Duke basketball has no cause for typical concerns in trip to South Beach

Duke basketball (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball has no cause for its typical concerns against Miami (FL). 

Normally, there are a lot of things a coach can worry about when making the trip to South Beach to play the Miami Hurricanes (6-10, 2-9 ACC), but the concerns are not needed for the Duke basketball team.

COVID-19 situation and protocols aside, heading to Miami is typically a “trap” game given the environment and scenery, even for college teams who tend to stick to a strict schedule, but that worry is not there for coaches anymore this season.

However, Duke is in no position to categorize any game as a “trap” game given the team’s struggles and only recent turn of fortune.

In a typical season where the Blue Devils would be a Top-10 team, this would be the ultimate trap game, coming off a 26-point victory over Clemson and the North Carolina Tar Heels lurking on Saturday. But Duke needs another dominating performance.

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Jim Larranaga’s team has been scrappy and competitive at times this season, but the ‘Canes have been unable to win basketball games, dropping four in a row since a home upset of the No. 16 Louisville.

Senior guard Chris Lykes has only played two games this season, none since December 5, due to an ankle injury, but sophomore Isaiah Wong has led Miami with 17.4 points per game.

Wong sprained his ankle in a loss to Wake Forest on Saturday and is questionable for Monday’s matchup.

Former Oklahoma Sooner Kameron McGusty is the best three-point shooter on the Hurricanes, firing at 40.0-percent, while the senior is posting 12.2 points per game.

Miami (FL) is a horrid shooting team, only making 28.4-percent from downtown.

Duke basketball must continue what is working

Saturday’s victory over Clemson proved Duke can dominate a team with a balanced effort from the entire roster, but its two best players remain Matthew Hurt and Jalen Johnson.

The Blue Devils need to continue to play fast, but in order to play fast, they must get out to a quick start.

Duke was able to bury Clemson with its defense, which led to easy offense.

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If Miami gets down early, it doesn’t have the firepower and will most likely fold and take the loss.

Duke needs to show energy early and often against the Hurricanes and continue to build momentum into the best rivalry in college basketball.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00pm EST (ESPN) inside the Watsco Center.

PREDICTION: Duke 87, Miami 56

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