After Indiana was upset last week by Butler, Blue Devil Nation had to be going wild at the thought of Duke once again becoming the top-ranked team in the country. So when it happened they had to be thrilled. However, chances are good that Coach K and his squad, enjoyed this news for about three seconds before putting on their game faces and going forward with the mindset that the ranking doesn’t mean anything because the season is still young and a #1 ranking is not a national championship trophy.
If anyone had any doubts whatsoever that the Blue Devils would not be focused on the task at hand–especially after not playing a game for 11 days–they erased those doubts by emphatically defeating Cornell last night, 88-47. Now they just have to keep putting the pressure on their opponents when they face Elon tonight at Coach K Court.
On paper, there is absolutely no reason why Elon should be able to pull of an upset tonight. Elon shoots barely over 39% as a team, good for 310th in the nation, so this fact alone makes the Phoenix seem like an unlikely challenge. They also rank no higher than 108th in the nation in assists, rebounds or points per game. Add in the fact that only junior guard Jack Isenbarger and junior forward Lucas Troutman average in double figures in scoring (14.7 and 14.6 PPG, respectively), and you start to see which players Duke will be keying in on tonight.
Duke, on the other hand, is absolutely loaded. They’re 15th in the nation in scoring with just 81 points per game, 18th in shooting percentage at 48.9%, and 24th in assists with just under 17 per game. Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry, Rasheed Sulaimon, Ryan Kelly and Quinn Cook all average in double figures in points–with Plumlee averaging nearly 20. At only 39.3%, their three-point shooting isn’t as deadly as it has been in years past, but it’s still formidable enough when they’re on.
The Blue Devils will be looking to push their record to 11-0 tonight, while Elon will be looking to move to 7-4 on the season.