Game preview: Duke at Notre Dame

Posted by Laura Keeley on January 4, 2014 

Quinn Cook and the Blue Devils are ready for ACC play

CHUCK LIDDY

No. 7 Duke at Notre Dame

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, South Bend, Ind.

TV/Radio: CBS, WKIX-102.9 FM

Line: Duke by 5.5 points

Pregame reading: Duke still focused on defense as ACC play opens with shorthanded Notre Dame

Projected starting lineups:

No. 7 Duke (11-2)

G Quinn Cook, Jr., 13.5 ppg, 6.3 apg

G Tyler Thornton, Sr., 3.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg

F Rodney Hood, R-So., 17.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg

F Jabari Parker, Fr., 21.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg

F Josh Hairston, Sr., 2.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg

Notre Dame (9-4)

G Eric Atkins, Sr., 13.2 ppg, 4.5 apg

G Demetrius Jackson, Fr., 7.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg

G/F Pat Connaughton, Jr., 13.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg

F Tom Knight, Gr., 4.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg

C Garrick Sherman, Sr., 14.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg

Player to watch:

Amile Jefferson, Duke

Jefferson will get an opportunity to prove himself on the defensive end of the floor against Notre Dame’s center, Garrick Sherman. If Jefferson can handle that assignment, that should go a long way toward earning more minutes.

Observations:

***In case you weren’t aware, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey was an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke for eight seasons, from 1987-1995. One of his many accomplishments, Brey was instrumental in recruiting Steve Wojciechowski. It’s a story Brey told back in October at ACC media days and again this week. Krzyzewski was asked about it in the preseason, too.

“He was the one who made the last statement,” Krzyzewski said of Brey for Wojo. “Mike did a great job for us. He and Tommy Amaker were my two guys, and obviously both of them were really good. We were walking out of, it was called ABCD, up in Michigan, one of those camps in the summer. Wojo was a late invite, and they had eight or nine kids from Russia who were in the camp. And they put all the kids from Russia on one team. And I think that’s why they put Wojo on that team. You see the name, although Polish people would be a little bit offended.

“We were watching, and they were winning, even though he was small and whatever. When we walked out, Mike said, ‘Coach, look, if he can lead these eight Russian kids who can’t speak English and they’re winning,’ and I said, ‘you’re right, let’s get him.’”

***Historically, The Fighting Irish have been tough to beat at home, as they are 125-11 in their last 136 games played at home. That .919 home winning percentage over the course of the last eight seasons ranks fifth nationally.

But this year, the Irish have struggled at the Joyce, losing to Indiana State and North Dakota State. Notre Dame also needed overtime to knock off Canisius.

***The Fighting Irish have won four straight home games against opponents ranked in the top 10. The Notre Dame students are still on winter break, but the game is still expected to be a sell-out.

***Notre Dame ranks 128th in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency ratings (100.9), which could be problematic against Duke, which ranks third nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency (118.5). The Blue Devils lead the AC in scoring (85.2 points per game) and field goal percentage (.502).

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

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service