MIAMI (10-7) AT #8 DUKE (15-3)
9 p.m. ET; ESPN
There should be no mistaking the challenge Duke will face across the course of the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule after a pair of losses last week.
The No. 8 Blue Devils try to get back on track Tuesday night, when Miami visits Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.
“We’ve just got to move forward, learn from (the losses), see what we need to do and then prepare for Miami,” Duke guard Tre Jones said.
The Blue Devils (15-3, 5-2 ACC) lost on the road to Clemson last Tuesday and fell again Saturday night at home to Louisville. Those jolts came after the team had a nine-game winning streak.
The Duke players received a positive spin from coach Mike Krzyzewski after the first consecutive defeats for the team since falling to St. John’s and North Carolina in February of 2018.
“He’s coming in here telling you (that) you’ve got to move on from it and you’ve got to look forward to Tuesday,” freshman guard Cassius Stanley said. “None of us should hang our heads. We should just want to get better.”
Miami (10-7, 2-5) also has dropped two straight games, including one in overtime Saturday to Florida State, which moved from No. 9 to No. 5 this week. The Hurricanes squandered a nine-point lead in the last five minutes of regulation against the Seminoles.
Krzyzewski said he’s encouraged by what the Blue Devils have done this season and by their ability to be in position to win against Louisville in the final minutes. The Cardinals broke a late tie and prevailed 79-73.
“I’m really up on my team,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s a long journey. I’ve never told you we were great. It’s a process for us. Getting beat, we have to learn from it and move on.”
Stanley produced a season-high 24 points against Louisville. He’s averaging 17.6 points across the last five outings.
With three freshmen in the starting lineup, getting into the teeth of ACC play has been a new experience for the Blue Devils.
“This is what you come to Duke for,” Stanley said.
This will be Miami’s fourth top-15 opponent in a six-game stretch, which began with a matchup against Duke, then ranked No. 2. The 83-79 loss to Florida State had many encouraging aspects despite the outcome and gave the Hurricanes the confidence that they can compete with elite teams.
“It was a game of runs and they made a run at the right time and we didn’t execute,” Miami guard Chris Lykes said. “Guys fought hard and that’s pretty much all you can ask.”
Duke won 95-62 earlier this month at Miami. Lykes had eight points in that game, shooting two of 15 overall. In the past two games, he has scored 22 and 24 points, respectively.
Miami has a limited rotation and yet the Hurricanes say they won’t be worried about fatigue. Three starters logged 40 or more minutes in the Florida State game.
“I’ll be all right,” Lykes said. “We’ll be fine.”
Miami is 2-10 all-time in games at Duke.
–Field Level Media