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Game preview: Duke at Florida State

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Seth Curry has battled his right shin pain all year, but it hasn't slowed his offensive production, as he has scored at least 20 points in nine games. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Duke vs. Florida State
When:
2 p.m.
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
TV/Radio: ESPN/WKIX-102.9 FM
And? With Ryan Kelly expected to be out until at least late Feb., count on more Curry and Plumlee on the offensive end for Duke.

Projected starting lineups:
No. 5 Duke (18-2, 5-2 in the ACC)

G Quinn Cook, So., 11.2 ppg, 6.3 apg
G Seth Curry, Sr., 16.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg
G Rasheed Sulaimon, Fr., 11.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F Amile Jefferson, Fr., 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg
F Mason Plumlee, Sr., 18.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg

Florida State (12-8, 4-3 in the ACC)

G Montay Brandon, Fr., 4.8 ppg, 1.7 apg
G Terry Whisnant, So., 6.6 ppg, 14. rpg
G Michael Snaer, Sr., 14.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg
F Okaro White, Jr., 12.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg
C Kiel Turpin, Jr., 13.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg

Player to watch:

Josh Hairston, Duke

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski didn’t mince words when he shared his views on Hairston’s first-half play against Wake Forest.

“Well I thought he’d played very poorly in the first half,” Krzyzewski said. “I mean, not poor – I thought very poorly.”

But because Hairston has built up “equity” over the course of his career, he got another chance in the second half. He took advantage, too, tipping in an offensive rebound midway through the second, blocking a C.J. Harris jump shot with the score tied at 66-66 with less than four minutes remaining and saving a loose ball in the last minute. But it will be interesting to watch Hairston’s minutes over the next few games—with Amile Jefferson settling into the starting 4 spot and learning not to foul, it will be interesting to see how much Hairston plays.

Observations:

***Michael Snaer is rounding into late-game form just in time for Duke’s arrival. The senior—who nailed a buzzer-beating 3 in Cameron last year to break a 45-game home winning streak—hit two buzzer-beater game winners in the span of a week. Against Clemson, he fired a 3 from the right side of the floor and banked it in for the 60-57 win. Against Maryland Wed., he drilled a 3 from the left wing with 1.1 seconds left to notch a 73-71 win.

***The Seminoles have actually won three of their last four games against Duke. Florida State beat No. 1 Duke 66-61 Jan. 12, 2011 in Tallahassee, won in Durham 76-73 on Snaer’s buzzer beater last year and then won again 62-59 in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. No. 5 Duke did come to Tallahassee and win 74-66 over the No. 3 Seminoles on Feb. 23, 2012, as Andre Dawkins scored a game-high 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.

Florida State is one of only two ACC teams since 2007-08 to beat Duke twice in the same year. The other is North Carolina.

***Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry are, as noted in the preview story, the driving force behind Duke's offense. They are the second-most productive scoring duo in the ACC, averaging 34.1 points per game. Erick Green (who leads the nation in scoring) and Jarrell Eddie of Virginia Tech average 39.6 points per game.

For all the latest Duke news, like Duke NOW on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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About the blogger

Laura Keeley is the Duke beat writer for the News & Observer. Follow her on Twitter @laurakeeley
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