Duke’s slate of big-name opponents continues Wednesday when the nation’s top-ranked team visits Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Blue Devils recently took care of Texas and No. 6 Florida en route to the Motion Bracket championship at the Phil Knight Invitational tournament and now will turn their attention to the improving Hoosiers.
Marvin Bagley III had 30 points and 15 rebounds against Florida as Duke escaped with a three-point win. “Your blood pressure is a lot higher when you don’t have good players than it is when you have good players. We have very talented players,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters. “I believe in my guys.” Indiana, meanwhile, has won three in a row - all by at least 17 points - since beginning its season with three straight disappointing efforts. “Everybody is getting comfortable with the offensive style, the defensive schemes,” guard Josh Newkirk said after Friday’s 87-67 triumph over Eastern Michigan. “We’ve just been practicing a lot. I think everybody is feeling more comfortable understanding that we’re all helping each other. I think it’s coming along.”
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT DUKE (8-0): The Blue Devils have to be delighted with Bagley (22.3 points, 11.3 rebounds), who averaged 32 points and 15 rebounds in the wins over Texas and Florida. The freshman sensation has six double-doubles, while fellow first-year player Wendell Carter Jr. has four of his own. Grayson Allen has struggled with his shooting (33.3 percent) since pouring in a career-high 37 points in a win over No. 2 Michigan State two weeks ago.
ABOUT INDIANA (4-2): Newkirk and Robert Johnson combined to shoot 9-of-12 from 3-point range in Indiana’s win over Eastern Michigan. Johnson is the team’s top scorer at 13.7 points and is shooting 51.7 percent from the floor after managing 44.9 percent in each of the previous two seasons. Juwan Morgan (11.8 points) was held to seven points the last time out after totaling 43 points over the previous two outings.
1. Duke has won five of eight all-time meetings, including three in a row.
2. The Blue Devils are 16-2 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Hoosiers’ all-time record in this event is 7-9.
3. Every Duke player is either shooting at least 88 percent or below 63 percent from the foul line.
PREDICTION: Duke 80, Indiana 66