After a dominating New Year's Eve victory against Boston College, Duke heads south to continue its conference slate against Miami. The Blue Zone breaks down three keys if the Blue Devils want to stay undefeated in the ACC:
Put the Hurt on Miami
Matthew Hurt is coming off his best performance of the season by far against Boston College. His 25 points and five 3-pointers came as a delightful surprise to Duke, as Hurt has proven to be streaky all year long. This was the Minnesota native’s second 20-point performance of the year, and he will definitely be looking to prove that he can be a consistent shooter from beyond the arc. The Blue Devils had already shown how dominant they were without Hurt’s hot shooting hand, and it became evident that this team gained a completely new dimension to their game when he exploded against the Eagles. It will be interesting to see if Hurt can turn the corner in his freshman campaign and cement his role as Duke’s premier perimeter threat.
Make sure Lykes dislikes Tre
A year ago, Tre Jones completely bottled up Miami guard Chris Lykes, holding him to four points and two assists en route to an 87-57 Duke victory. Lykes is coming off of a 27-point performance in an overtime win against Clemson, including a game-tying field goal in the final minute of regulation. The 5-foot-7 guard is the focal point of the Hurricanes' offense, as he is relied upon to facilitate and jumpstart the rest of the squad. This is an older Miami team that remembers last year’s loss against the Blue Devils and will play with a level of maturity that Duke does not have. Jones will be heavily counted on to throw a wrench in Miami’s game flow until the younger Blue Devils get into rhythm.
Where did Joey Baker go?
There's been no bigger surprise this season than the emergence of Joey Baker. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has entrusted him with more minutes as the season has progressed and Baker's continually rewarded Krzyzewski with formidable performances. Just over two weeks ago, the North Carolina native erupted for 22 points against Wofford in what seemed like the turning point of his career. Unfortunately for Duke, the past two games have seemed to indicate otherwise. After going 0-for-4 and 1-of-5 from beyond the arc against Brown and Boston College, respectively, the question has to be raised of whether or not Baker was a flash in the pan, or is here to stay.