Maryland-Duke Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 25, 2013
Duke doesn't seem too perturbed by its embarrassing loss this week. Still, Saturday's game presents an excellent chance to make coach Mike Krzyzewski and his team feel much better. Though sure to lose the No. 1 ranking regardless of this result, the Blue Devils are primed to respond with a win considering they're perfect at home and facing a Maryland team which has been bad on the road lately and truly awful at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Losses in two of three games have followed a 15-0 start for Duke (16-2, 3-2 ACC), and the latest defeat was among the worst of Krzyzewski's tenure. The 90-63 rout by No. 25 Miami on Wednesday was the program's most lopsided regular-season loss since January 1984 and the third-worst ever for a top-ranked team. "It wasn't demoralizing; they played better," said Rasheed Sulaimon, who had a team-high 16 points. It was easily Duke's worst shooting performance of the season - 29.7 percent from the field and 4 of 23 from 3-point range - but Krzyzewski said it was more a matter of missing good looks than poor play on offense. "We didn't hit anything - layups, free throws, open shots," he told the program's official website. "They say somebody knocks you down, sometimes you help somebody knock you down." Seth Curry, Tyler Thornton and Quinn Cook shot a combined 1 for 29. Curry, a senior averaging 15.9 points, had his first scoreless game since his sophomore season. Cook is 3 of 16 from beyond the arc over the past three games while Thornton has gone 0 for 8. However, both losses in that span came on the road. Duke is 10-0 in home games, and the only one that wasn't decided by at least 13 points was a 73-68 win over then-No. 4 Ohio State on Nov. 28. "We're looking forward to changing the direction that we've been going," Krzyzewski said. The Terrapins (15-4, 3-3), meanwhile, have lost 14 of 16 true road games. They've dropped 17 straight away from home against Top 25 opponents since beating Wake Forest in the 2009 ACC tournament. Maryland did beat a ranked N.C. State team 51-50 on Jan. 16 in College Park, but that came between losses to Florida State, Miami and North Carolina. The Terps bounced back from last Saturday's loss at Chapel Hill with a 64-59 win over Boston College on Tuesday. Coach Mark Turgeon's team has held five straight opponents below 37.0 percent from the field but has averaged 55.2 points on 36.9 percent shooting in that span. "Our guys believe in their defense and pretty soon we are going to be believing in our offense," Turgeon said. "We are getting better." Maryland has been dreadful offensively in losing its past five visits to Cameron by an average of 15.2 points. The Terps have shot 36.7 percent from the floor and 16.7 percent on 3-pointers during that skid. Duke has won five in a row and 11 of 12 overall in the series. Mason Plumlee has double-doubles in the past four meetings, including averages of 19.5 points and 11.0 rebounds last season. The senior tops the ACC with 11.4 boards per game and 12 double-doubles, including three straight, but he's shot 12 for 35 over the past two games with nine turnovers. Plumlee could face a tough matchup against 7-foot-1 center Alex Len, who tops Maryland with 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Len is third in the ACC with 37 blocks. "His low-post game is really good," Krzyzewski said. "... A lot of people feel he's a high lottery pick."
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