A strong defensive approach has paced Duke’s early success this season. That likely doesn’t bode well for winless Colgate.
The top-ranked Blue Devils look to continue their dominance at Cameron Indoor Stadium when they host the Raiders Friday night as part of the CBE Classic.
Duke (2-0) held Princeton and Miami of Ohio to 39.4 percent shooting while beginning its national title defense. The Blue Devils could be in for another big defensive effort versus a Colgate squad that shot 43.0 percent and averaged 63.0 points in losses to Binghamton and St. Francis, Pa.
“We need to go into our next game and stay with our fundamentals,” coach Mike Krzyzewski told the school’s official website. “We are improving. The effort, our kids are playing very hard. So we have to keep building.”
Last season, Duke’s opponents averaged 61.0 points per game, and 56.8 during the NCAA tournament.
A late surge helped Miami avoid the mark for fewest points scored (37) against a Krzyzewski-coached Duke team in Tuesday’s 79-45 loss at Cameron. The Blue Devils limited the RedHawks to 6-of-25 shooting from 3-point range.
“That’s an emphasis the coaches put on us - to focus on the defensive end,” Duke forward Mason Plumlee said.
Duke has won 12 straight games dating to last season’s run through the ACC and NCAA tournaments. The Blue Devils also have won 21 in a row overall at home, and 79 consecutive contests against non-conference opponents at Cameron.
Offensively, the Blue Devils overcame an off night from All-American Kyle Singler (eight points) by getting 17 off the bench from Seth Curry and 13 from freshman guard Kyrie Irving.
“It just shows the balance of our team,” said Singler, who averaged 17.7 points last season but has totaled 24 in two games. “We have a lot of weapons.”
Curry, the brother of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, has averaged 15.5 points with Duke after sitting out last season when he transfered from Liberty.
“The past year, it felt like it was a long time, so it was fun to get back out there,” said Curry, who averaged 20.2 points in one season at Liberty.
While Duke’s schedule gets significantly tougher with Marquette and either No. 11 Gonzaga or No. 3 Kansas State awaiting later in this tournament, it must keep their focus on Friday’s contest while trying to help Krzyzewski move within two wins of 800 at Duke.
The Blue Devils won their last meeting with Colgate, 73-44 on Jan. 5, 1980.
Though the Raiders have yet to win, both losses this season have come by a combined five points.
Guard Mike Venezia (11.5 points per game) scored 19 points and junior Yaw Gyawu (19.0 ppg) added 18 in a 69-66 loss at St. Francis.