Published February 15, 2014
Greensboro, NC – Durham, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The eighth-ranked Duke Blue Devils get back to work on Saturday evening, as they play host to the Maryland Terrapins in an ACC showdown at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils have won two straight and seven of their last eight games to move to 19-5 overall and 8-3 in conference play. The lone loss during that stretch was an overtime thriller at top-ranked Syracuse, one of two teams that Duke is chasing in the league race at this time, the other being Virginia The Blue Devils were scheduled to take on arch rival North Carolina in Chapel Hill earlier this week, but inclement weather forced a postponement. The last time Duke was on the hardwood, it routed Boston College on the road last weekend, 89-68.
Mark Turgeon's Terrapins have played to mixed reviews this season, at 14-11 overall. The league slate has been challenging as well, with Maryland sitting at an even 6-6 in their last run through the ACC. The team has lost two of its last three games, including a 61-53 setback to nationally-ranked Virginia on Monday.
Duke maintains a 113-63 advantage in the all-time series with Maryland, but it is the Terrapins who have won the last two meetings, including an 83-74 decision in last year's ACC Tournament.
The Terrapins pulled within four points late against Virginia, but could not overtake the Cavaliers in an eight-point setback earlier in the week. Seth Allen led the way for Maryland in the loss with 15 points. Dez Wells finished with 12 points, while Nick Faust came off the bench to tally nine.
Maryland has put up modest numbers on the offensive end of the floor this season, averaging 72.0 ppg, on .440 shooting. Free-throw shooting has been a weakness, as the team is converting just .664 from the charity stripe. Still, the scoring is spread around, as four Terps are currently averaging double figures, led by Wells' 15.0 ppg. Allen has only played in a little more than half the games this season, but is now counted on for 12.5 ppg. Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz round things out with 12.0 and 11.3 ppg, respectively.
Duke is getting it done with prolific scoring and efficient play, as the team comes into this matchup averaging 82.2 ppg (16th nationally), on .475 shooting, which includes a stellar .420 from behind the arc, which ranks second in the nation. The Blue Devils' 9.7 3-pointers per game is also among the nation's best, ranking fifth. Freshman sensation Jabari Parker has not disappointed, as he leads the team in both scoring (19.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg). Parker isn't the only one filling up the basket, as fellow newcomer Rodney Hood (16.5 ppg) has made an immediate impact as well. Point guard Quinn Cook can both score (12.3 ppg) and distribute ( 5.2 apg) at a high rate. Players like Andre Dawkins (9.5 ppg) and Rasheed Sulaimon (9.1 ppg) add further depth.
It was once again the Parker show, as he lit up the Eagles on Saturday, posting career-highs with 29 points and 16 rebounds in Duke's rout of Boston College. It was Parker's eighth double-double of the year. Cook was electric as well, hitting five 3-pointers en route to a 21-point outburst. Sulaimon added 10 points to the cause, while dishing out six assists for Duke, which shot a sizzling .561 from the floor, including .524 from long range (11- of-21).