That’s the Duke offense.

Look for the ball in Filipowski’s hands at the top of the key when Duke settles into their half-court offense. The Blue Devils flank him with two guards, and he gets to decide which guard he wants to use in a pick-and-roll, or pick-and-pop, or a fake pick and dive to the basket. They like to run some version of this for their attack in a possession and then build from there.

If you stop their first action, sometimes they simply pop Filipowski back to the top of the key and start over. Other times, they’ll leave him on the post and let him seal his man and receive a wing entry pass. He’s not at his best in the low post, but he’ll put the ball in the basket if allowed deep position.

This is tough, but Clemson can’t overhelp on the 2-man game Duke runs. They need to keep it a two-man game and make Filipowski and whichever guard he decides to use score instead of setting up wide open 3’s. That’s what Duke does. They keep jabbing you in the body with their high pick offense, 2 points at a time until you get tired of them scoring 2 points. Then they knock you out with a run of 3-pointers when you send an extra defender. Duke regularly puts a lineup on the floor featuring 3, 40% 3-point shooters (Filipowski, Roach, McCain). Their worst shooting guard, Tyrese Proctor, still shoots a respectable 35% from deep.

It’s simple basketball but devastatingly effective.

Duke on Defense

The Blue Devils defense is good, but has given up points in individual games this season. Clemson has a punchers chance in this game because they can score. If you can’t score, you can’t beat Duke, because they’re going to get theirs more often than not. You’ve got to get yours.

Kyle Filipowski is such a vital part of their offense, the Blue Devils do their best to protect him on defense. They don’t want you to isolate him on the perimeter. Subsequently, they tend to over react to pick and rolls that include Filipowski. They’re allowing their opponents to hit 34% of their 3-point attempts. That’s how Pitt knocked them off in Cameron Indoor last week. Pitt hit 10-20 3’s thanks to Blake Henson going 7-7 from deep. They had 2 guards get into double digits, and pulled off the 80-76 upset.

That’s Clemson’s formula in this game.

They need to keep Filipowski as busy as possible on defense. Getting him in foul trouble early would go a long way in helping the Tigers pull the upset. I have no issue if a Clemson guard gets swatted at the rim early trying to attack him. The reward of potentially drawing a foul on Filipowski is worth the risk.

My prediction:

Duke’s going to go under every pick and roll involving Chase Hunter and beg him to shoot from deep. They’re going to focus their efforts on helping Filipowsk with PJ and if Chase can’t take advantage of Duke overplaying the drive and the roll man, he can’t be on the court. That’s tough, because Clemson needs Chase if they plan on winning on the road. He’s 3-26 from deep in conference play. He’s going to have the opportunity to show he’s a better shooter than that tomorrow.

Matchup to Watch

PJ Hall vs Kyle Filipowski

Filipowski has the skill edge, but P.J. is the better overall athlete. It’s weird, because I don’t think either head coach relishes the idea of their best player guarding a foul magnet. I think you’ll see some cross match-ups on defense, depending on who is playing power forward, but in the end, this game is going to come down to a battle of the big men.

First center in foul trouble loses.

The game is in Cameron Indoor.

Gulp.

Prediction

KenPom

Clemson: 73

Duke: 80

Confidence: 28%

Drew

Clemson: 79

Duke: 86

I don’t have much faith in either defense. The stats say Duke is good, but Clemson has the type of team that can give them trouble if they shoot the ball anywhere close to their potential. Clemson hangs around in this one but PJ eventually ends up in foul trouble, and the Blue Devils pull away in the final 8 minutes of the game.

I hope I’m wrong.