Seth Curry has one last chance to shine at his father's alma mater. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY
Duke at Virginia Tech
When: 9:00 p.m.
Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va..
TV/Radio: ESPN/WKIX-102.9 FM
Name to Know: Eric Green, the nation's leading scorer
Projected starting lineups:
No. 6 Duke (22-3, 9-3 in the ACC)
G Quinn Cook, So., 12.3 ppg, 5.8 apg
G Seth Curry, Sr., 16.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg
G Rasheed Sulaimon, Fr., 11.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F Josh Hairston, Jr., 2.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg
F Mason Plumlee, Sr., 17.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg
Virginia Tech (11-14, 2-10)
G Erick Green, Sr., 25.3 ppg, 4.1 apg
G Will Johnston, So., 1.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg
G Robert Brown, So., 8.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
F C.J. Barksdale, So., 4.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg
F Cadarian Raines, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Player to watch:
Mason Plumlee, Duke
Yes, Plumlee is coming off of his worst game of the year, a 4-point performance with three rebounds, two assists and two turnovers at Maryland. But one bad game doesn’t erase an entire body of work, and Plumlee has been playing at an All-American-type level this year.
“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic, he really runs the floor, scores down low rebounds,” Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. “He does it all.”
Coming off of his 30-point 9 rebound explosion against N.C. State, Plumlee started slow against Boston College and North Carolina, but he found his stride just in time to seal wins for the Blue Devils. Thursday gives him another opportunity to potentially dominate an overmatched opponent, drawing 6-foot-9 Cadarian Raines and his freshman backup from the Netherlands, 6-foot-10 Joey Van Zegeren.
***In games following losses, Rasheed Sulaimon leads the team with an average of 20 points per game, including a 9-of-12 mark from 3-point range. Sulaimon scored 15 points in the lone game he hasn’t started this year against Georgia Tech (after the N.C. State loss) and a career-high 25 points, including six 3s, against Maryland (after the Miami loss).
***Jarell Eddie, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, is Virginia Tech’s second leading scorer with an average of 13 points per game. He was benched against N.C. State, though, in favor of Will Johnston, a freshman guard. Head coach James Johnson said he wanted a better ballhandler on the floor and that Eddie, “hasn't been playing up to my expectations for him.” Eddie did contribute 17 points off the bench in the loss the N.C. State, including the putback off of an intentionally missed free throw that sent the game to overtime. Johnson said Wednesday that he hadn’t decided if Eddie would start against Duke.
***Duke has lost back-to-back games just once since the 2009-10 season. Duke's record following a loss during that span is 16-1, with the loss coming against Lehigh.
***Seth Curry is making his final trip to Virginia Tech, the alma mater of his father, Dell. The elder Curry starred at Virginia Tech before playing 16 years in the NBA. Curry hasn't faired as well in his two previous trips to Blacksburg—he fouled out after 15 minutes and zero points his sophomore year, and he went 2-of-7 from the field for 11 total points last year in one of only two games he didn't start that season.