Duke will come off a ten-day finals break on Tuesday against Princeton, with tipoff set for 6 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Zone examines three keys that the Blue Devils must take advantage of: 

Perimeter Shooting

In Duke’s last two contests, it has been plagued by a shooting slump from beyond the arc that must be rectified if they wish to win handily against Princeton. Hartford and Yale held the Blue Devils to 19.2 percent and 23.8 percent respectively from outside, a figure that needs improvement as Duke heads closer to conference play. 

The Blue Devils’ shooting woes have come hand-in-hand with those of freshman Cam Reddish, Duke’s primary threat from distance. After shooting an impressive 43.3 percent on 3-pointers through his first eight games, Reddish has only capitalized on 1 of his 14 outside attempts in his last two contests. Look for that to change against the Tigers, as the Blue Devils and Reddish will seek to expose a perimeter defense that has surrendered a 43.1 percent 3-point percentage to its last three opponents.

Containing Princeton’s Guard Tandem

On the other end, Duke must make it a priority to impede Princeton’s perimeter attack of Devin Cannady and Jaelin Llewellyn. One of the best volume shooters in the nation and the Tigers’ leading scorer, Cannady shoots 50 percent from beyond the arc on an average of 10 3-point attempts per game. The Indiana native was instrumental in Princeton’s comeback victory against Iona on Saturday, knocking down six triples and hitting a pair of free throws to ice the game.

Meanwhile, freshman Jaelin Llewellyn has had an impressive start to his college career after missing his first seven games. Llewellyn is averaging 19.5 points per game while shooting 45.5 percent from outside and dishing 6 assists per contest, and his presence has been a great lift to this Tigers offense. 

With Tre Jones potentially still hobbled due to a knee injury, Duke will have to pay extra defensive attention on Princeton’s backcourt duo, as limiting Cannady and Llewelyn’s success from distance will be critical in determining the scoring margin.  

Cleaning up inside

Boasting one of the highest rebounding margins in the NCAA, the Blue Devils will need to bring that same intensity Saturday to control the paint and limit the Tigers’ second chance points. Averaging only 6.5 offensive rebounds per game, Princeton’s woes on the boards must be exposed by Duke and could play a big role in the final score of the game. As the Tigers have only one player in the starting lineup over 6-foot-5, the Blue Devils must control the paint and attack the glass to dictate the game’s pace in their favor. A stellar rebounding output will lead to more fastbreak opportunities, which Duke oh-so-heavily thrives upon. 

If Duke can corral its share of rebounds and regain momentum from three, it should open up the holiday season in a strong and imposing fashion.