Rasheed Sulaimon drives could be a key component to a Duke win at Virginia. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY
Duke at Virginia
When: 9:00 p.m.
Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.
TV/Radio: ESPN/WKIX-102.9 FM
Storyline: Another chance for an ACC team to secure a resume-boosting win.
Projected starting lineups:
No. 3 Duke (24-3, 11-3 in the ACC)
G Quinn Cook, So., 12.1 ppg, 5.6 apg
G Seth Curry, Sr., 16.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
G Rasheed Sulaimon, Fr., 12.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F Josh Hairston, Jr., 2.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg
F Mason Plumlee, Sr., 17.5 ppg, 10.7 rpg
Virginia (19-8, 9-5)
G Jontel Evans, Sr., 4.5 ppg, 5.3 apg
G Joe Harris, Jr., 16.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg
G Paul Jesperson, So., 5.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
F Akil Mitchell, Jr., 12.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg
F Justin Anderson, Fr., 7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Player to watch:
Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke
Sulaimon will need all of his reach and quickness to defend the taller Joe Harris, an all-ACC candidate. On the opposite end of the floor, Sulaimon is coming off a career-high, 27-point performance against Boston College. Virginia ranks fourth in the country with a scoring defense that yields just 54 points per game. With Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry to account for, Sulaimon and Quinn Cook will likely have the best looks at the basket.
***Virginia is still one of the slowest-paced teams in the nation, averaging just 60.9 possessions per game, 342nd of out 347 Division-I teams. The Cavaliers, though, have been much more efficient in the month of February, averaging 1.18 points per possession and turning the ball over less frequently.
“I don't think they're a slow-down team, I think they're a smart basketball team that will take opportunistic shots,” Mike Krzyzewski said. “When they get a good shot, they'll take it.”
For the entire season, the Cavaliers average 1.07 points per possession, meaning they’ve scored about six points per game above their season average in February.
Duke’s averages, for comparison’s sake, are 69.2 possessions per game (No. 75 in the country) and 1.14 points per possession (No. 8).
***One reason Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson both had career scoring days against Boston College was because both have improved their ability to play through contact. Duke had a season-high seven traditional 3-point plays—a made basket and a foul, sending the shooter to the line—and five came from the two freshmen, all of which were converted.
***A look at the four factors: