Game preview: Duke vs. UNC Asheville

Posted by Laura Keeley on November 18, 2013 

Rodney Hood re-found his scoring touch against FAU last Friday, thanks to a video session with Mike Krzyzewski.

CHUCK LIDDY

No. 6 Duke vs. UNC Asheville

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham

TV/radio: ESPNU, WKIX-102.9 FM

Projected starting lineups:

No. 6 Duke (2-1)

G Quinn Cook, Jr., 13 ppg, 6.7 apg

G Rasheed Sulaimon, So., 12.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg

F Rodney Hood, R-So., 20.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg

F Jabari Parker, Fr., 23.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg

F Amile Jefferson, So., 11.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg

 

UNC-Asheville (1-2)

G Andrew Rowsey, Fr., 19.7 ppg, 2.3 apg

G Jaron Lane, Sr., 8.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg

G Corey Littlejohn, Jr., 5.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg

F Will Weeks, So., 13.0 ppg, 7.0 apg

C D.J. Cunningham, Sr., 12.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg

Player to watch

Rasheed Sulaimon, sophomore

Sulaimon made his return to the starting lineup Friday against Florida Atlantic, but he was battling an illness that had him congested and was told by the coaches to just focus on defense. He did that to their liking. The next step for Sulaimon will be taking advantage of being the opposing teams’ third (at best) defensive priority on the offensive side of the court.

Observations

***In addition to Andre Dawkins’s re-introduction last Friday night, Rodney Hood also re-found his aggressiveness. In the first half, he had 19 points in 14 minutes and finished with a career-high 28 points. After the Kansas game, he had been hard on himself in the locker room, saying he had been too passive when Jabari Parker was doing his thing in the first half. That’s something he addressed with coach Mike Krzyzewski before the FAU game.

"As soon as the buzzer sounded, I knew that loss reflected on me," Hood said. "And I talked to Coach, we had a real heart-to-heart, and he put real confidence in me for tonight. I just had to come out aggressive."

"He should look for his own shot," Krzyzewski said when asked about Hood. "We put him in positions where he might get a read, when he sees the read. It’s not like calling a play. You call actions, and during an action, a read occurs. An open low-post and you’re on the wing. Well, you need to drive that all the time because there’s no help. That type of thing.

"Against Kansas, those reads were there, and he wasn’t taking advantage of them. What you do is you show him tape and say, did you see this? Did you see it in a game? He said, ‘I wasn’t looking for it?’ And I said, ‘Well if you don’t look to read, you’re not going to be as good of player.’

And that’s part of, again, he didn’t play for a year. Our team is young together."

***This is the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-off, which concludes next week in New York City. Duke does have to win its Monday and Tuesday game to advance to Madison Square Garden. The Blue Devils are 22-2 all-time in this tournament, winning in 1985, 2000, 2005 and 2009.

***Parker continues to impress, becoming the first freshman under Krzyzewski to score 20 or more points in his first three games. The scary thought for opponents? Krzyzewski thought he was deferring to Hood too much in the first half of last Friday’s game.

***Duke has shot over 50 percent from the field in all three games this year.

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