Duke visits Pittsburgh for a league event that will be broadcast by ESPN2. The ACC event is scheduled to tipoff at 7:00 p.m. ET at Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. College Basketball Free Pick: Blue Devils at Panthers.
Duke (-20, 155) coach Mike Krzyzewski and college basketball pundits have shown little concern about the Devils points allowed this season. After surrendering close to 100 points to a North Carolina State team the sixth-ranked Blue Devils take the “Pete” floor in what is one of the larger Power 5 Conference mismatches of the season.
Both schools are expected to start more freshman than upper-classmen tonight. However the difference in talent between those who wear Duke blue or Pittsburgh on their uniforms is significant. Senior swingman Grayson Allen (16.8 points, 4.3 assists) netted only eight points in the team’s loss this past weekend. The future NBA shooting guard has struggled in conference play. Allen is shooting a mere 33.3 percent in league games. That won’t be the case tonight against a young and undermanned Panthers troop.
Marvin Bagley III (22.5 points, 11.5 rebounds) is in line to dominate a smaller Pitt frontcourt. And while it is likely you will read reports that the Devils lack depth to dominate any ACC foe because of their current injuries simply isn’t accurate. Yes, Coach K is expected to be without injured frontcourt contributors Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier but the duo average less than 10-points per game combined.
Most noteworthy is to understand that the Pitt coaching staff is building for the future. Coach Kevin Stallings will start five freshmen for the third straight game. The Panthers could once again be without forward Ryan Luther (12.7 points, 10.1 rebounds) who has been inactive for two weeks due to a foot injury.
Furthermore Duke’s projected starting lineup tonight includes four freshmen. And while that combination typically results in defensive breakdowns the Devils are too much offensively for Pitt to handle. Duke has scored at least 84 points in each of its victories and rank second in the nation in scoring average at 94 points per game.
Also considering that an offensively challenged Miami of Florida squad defeated Pittsburgh by 14 points at the Pete, scoring just 67 in the double-digit win. Consequently even if the Pitt coaching staff are able to dress and activate 6’9” Luther for this league affair they simply don’t have the player personnel to matchup against the likes of the Duke frontcourt and the final score will offer evidence of such.
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College Basketball Free Pick: Blue Devils at Panthers