Duke will take on Temple Friday at 9:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., for its fourth game in a week. Before every game, we'll break down a player from each team who could be the difference in the upcoming contest:
Duke: guard Grayson Allen
Averaging 9.0 points in just 10.7 minutes per game and leading the team in steals at five, Grayson Allen is a difference maker on Duke's bench. Allen shined alongside the other freshmen in the Blue Devil's season opener against Presbyterian, scoring 18 points in his 18 minutes. But despite his stellar first game, the Jacksonville, Fla. native has struggled to find a rhythm lately.
In the Blue Devils' 81-71 win against Michigan State, Allen was unable to capitalize off the bench, took an awful shot and was sent back to the bench after a minute.The entire bench only produced seven points Tuesday, so Allen and the entire unit have something to prove Friday.
Because of Temple's relentless driving style offensively, Duke's guards could need a breather or be forced out of the game with foul trouble, so if Allen is able to come in and make some big plays on either end of the court, the Blue Devils will get a big boost.
Temple: guard Daniel Dingle
Returning after taking a medical redshirt for the majority of the 2013-14 season, Daniel Dingle is just as strong as he was before his injury. So far, he is averaing 11.0 points per game. Last season, he was a defensive leader for the Owls, posting 11 blocks, 14 defensive rebounds and 19 assists in his short season.
Dingle, standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing 235 pounds, is just one of several physical Temple guards, joining Will Cummings, Quenton DeCosey and Josh Brown as the quartet that makes Fran Dunphy's squad go on both ends of the court. If Temple wants to keep up with Duke, Dingle's ability to put pressure on the defense and get some much-needed production in the paint against a bigger Blue Devil squad could be huge.
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