Previewing Duke v. Clemson

Previewing Duke v. Clemson

Previewing the Blue Devils and Tigers who will tip off at Clemson on Saturday afternoon.

Duke bounced back nicely from a road loss in its ACC opener but will have to head out away from home once again this weekend.

The 16th-ranked Blue Devils will also face one of the nation's stingiest teams, Clemson, on Saturday and star freshmen Jabari Parker will try to help by breaking out of his slump.

Duke (12-3, 1-1) blew out Georgia Tech 79-57 on Tuesday, with Rodney Hood scoring 15 of his 27 points in the second half. Hood also scored 27 in the Blue Devils' first road game of the season last Saturday against Notre Dame, but the Blue Devils blew a 10-point second-half lead in a 79-77 defeat.

They gave up 29 points in the final 10 minutes against the Irish but allowed seven in that same span against Georgia Tech.

"We learned from it. Against Notre Dame, we got happy and they came back," Hood said. "It shows maturity and determination. We just have to keep getting better."

Duke is giving up 68.7 points per game but will face a team even more adept at limiting opponents. Clemson (10-4, 1-1) has allowed a Division I-low of 53.5 points per game while holding opponents to 36.0 percent shooting.

The Tigers are limiting opponents 46.9 points per game and 33.3 percent shooting at home but didn't score nearly enough against visiting Florida State on Thursday. They had easily their lowest offensive output of the season and shot 30.0 percent in a 56-41 defeat.

Clemson's leading scorer K.J. Daniels (16.5 points per game) was the only player with more than six points, finishing with 14.

"Hopefully, our guys will be resilient. We're not going to beat them down, but we certainly are going to point out mistakes and get ready for Duke and do the best we can to get our energy level back up," coach Brad Brownell said. "They're going to come in needing a road win and will be ready to play."

The most recent game in which Clemson failed to crack 41 points was a 68-40 loss at then-No. 1 Duke on Jan. 8, 2013, the lone matchup between the schools last season. The Blue Devils have outscored the Tigers by an average of 16.0 points during a five-game win streak in the series.

Duke has also won 27 of 29 over Clemson and 11 of 12 road matchups.

The Blue Devils are hoping Parker can add to that success by breaking through his freshman wall. He's shot 31.4 percent and averaged 10.3 points in the last three games after starting his collegiate career by scoring 22.2 per game and shooting 53.9 percent.

He was benched late in the Notre Dame loss after scoring a season-low seven points and missing eight of 10 shots. The Blue Devils' leading scorer had 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting against Georgia Tech.

"I'm human, too. I'm going to make mistakes," Parker said. "We won the game, so that's all. My time will come again, hopefully, but if it doesn't, as long as we win, as long as I can do other things to help the team, that's my focus."

Quinn Cook had a career-high 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting in last season's win over Clemson. Andre Dawkins scored a team-best 24 off the bench in the most recent road game in the series, a 73-66 win on Jan. 15, 2012.

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