Durham, NC – The top-ranked Duke Blue Devils attempt to pick of the pieces from a devastating loss this week, as they play host to the Maryland Terrapins in Atlantic Coast Conference action from Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Mike Krzyzewski's squad might sit atop the national polls for now, but that will change after this weekend, as the team suffered a humbling 90-63 rout at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday. The loss was actually the second in the last three games for Duke, which despite its lofty ranking, sits third in the ACC, tied with North Carolina, Virginia and Florida State at just 3-2.
Maryland isn't far behind at 3-3 in league play, but the Terrapins have really performed well in Mark Turgeon's second season at the helm, sporting a 15-4 overall record. The Terps have won two of the their last three games, with an upset of NC State (51-50) and a 64-59 victory over Boston College surrounding a tough road loss at North Carolina.
Duke holds a 112-61 advantage in the all-time series with Maryland and has won each of the last five meetings. In Durham, the Blue Devils hold an impressive 56-15 mark.
Alex Len once again led the way in the middle for Maryland, as the center posted a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, leading the Terps to a five-point win over Boston College. Jake Layman poured in 15 points and Nick Faust finished with 11 for Maryland, which won the game despite shooting a mediocre .424 from the floor overall.
The Terrapins are defensive-minded by nature and have really flourished at that end of the floor, holding foes to a mere 59.1 ppg and ranking third nationally in field-goal percentage defense (.351). The strong defensive efforts have certainly continued in league play, as UM has held each of its first six opponents under 38 percent shooting. Offensively speaking, the Terrapins are led by Len, who paces the team with 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Dez Wells is the only other current Terrapin in double figures at 11.8 ppg, although Faust (8.7 ppg) may join his teammates if his shooting improves (.371).
Duke was simply blown away by the Hurricanes this week down in Coral Gables, as Miami shot a sterling 56.9 percent from the floor overall, including 47.4 percent from behind the arc in the game. The home team used a crippling 25-1 run in the first half to put the game out of reach early on. Rasheed Sulaimon led four Blue Devils in double figures in defeat, posting 16 points. Mason Plumlee recorded his 12th double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 boards, while Amile Jefferson and Alex Murphy tallied 13 and 11 points, respectively. Sharp-shooter Seth Curry however, had perhaps the worst game of his career, going 0-of-10 from the floor
In a game that got away from Duke in a hurry, the team could have definitely used Ryan Kelly's outside shooting (13.4 ppg) to halt Miami's momentum. Unfortunately, Duke's sharp-shooter (.521 from 3-point range) is sidelined with a foot injury and is out indefinitely. Still, the team usually has the necessary personnel to cover the loss, led by the interior dominance of Plumlee, who averages team-highs of 17.3 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Curry's outing against Miami can simply be chalked up to an anomaly, as he is still averaging a hefty 15.9 ppg on the year. Sulaimon and Quinn Cook round out the top scoring threats on the roster at 11.3 and 11.1 ppg, respectively.