Duke Basketball: Blue Devils finally back in action against Princeton

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The long week is over and the Duke Basketball team will be back on the floor facing the Princeton Tigers on Tuesday night.

It has only been ten days since the last time the Duke Blue Devils took the floor, but it sure feels a lot longer than that.

However, Duke will take the floor at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the last time in 2018 against the Princeton Tigers on Tuesday night.

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The Blue Devils head north to New York to face the No. 12 Texas Tech Red Raiders at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night and then will head into the Christmas and New Years break as the next game will the the ACC opener on January 5 against Clemson.

As for Tuesday night, how will Duke look in the first ten minutes of the game after not playing in a competitive game in ten days?

Some could argue that when a scrimmage in practice could be better competition for Duke than playing in an actual game, but no matter how good the second five is for Duke, you just cannot simulate the emotions or atmosphere of a game in practice.

The Princeton Tigers could be a test for the Blue Devils, as they only come in at 5-4 on the season, but with the ‘Princeton Offense’ the Duke defense could be tested, especially after having ten days off.

Ten games into the season, it is very clear that Duke wants to use its defense to jumpstart its offense as the Blue Devils are lethal in transition.

Expect Duke to try and jump some of the passing lanes to turn the Tigers over, but that could leave the Blue Devils susceptible to some back door cuts and easy looks at the basket for Princeton.

Princeton has only played one Power-Five team this season. The Tigers lost to the St. John’s Red Storm on December 9, 89-74.

In its last three games Princeton has allowed its opponents to score over 80 points in all three games, starting with St. Joseph’s who poured in 92 points, followed by St. John’s 89, and then Iona scored 81 on the Tigers on Saturday.

On the other hand, the Blue Devils have only been held under 80 points once this season, when they defeated then No. 8 Auburn 78-71 in the Maui Invitational.

With the return of Jaelin Llewellyn, Princeton adds another scoring threat to its rotation along side of Devin Cannady and Myles Stephens.

For the Blue Devils, expect Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett to be their dominant selves, but keep an eye on the shooting of freshman wing Cam Reddish.

Reddish has struggled recently with his shot, only making his last six attempts from the field, and especially struggling from three point range, only sinking one of his last fourteen attempts, and if the freshman wing can get his shot to fall, it is virtually impossible to defeat the Blue Devils.

Coming off the final exam break, expect Duke to be a little sloppy and out of sync to start the game, but they will settle down in the second half and put Princeton away handily, and set their sights on yet another Top 15 matchup with Texas Tech on Thursday night.

PREDICTION: Duke 94, Princeton 69 

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