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Duke vs Syracuse Game Notes – ACC Tournament Edition

No. 3 Duke vs. No. 6 Syracuse
When: Mar. 14 | 9:00 PM (ET)
Where: Spectrum Center
Watch Live: ESPN
Links: Listen Live, Radio Affiliates, Live Stats

Leading Off

  • Third-seeded Duke begins its quest for the program’s 21st ACC title on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the 66th New York Life ACC Tournament in Charlotte.
  • The Blue Devils’ 20 ACC Championships lead the conference, while their 100 ACC Tournament wins are tied for the most.
  • Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is 62-23 all-time in the ACC Tournament with 14 titles. Duke has won 11 of the last 22 ACC titles and is 45-11 in the tournament in that span.
  • Freshman Zion Williamson, just the third player in ACC history to be named ACC Player and Freshman of the Year in the same season, is the nation’s only player averaging 20.0+ points and shooting .650+ from the field.
  • Williamson is the Sporting News National Player of the Year.
  • Freshman R.J. Barrett, who holds the ACC single-season freshman scoring record with 724 points, leads the ACC in scoring at 23.4 points. He is the only major conference player to score 13+ points in every game this season.
  • Each a first-team All-America by Sporting News, Williamson and Barrett are just the 36th set of teammates in NCAA history to each earn first-team honors in the same season.
  • Barrett (23.4) and Williamson (21.6) are aiming to become the first freshman teammates in NCAA history to each average 20.0+ points in a season.
  • The Blue Devils lead the nation in blocked shots (7.0), are second in rebounds (42.1), fourth in steals (9.5), fourth in scoring margin (+16.7), seventh in scoring (84.1), and seventh in three-point defense (.292).

ACC Tournament History
Duke has won a league-best 20 ACC Tournament championships and appeared in the title game 32 times in the event’s 65 years. Fourteen of the titles and 20 of the title game appearances have come under Coach K…Duke’s .690 winning percentage is the best of any league team, while its 100 wins are tied with North Carolina…Duke has more ACC Tournament titles than any other school and has the second-most semifinal (45) and finals (32) appearances… Only Kentucky has more conference tournament wins (133) and more titles (31) among major conference teams.

Tournament Success Under Coach K
Duke has a high level of success in tournaments under Coach K, winning 19 regular-season, 14 ACC and five NCAA Tournaments for a total of 38 championships in his tenure…The Blue Devils claimed the PK80 Motion Bracket title last season, the program’s 19th regular-season crown… The 2017 ACC Tournament was one of the many milestones for Coach K. He passed Dean Smith for both all-time ACC Tournament wins and ACC championships in Brooklyn…Krzyzewski surpassed Smith in the wins column against Louisville in the quarters. His ACC Tournament win total currently stands at 62…Duke’s 20th title was its 14th under Coach K, breaking a tie with Smith for the most championships by a coach.

Duke’s ACC Award Winners
Zion Williamson was named the ACC Player and Freshman of the Year, joining Duke’s Marvin Bagley III (2018) and Jahlil Okafor (2015) as the only players to win both in a season…Williamson is the 13th ACC Player of the Year under Coach K, the most of any coach in ACC history. North Carolina’s Dean Smith coached six. The other current active coaches in the ACC have combined for five…Williamson was both a unanimous first-team All-ACC and All-Freshman selection. He was joined on the All-ACC team by freshman RJ Barrett (First Team; All-Freshman), Tre Jones (Honorable Mention; All-Defensive; All-Freshman) freshman Cam Reddish (Honorable Mention).

Duke in NBA Arenas
For a college team that has produced the second most current NBA players (25), Duke has been tough to beat when playing in NBA venues…Duke is a combined 80-31 (.721) in 12 current NBA venues, which includes a 7-1 mark at the Spectrum Center…The Blue Devils have won 11 of their last 13 at NBA venues, including a 114-84 win over Kentucky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in this year’s Champions Classic and a 69-58 win over Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden…The Blue Devils’ last visit to the Spectrum Center was a pair of wins in the 2015 NCAA First & Second Rounds over Robert Morris and San Diego State that triggered Duke’s run to the program’s sixth national title…All-time, Duke is 52-15 when playing in the city of Charlotte.

Barrett Holds Duke, ACC Freshman Scoring Records
Freshmen R.J. Barrett now holds both the Duke and ACC single-season freshman scoring records with his 724 points this season…Should his 23.4 points per game average holds, he’ll also set both the Duke and ACC freshman scoring average marks (Duke’s Marvin Bagley III, 21.0)…The previous Duke freshman record was 694 points by Bagley last season, while the previous ACC mark was 721 points by Georgia Tech’s Kenny Anderson in 1990…Barrett also broke the Duke single-season scoring record at Cameron Indoor Stadium with 402 points at home this season — a record previously held by J.J. Redick (390) during his senior season in 2006…Barrett (23.4) and Zion Williamson (21.6) are aiming to become the first freshman teammates in NCAA history to each average 20.0+ points in a season.

Leading NCAA in Rim Protection
Duke leads the NCAA with 7.0 blocks per game…Duke is the only team nationally with four players averaging 1.0+ blocks per game. Each of the four are ranked in the ACC’s top 15 — Zion Williamson fourth (1.85), Marques Bolden sixth (1.77), Jack White 14th (1.17) and Javin DeLaurier 15th (1.16)…Seven times already this season, the Blue Devils have swatted 10+ shots in a single game. That happened just three times over the previous seven seasons combined (296 games)…Duke’s 216 blocked shots are fourth-most in a season in program history.

Men of Steal
Duke’s 9.5 steals per game are fourth nationally and best among any power conference team…Duke is the only team nationally with three players averaging 1.7+ steals per game. Each of the three are ranked in the ACC’s top 10 — Zion Williamson second (2.19), Tre Jones third (2.07) and Cam Reddish eighth (1.77)…The Blue Devils have recorded a steal on 12.8 percent of opponent possessions — tied for the second-best percentage in major conferences according to KenPom.

Down, But Not Out
Duke played 10 of its 18 ACC games missing one or two regular starters due to injury or illness…It began with Zion Williamson missing the second half at Florida State (eye), continued with Tre Jones’ three-game absence, Cam Reddish’s illness against Syracuse, and Williamson (knee) out for the better part of six games…Duke has posted a 6-4 record in those 10 games at less than full strength…Junior Marques Bolden suffered a knee injury in the opening minutes of the game at UNC and is expected to miss the ACC Tournament…Duke’s one setback at full-strength this season was an 89-87 thriller versus No. 1 Gonzaga in the Maui title game…The Blue Devils have totaled 453 missed minutes by starters in 10 ACC games, after Duke players missed zero minutes due to injury in 13 non-conference games.

Meet the Opponent
Starters
F – 35 Buddy Boeheim (6-5, 188, Fr.)
F – 33 Elijah Hughes (6-6, 215, Jr.)
F – 11 Oshae Brissett (6-8, 210, So.)
C – 13 Paschal Chukwu (7-2, 228, Sr.)
G – 23 Frank Howard (6-6, 205, Sr.)

Key Reserves:
F – 21 Marek Dolezaj (6-10, 188, So.)
G – 05 Jalen Carey (6-3, 188, Fr.)
F – 34 Bourama Sidibe (6-10, 205, So.)
G – 25 Tyus Battle (6-6, 205, Jr.) (Injured)

Individual Statistical Leaders:
Points: 17.2 (Battle)
Rebonds: 7.5 (Brissett)
Assists: 2.9 (Howard)
FG Pct: .712 (Chukwu)
3pt FG Pct: .370 (Dolezaj)
FT Pct: .763 (Howard)

Team Statistical Profile:
Points Per Game: 69.7
Rebounds Per Game: 35.6
Assists Per Game: 12.2
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3
FG Pct: .422
3pt Pct: .327
FT Pct: .684