Turgeon said that his team’s ballhandling responsibilities will be “by committee,” but that sophomore Seth Allen and freshman Roddy Peters will get a majority of the minutes at the point.

“I think Dez [Wells] and Nick [Faust] can handle it for us, Jake [Layman] can handle it for us, Evan [Smotrycz] can handle it for us,” Turgeon said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys ... practicing different things getting ready for them. Hopefully, we can do a lot of things to relieve pressure.”

Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski said defense and rebounding has been the difference in a stretch of eight games in which the Blue Devils have lost only to now No. 1 Syracuse, in overtime.

“We’ve played as hard or harder than anyone we’ve faced during that stretch,” Wojciechowski said.

OPPOSITE SIDES

I wrote in a blog Friday about how Wells and Faust grew up as Duke fans rooting for the Blue Devils against Maryland. Early on, it was the opposite for Wojciechowski.

Some of Wojciechowski’s earliest basketball memories growing up in Severna Park included watching Len Bias, whose breakthrough performance came in leading the Terps to the ACC tournament championship over Duke in 1984.

“I remember watching him and being amazed at his ability,” Wojciechowski said Friday.

Wojciechowski’s allegiances changed when Bobby Hurley showed up in Durham in 1989, leading the Blue Devils to the NCAA tournament final as a freshman, and then along with Christian Laettner to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1991 and 1992.

“When I fell in love with the game, I identified with the Bobby Hurley-led Duke teams,” said Wojciechowski, who later starred at Cardinal Gibbons.

Wojciechowski never went to a game at Cole Field House until he played there as a freshman in what was a difficult season at Duke. Krzyzewski left the team early in the season after complications following back surgery.

“It was a long year,” Wojciechowski said.

Wojciechowski said Friday that he was sad to see the rivalry with Maryland come to an end with Saturday’s game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Though the game is certainly not on the national level that it once was, Wojciechowski said, “I think our students are very excited.”

So are the Duke players who can recall the two defeats to the Terps last season.

“If you’re a competitior, you know the people who beat you last year and if that can add fuel to the fire and you do it a positive way, that would be great,” Wojciechowski said.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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