After its stunning, 27-point loss at Miami on Wednesday night, Duke is going to have additional motivation Saturday against Maryland. The Blue Devils, who will still be No. 1 until the next poll comes out, have defeated the Terps five times in a row.
“Duke is going to be ready to go,” said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, who said today he is hopeful his team can “hang around.”
Turgeon hadn’t yet watched first-place Miami’s 90-63 win over Duke.
“I’ll watch it, probably tonight,” he said. But he doesn’t expect to learn much because playing on the road is such a different experience than playing at Cameron [Indoor Stadium], where the Devils have been dominant.
Mason Plumlee was a big factor in Duke’s two wins over Maryland last season. He’s averaging 17.3 points and 11.4 points per game this season.
Last season, Plumlee had 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting and 12 rebounds in the second Maryland-Duke game. The Terps decided not to double-team Plumlee in the lane so they could concentrate on stopping Duke's 3-point shooting. You pick your poison, right?
This time, I suspect they’ll try to keep Plumlee further away from the basket. Turgeon said he’ll have an extra body this season – big freshman Shaquille Cleare – to defend Plumlee along with Alex Len.
"We've got a lot of big bodies this year," said guard Nick Faust, who said Len is tougher and bulkier than a year ago.
Maryland guard Pe’Shon Howard has struggled with his shot. But Turgeon said the junior remains valuable, particularly on defense where he is likely to be tasked with keeping tabs on Duke’s Seth Curry (15.9 points per game).
“We need Pe’Shon to be good,” Turgeon said. “Pe’Shon is such a good defender. That’s where Pe’Shon is helping us more than anything right now.”