Duke Now

What does Miami have to do to beat Duke? Here’s what a Hurricanes beat writer says.

Miami has to stop Duke freshman forward Marvin Bagley III if it wants to beat the Blue Devils on Monday.
Miami has to stop Duke freshman forward Marvin Bagley III if it wants to beat the Blue Devils on Monday. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Through its first five games of conference play, Duke has had its ups and its downs.

Its ups have come at home (a 100-93 win over Florida State; solid defense in an 89-71 win over Wake Forest), while its downs (losing 89-84 at Boston College and 96-85 at N.C. State) have come on the road. The Blue Devils are 1-2 in ACC road games, and they will play another Monday against No. 25 Miami. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who missed Duke’s 89-71 win over Wake Forest on Saturday because of a virus, will be back for the game against the Hurricanes.

So what does No. 25 Miami (13-3, 2-2) have to do to beat No. 5 Duke (15-2, 3-2 ACC)?

Michelle Kaufman, who has covered Miami basketball for the Miami Herald for 20 years, shares her thoughts on the Hurricanes and their keys to Monday’s game against the Blue Devils.

ALEXANDER: What are Miami’s strengths and weaknesses?

KAUFMAN: UM strengths: Very athletic. Speed. Defense. Coaching.

UM weaknesses: Free throw shooting. Offensive cohesion – they still haven’t really found a good rhythm with freshmen guards Lonnie Walker IV and Chris Lykes.

ALEXANDER: Who are some players to watch?

KAUFMAN: Walker and tiny Lykes (listed at 5-7, but seems shorter). Forward Dewan Huell is having a breakout sophomore season. Sophomore guard Bruce Brown is a good all-around player.

ALEXANDER: What does Miami have to do to beat Duke?

KAUFMAN: Play its best game of the season, and stop freshman forward Marvin Bagley III.

ALEXANDER: Is this Miami team better than the one that finished first in the ACC during the 2012-13 season?

KAUFMAN: This team has potential to make a run in the ACC, but so far does not look as good as that 2012-13 team. The biggest difference is in the point guard position. Nobody on this team is as good as Shane Larkin or Angel Rodriguez.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

No. 5 Duke at No. 25 Miami

When: 7 p.m., Monday

Where: Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Fla.

TV: ESPN

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