Before the Blue Devils kickoff a short road trip against Miami, the Blue Zone gives you a player to watch from each team Saturday:
Duke: Guard Tre Jones
Tre Jones struggled to shoot the ball in the first half against Boston College after returning from a mild foot sprain. However, now that the sophomore guard is all warmed up, he will be a prominent figure in Duke's gameplan against Miami.
The Blue Devils are the more dominant team and should not receive much resistance from the Hurricanes, but Miami does have several players who average over 15 points per game. Duke should put a lot of emphasis on defense this game, and much of this responsibility will lie with Jones.
The Minnesota native will need to bring his usual tough on-ball pressure to the Hurricanes to maximize Duke’s defensive stops. Although Jones missed his first four shots and air-balled a 3-pointer against Boston College, the sophomore still helped out with 10 assists and one turnover against the Eagles.
Miami: Guard Chris Lykes
Miami relies on three key players who each average around 15 points per game—Chris Lykes, Kameron McGusty and Dejan Vasiljevic. Of these three scoring threats, the Hurricanes will especially need Lykes to be on his A game against the Blue Devils.
The junior has abilities that extend on both sides of the court. Not only is he the team’s top scorer at 15.9 points per contest, but he also leads the Hurricanes with 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Lykes takes on several essential roles for his team as he can put up points, be a helper and step in on defense.
Lykes will be challenged against Duke’s elite defense, and now that Jones has shaken off the rust, he will post a big threat to the Hurricanes' floor general. Come game time, Lykes will have to adjust to any pressure he receives from Jones, and in the paint, bigger guys like Vernon Carey Jr. will also use their size as an advantage over the 5-foot-7 guard.
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