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.
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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.
No. 5 Duke at No. 25 Miami
When: 7 p.m., Monday
Where: Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Fla.