Duke and Kansas play this season in what will be one of the most hyped games of the college basketball season. They play November 12th, in the United Center, Chicago. This game is already highly hyped as the match up between the top two 2013 recruits, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. This will be the best match up in all of college basketball at the beginning of the season that will show how big of contenders both these teams will be. I believe this will be a great game, but I am confident in who I believe will win.
*All stats are from last season unless stated otherwise.
•Duke: Quinn Cook (Jr) 11.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 3.8 rpg, 1.4 spg, at Duke.
•Kansas: Nadiir Tharpe (Jr) 5.5 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.5 rpg, at Kansas.
Both players are talented, but Quinn Cook looks to have the slight advantage. They both have similar talent, but Cook got the much bigger role for his team last season. Tharpe was stuck playing behind Elijah Johnson, and played much less minutes then Cook was able to. This gives Cook an advantage, because he has been able to learn through playing much more then Tharpe has. I do not expect this match up to play large in determining the winner of this game though. Neither player is a high volume scorer, and likely won’t have many turnovers. That will prevent this match up from playing a large role in the game. Although this is a good match up between two solid players, it likely won’t have a huge impact on the game and will be largely over looked due to other key match ups.
•Duke: Rasheed Sulaimon (Soph) 11.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, at Duke.
•Kansas: Wayne Selden (Fresh) 24.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 4.0 apg, at Tilton High School.
Like with Kentucky and Aaron Harrison, Wayne Selden will aspire to have a similar freshman year to Rasheed Sulaimon. Selden will likely have many great games where he is able to score 15 to 20 points, but will also have down games, due to a lack of experience and confidence. If Selden is prone to down games as a freshman, this is likely a place it could happen. In a very big game at the beginning of the season, nerves will be high and Sulaimon is a great defender. I see Sulaimon holding Selden to under ten points this game, while scoring upwards of 15 points. Sulaimon will likely have learned from his streakiness freshman year, and will look to have a big game. This might be a close match up but Sulaimon definitely has the ability to win this match up by a much larger margin.
•Duke: Jabari Parker (Fresh) 18.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.1 bpg, 1.9 spg, at Simeon High School.
•Kansas: Andrew Wiggins (Fresh) 23.4 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 2.5 apg, 2.4 spg, at
Huntington Prep High School.
Jabari Parker is usually the power forward, but he moves to small forward to face 2013 number one recruit Andrew Wiggins. Both players are very hyped and this will be the highlighted match up for this game. This game is in Jabari Parker’s hometown, Chicago, which could either motivate him or distract him. I see Andrew Wiggins as the slight winner of this match up but I expect it to be very close. Wiggins has to do more for his team, where Parker has much less responsibilities and is a very unselfish player. Wiggins will likely relish the spotlight, and score a lot of points. Parker will likely let Wiggins take the spot light, but do all the little things to help Duke win the game. I expect people to leave this game saying Wiggins won the match up in the box score, but for it to be much closer when looking at all the impacts each player made on the game.
•Duke: Rodney Hood (Soph) 10.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, at Mississippi State 2011-12.
•Kansas: Perry Ellis (Soph) 5.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, at Kansas.
Rodney Hood is moved to power forward for this match up, and I think he excels against Perry Ellis. Perry Ellis is much more of an actual power forward then Hood, but they are the same height and Ellis only weights 15 pounds more. This will prevent Ellis from creating a mismatch down low, while Hood will have the huge advantage attacking the rim and with his speed. Hood may struggle to finish at times over Ellis, but will most likely still out score him. Hood will dominate this match up if he is able to match Ellis’ physicality and rebounding as a much more true post player. Hood will win this match up, but it is on him to take advantage of the mismatch he has. Ellis will likely guard Hood most of the game, with Wiggins on Parker, and Hood needs to stay aggressive and force Ellis to keep up. Hood should be able to dominate Ellis on offense while minimizing his impact on defense.
•Duke: Marshall Plumlee (Soph) 0.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg, at Duke.
•Kansas: Joel Embiid (Fresh) Stats Are Not Available, 6th ranked 2013 recruit by Espn.
Although Joel Embiid is a freshman, he will still likely beat Duke’s bigs. He is still very raw, having started playing basketball in 2011. Like most games, Plumlee will not be expected to score. He will need to minimize Embiid’s scoring opportunities and rebounding. Embiid likely won’t post up Plumlee, but Plumlee will have to play great pick and roll defense against Nadiir Tharpe and Andrew Wiggins. Although Kansas clearly has the advantage, I think Plumlee will be able to keep it closer than many people think. If Plumlee can keep this match up close, Duke will be in great shape. Kansas will have an advantage here, but Embiid will need to dominate Duke in order for Kansas to win.
Tyler Thorton (Senior) 3.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.3 spg, at Duke.
Andre Dawkins (Senior) 8.4 ppg, 2.1 apg, at Duke 2011-12.
Amile Jefferson (Soph) 4.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, at Duke.
Tarik Black (Senior) 8.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, at Memphis.
Jamari Traylor (Soph) 2.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.8 bpg, at Kansas.
Andrew White III (Soph) 2.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg, at Kansas.
Duke would have likely started Kansas reserve Tarik Black, had he transferred to Duke instead of Kansas. Even though this is the case, Duke still has a deeper bench then Kansas. Black is better than Duke’s back up big Amile Jefferson, but Duke has the better player in every other spot. Kansas can not match Tyler Thorton’s defense and hustle and also can’t match Andre Dawkins’ shooting. When Alex Murphy, Matt Jones and Josh Hairston are also added to the mix, Kansas just can’t touch Duke’s depth. Kansas will be reliant on unexperienced sophomores and freshman to play crucial bench minutes. This could force Bill Self to over play his starters. In what will likely be a close game, Duke’s depth may make the difference.
Who will win?
Duke is just too deep and has too many good players for Kansas to beat them. Kansas does have the best player on the court, Andrew Wiggins, but Duke has the second, third, and fourth best. Like most college basketball teams, Kansas will struggle to stay in front of Sulaimon, Hood and Parker. Wiggins and Selden will do a decent job, but whoever Ellis is covering will have a huge advantage. Kansas won’t be able to take full advantage of Duke’s weakness at center due to how raw Embiid is as a player. Kansas and Andrew Wiggins will keep this game close, but I believe Duke will be able to win this game.
My final preview for now will come tomorrow and be about Duke rival North Carolina. Duke will play UNC twice again this year and will hope to replicate their success against UNC last season. Check tomorrow to see who I think will win the two Duke vs UNC games.