Game preview: Duke vs. Virginia

Posted by Laura Keeley on January 13, 2014 

Defensive breakdowns like this—easy dunks for an opponent while multiple defenders are left standing around—are going to need to happen less frequently for Duke to have success.

TYLER SMITH — Getty Images

No. 23 Duke vs. Virginia

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham

TV/Radio: ESPN, WKIX-102.9 FM

Line: Duke by 6.5 points

Pregame reading: I teamed up with Andrew Carter and Joe Giglio to break down what’s troubling Duke, UNC and N.C. State

Projected starting lineups:

No. 23 Duke (12-4, 1-2 in the ACC)

G Quinn Cook, Jr., 13.6 ppg, 6.1 apg

G Rasheed Sulaimon, So., 7.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg

F Rodney Hood, R-So., 18.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg

F Jabari Parker, Fr., 19.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg

F Amile Jefferson, So., 6.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Virginia (12-4, 3-0)

G London Perrantes, Fr., 4.6 ppg, 3.4 apg

G Malcolm Brogdon, R-So., 9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg

G Joe Harris, Sr., 10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg

F Akil Mitchell, Sr., 6.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg

C Mike Tobey, So., 7.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Player to watch:

Mike Tobey, Virginia

Assume this will be a post player for the foreseeable future. Virginia is already used to running its offense through the 6-foot-11, 253-pound Tobey, who has the highest usage percentage of any Cavalier (26.2 percent of offensive possessions when he’s on the floor end with him).

Observations:

Rodney Hood’s thoughts jumped ahead to the Virginia game in the aftermath of Saturday’s loss at Clemson.

"It’s a quick turnaround, we have Virginia, another tough team," he said. "A mature team. If we don’t get it right, we’ll, we’ll," he said before pausing. "I don’t want to think about it."

Maturity, along with toughness, was one of the buzzwords being offered up in the Duke locker room to explain the head-scratching loss to Clemson.

"We’ve just got to understand that we don’t get these games back. Every game in the ACC means something," Tyler Thornton said. "Coach has said it all year, we’re not guaranteed any postseason position in the NCAA Tournament, and that’s the ultimate goal. But we’ve got to handle these games one game at a time."

As far as how to fix the toughness issue, here was Quinn Cook’s idea.

"I think it’s a mindset," he said. "It’s something you have to make a habit. We’ve shown glimpses but this team is nowhere near where we need to be. We have to get there."

Mike Krzyzewski didn’t have any time, really, to change things in between the loss at Clemson Saturday and the game against Virginia tonight. No time for grueling practices or anything else that could potentially toughen up this group. So let’s see what happens tonight. With the next game not coming until Saturday ( vs. N.C. State), there will be plenty of time midweek to analyze what’s going on with this team.

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