Duke Basketball: Blue Devils have final tune up before Maui

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Before the Duke Basketball team heads to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational, they will host an undefeated Eastern Michigan team.

This is your classic trap game and for a young team who has never been in this position, Eastern Michigan might prove to be a big test for the Blue Devils.

After beating Kentucky in a sensational effort and then using a big second half to bury Army on Sunday afternoon, the Eastern Michigan Eagles are the only thing that is separating the Duke Blue Devils from Maui, Hawaii for the Maui Invitational.

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While Eastern Michigan doesn’t have the athletes to compete with Duke on the court, the Eagles are a veteran team with the size to cause some trouble for the Blue Devils.

The Eagles have three players in their rotation that are at least six feet, nine inches tall, leading the way with Boubacar Toure who is listed at 6’10” and then there is James Thompson IV who comes in at 6’10”, followed by Elijah Minnie at 6’9″.

Thompson and Minnie are seniors while Toure is a junior.

With those players sure to try and impact this matchup with Duke, the Blue Devils will need to have big performances from Marques Bolden, Javin DeLaurier, and Zion Williamson, the main front court players for Duke.

As the Blue Devils will put their No. 1 ranking on the line for the first time this season, it just adds more to the cause of that this is a big game for the Blue Devils on the very young team.

Have they looked at the headlines? Has the noise gotten to them? Are they looking ahead to the loaded Maui Invitational?

The Blue Devils need to come out and have a big first half against Eastern Michigan and put them away early and then they can begin to get excited about what lies ahead for them next week in Hawaii.

While Eastern Michigan has the size to compete with Duke, they don’t have the athletic ability or the mastermind running the ship as their head coach.

Duke will win conformably Wednesday night.

PREDICTION: Duke 97, Eastern Michigan 73 

Stay tuned to Ball Durham at our Twitter, @Ball_Durham, and here at our website, balldurham.com, for complete coverage of the Duke Blue Devils vs. the Eastern Michigan Eagles.