After suffering a road loss to Boston College last year, Duke will host Boston College on Tuesday, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Zone examines three keys for the Blue Devils to secure a victory:
Secure the Perimeter
To keep Boston College out of the game, Duke must bring the same defensive energy that has resulted in yielding just a 28.6 3-point percentage, the 8th-best mark in the NCAA. In a dominant performance against St. John’s, the Blue Devils held the Red Storm to 19.2 percent from beyond the arc, a suffocating display of perimeter defense that Duke must continue on Tuesday.
The Eagles have shot 38.4 percent from three in their past five games, including an outburst of 13 threes on 61.9% shooting against Florida State. With Tre Jones looking like an elite defender at point guard, look for the Blue Devils to disturb Boston College’s shooting rhythm in front of a raucous Cameron crowd.
Control the Paint
With the most blocks per game in college basketball, Duke must control the pace of the game by holding down the interior and destroying the glass. The Blue Devils have outrebounded their opponent in each of their last five victories, and they should look to do the same against a Boston College team with only one major player more than 6-foot-8.
Meanwhile, Duke averages the third-most rebounds per game at 43.0 and the fourth most offensive rebounds per game at 14.4. To keep the Eagles at bay, the Blue Devils must keep up the hard work down low to allow as many second chance points as possible and dictate the game’s tempo. Look for another hard-fought effort on the boards from a Duke team that boasts a 7.3 rebound margin.
Watch out for Ky Bowman
Junior Ky Bowman knows a thing or two about beating the Blue Devils. The North Carolina native nearly dropped a triple double in the Eagles’ upset victory last year against Duke, posting impressive numbers of 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists with three swishes from deep.
Bowman is a finalist for the Bob Cousy award, and Boston College will go as far as Bowman’s scoring and facilitating will carry them, as he leads the team in both categories. The 6’1 guard has dropped 24.3 points in his last four games and stopping his hot hand will be integral in dismantling this Eagles’ offense. If Jones can bring the same lockdown energy that he exercised against Shamorie Ponds on Saturday, look for Duke to take care of Boston College handily on its way to its 20th victory.
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