Originally written October 26, 2012 on SCACC Hoops:
The Duke Blue Devils open the 2012-2013 season with an exhibition game against Western Washington.  Western Washington is the defending Division II National Champion and returns three starters.  Unfortunately, there is no tape of Western Washington, but after glancing over their statistics one player to watch out for is Senior shooting guard John Allen.  Allen is the team’s leading returning scorer and is a 90 percent free throw shooter as well as a 40 percent three point shooter. Enough about Western Washington.  This game is important for the Blue Devils.  First reason is if anyone remembers last year it was quite evident after the exhibition games that Duke was going to struggle defensively.  The Blue Devils won each game by a combined total of 39 points.  Compare that to the previous three years where the margin was 94, 94 and 117 respectively.   Duke Blue Devils (0-0) Western Washington (0-1) Saturday, October 27th   Durham, NC   2 PM EST   TV: None   Online:  Blue Devil Network Audio:  Online Audio    Locally: 102.9 FM   What to Watch for Defense- The Duke defense was pretty poor last year, just ask Coach K.  It is important that Duke keep the ball in front of them, stopping dribble penetration.  I would also like to see them get back and communicate well in transition defense. Rasheed Sulaimon and Alex Murphy- With Seth Curry not expected to play, Sulaimon will have his chance to show he deserves heavy minutes and possibly the chance of starting this year.  Murphy must show that he can handle the wing defensively.  After seeing Murphy at the Coaches Clinic if he can settle in and play to his enormous potential then watch out. Quinn Cook- Guarding the point guard and disrupting the offense is critical to Duke’s defense and something Quinn struggled with last year.  Coach K is looking for Quinn to play solid defense and make sure he is getting the ball into the right player’s hands on offense. Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee- Curry would be included in this if he was healthy and playing.  Kelly and Plumlee will take the first step in leading this team and being the number one and two options offensively, something they have never been before.  This first game is a big step in creating the team’s identity for the entire season. Final Thoughts The first step on the road to a possible final four starts Saturday against Western Washington.  Let’s hope we see the Blue Devil teams of the past that looked sharp on both ends of the floor and dismantled their exhibition game opponents. Score Prediction: 98-56 Player of the Game: Mason Plumlee By Ray Horn   This article was originally published at http://DukeHoopBlog.com. If you are interested in sharing your website's content with SCACCHoops.com, Contact Us.  
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