I hope everyone had a nice holiday season. In one week’s time, ACC basketball will be in full swing, with Duke at Notre Dame. Before we get to that point, there are a few matters of business that must be addressed. Starting with...
No. 9 Duke vs. Eastern Michigan
When: 2:05 p.m.
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham
TV/Radio: ESPN2, WKIX-102.9 FM
Projected starting lineup:
No. 9 Duke (9-2)
G Quinn Cook, Jr., 14.6 ppg, 6.5 aps
G Tyler Thornton, Sr., 3.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg
F Rodney Hood, R-So., 18.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg
F Jabari Parker, Fr., 22.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg
F Josh Hairston, Sr., 2.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Eastern Michigan (7-3)
G Mike Talley, R-Jr., 8.4 ppg, 4.0 apg
G Raven Lee, R-Fr., 12.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
F Karrington Ward, Jr., 15.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg
F Glenn Bryant, R-Sr., 10.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg
C Da’Shonte Riley, Sr., 6.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg
Player to watch:
G Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke
Last time we saw Sulaimon, he put together a slump-busting performance against UCLA. Sulaimon scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and recorded four assists in 18 minutes off the bench. It was, by far, the brightest performance of the year for Sulaimon—it will be interesting to see if he gets the minutes to build off of his performance.
Duke has won 100 consecutive home games against unranked non-conference opponents…. Duke has had a 20-point scorer in every game this season. The last time the Blue Devils started a season with a 20-point scorer in its first 11 games was 2000-01, when Duke had a 20-point scorer in 17 straight games to start the season…. Rodney Hood is shooting an ACC-best 55.4 percent (67-of-121) from the field…. Jabari Parker and Hood are the top scoring tandem in the ACC (third in the NCAA) at 40.6 points per game. The duo combines to generate 47.5 percent of Duke’s scoring on the year. Either Parker or Hood have led the Blue Devils in scoring in 10 of the their 11 games this season.
Taking a look at Eastern Michigan, the Eagles are 5-3 against Division-I competition, and 0-2 against power conference teams (with road losses to Kentucky and Purdue). The Eagles’ other loss came at home to Massachusetts, currently ranked No. 23 and ranked No. 2 in the RPI. Eastern Michigan does have one top 100 RPI win, against Green Bay…Eastern Michigan was picked to finish 3rd on the six-team MAC West Division, and Glenn Bryant was named to the preseason all-conference team.