THE OPENING TIP
- Winners of seven straight and in sole possession of first place in the ACC standings, No. 6 Duke battles NC State Wednesday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
- The game tips at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN with Dave O’Brien and Seth Greenberg on the call. On the radio, David Shumate and John Roth have the call on the Blue Devil Sports Network from Learfield IMG College (96.5FM & 610AM in Durham) and on Sirius 81 and XM 81.
- The Blue Devils (12-2 ACC) enter the week with a half-game lead on Louisville (12-3) and a game clear of Florida State (11-3), while also holding the head-to-head tiebreaker vs. FSU.
- Sophomore Tre Jones has scored 193 points since Jan. 8 — the most by any ACC player in that span. He is averaging 17.5 points, 5.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and shooting .471 from the field over his last 11 games.
- Jones is the ACC’s only player ranked among the league’s top 10 in scoring, FG percentage, assists, steals and A/T ratio.
- Jones is the only major conference player — and one of just four nationally — averaging 15.5+ points, 6.0+ assists, a 2.0+ A/T ratio and shooting .440+ from the field.
- Freshman Vernon Carey Jr., is averaging 28.6 points per 40 minutes — the third highest average among any power conference player behind only Marquette’s Markus Howard (33.4) and Iowa’s Luka Garza (30.8).
- Freshman Cassius Stanley is averaging 14.6 points and shooting .492 from the field over his last 11 games.
- The Blue Devils are third nationally in both scoring offense (83.0) and scoring margin (+17.2), and their five 30-point wins in ACC play have set a new school record.
- Duke is allowing opponents to make an average of just 4.6 threes per game — the fourth fewest yielded nationally, while Duke’s three-point defense of .283 is 10th in the NCAA.
- Duke is ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll this week, extending the Blue Devils’ streak to 40 consecutive polls in the top 10 — the second-longest in the nation.
DUKE VS. NC STATE
Wednesday’s game is the 249th meeting between Duke and NC State, and the Blue Devils’ first visit to PNC Arena since January 6, 2018…The Wolfpack make a return trip to Cameron Indoor in less than two weeks — Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. ET…Duke’s 94-78 win over NC State last season snapped a two-game skid in the overall series…The Blue Devils lead, 8-6, in the series at PNC Arena.
SCOUTING THE WOLFPACK
The Wolfpack are playing their first home game since February 1 and coming off a three-game ACC road swing that saw them go 2-1 with wins at Miami and Syracuse…Four players are averaging more than 12 points per game, including leading scorer C.J. Bryce (14.0). Bryce also leads State on the boards at 6.1 per game…Markell Johnson (6.54 per game) is second to Tre Jones (6.57) in the ACC in assists, while Johnson and Jones are third and fourth, respectively, in the league in steals.
DUKE’S MOST FREQUENT RIVALS
Wake Forest and North Carolina are Duke’s most-frequently played rivals, with each series standing at 252 previous games…Duke’s 248 games versus NC State are next most, with the Blue Devils leading the series 147-101.
DUKE’S POSTSEASON RESUME NUMBERS
Duke remains No. 6 in the NET (as of Feb. 16), which is the primary evaluation tool used by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee, for which Duke Director of Athletics Kevin White is the chairman…Two of Duke’s three losses this season came in back-to-back games without freshman Wendell Moore Jr. (broken hand), while its third loss was to Stephen F. Austin on a buzzer-beater in overtime. SFA is 22-3 overall and leads the Southland Conference at 13-1…Neither Moore nor Joey Baker (ankle) played in Duke’s loss at Clemson on Jan. 14…The Blue Devils’ overall strength of schedule is No. 14, while its non-conference strength of schedule is No. 7 — the third-highest of any team in the top 100 of the NET…Other metrics for Duke: No. 1 BPI (Basketball Power Index), No. 2 KenPom, No. 3 Sagarin, No. 6 Strength of Record.
DUKE AWAY FROM CAMERON
In the Coach K era, Duke is 259-143 (.644) in true road games and 276-77 (.780) in neutral site games, for a combined mark of 535-220 (.706) in all games outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium…In ACC regular season play, Duke is 189-118 (.616) away from home under Coach K. The Blue Devils are 133-65 (.667) in ACC road games since the 1996-97 season…Coach K’s 189 ACC road wins are a conference record…Dating back to the 2017-18 season, Duke has won 18 of its last 23 ACC road games. It marks the program’s best stretch since winning of 18 of 23 ACC road games from the 2009-10 season to the 2011-12 season…Coach K has also won 16 road games against AP top five teams, the most in the history of the AP poll.
ON THIS DATE
Duke is 20-10 when playing on February 19 and has won seven straight overall on this date…In ACC play, the Blue Devils are 10-5 on February 19, including 2-2 against NC State…Duke and State last met on this date in 2000 — a 71-66 Blue Devil win at PNC Arena — Duke’s first game in the venue.
NOTING DUKE’S DEPTH…
Six different Blue Devils have led the team in scoring through 25 games — Tre Jones, Vernon Carey Jr., Matthew Hurt, Cassius Stanley, Joey Baker and Jordan Goldwire…Duke has deployed 12 different starting lineups — its most (by two) in at least the last six seasons…Fifteen times this season, Duke has had four or more score in double figures. Five times this season, five or more have reached double digits…Five different players have recorded a 20-point game…Four players are averaging double figures in points, while eight are averaging 4.6+ points per game…Seven are averaging 3.3+ rebounds per game…Ten are averaging 13.1+ minutes per game.
DUKE IN THE POLLS
Duke is up to No. 6 in this week’s AP Poll — its 40th consecutive poll in the AP top 10 to extend the nation’s second-longest active streak…Duke has also been ranked in the top 10 at least once in 24 consecutive years — the longest active streak nationally…Duke went wire-to-wire in the AP top five last season for the ninth time in school history — all coming under Coach K…With Duke ranked No. 1 earlier this season, head coach Mike Krzyzewski passed UCLA legend John Wooden for most wins as the coach of a No. 1-ranked team.
NOTHING EASY OUTSIDE THE ARC
Duke is holding opponents to a .283 mark from three-point range to lead the ACC, rank 10th nationally, and fourth among power conference teams…The Blue Devils are allowing opponents to make an average of just 4.6 three-pointers per game — the fourth fewest yielded nationally (second fewest among power conference teams)…Since January 1, Duke’s 53 made three-pointers allowed are fewest by power conference teams…Fourteen times this season — including five straight — opponents have shot less than .300 from three-point range.
MORE ON THE DEFENSE
Duke is sixth in the NCAA and leads the ACC in blocked shots per game (5.9)…Eighteen times this season, Duke has blocked five or more shots, including two straight and six of the last eight…Duke is second in the ACC and 15th nationally in steals per game (8.8)…Duke is third in the ACC and 33rd nationally in turnovers forced per game (16.0)…In KenPom’s defensive metrics, Duke is sixth overall in adjusted defense, 13th in steal percentage, and 27th in effective defensive field goal percentage.