FACTS & STATS: Site: Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) -- Durham, North Carolina.
Television: ESPNU. Home Record: FGCU 2-0, Duke 1-0. Away Record: FGCU 0-1,
Duke 0-0. Neutral Record: FCGU 0-0, Duke 1-0. Conference Record: FGCU 0-0,
Duke 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The ninth-ranked Duke Blue Devils begin play in the Battle 4
Atlantis, when the welcome the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to Durham for a non-
conference matchup at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils has won 95 consecutive non-conference home games
and own a string of 19 straight regular-season tournament wins heading into
this contest. Duke has certainly looked the part of a national title
contender, opening the season with a 74-55 blasting of Georgia State, followed
by a 75-68 victory over reigning defending champion Kentucky this past week as
part of the Champions Classic in Atlanta.
Andy Enfield is in his second season at Florida Gulf Coast, and has his team
off to a strong start. After getting blown out in the season-opener at VCU
(80-57), the Eagles have won two straight at home, knocking off ACC-foe Miami-
Florida (63-51), followed by an 86-54 rout of Ave Marie.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two team on the hardwood.
FGCU showed some offensive depth in the lopsided win over Ave Marie,
converting 54.5 percent form the floor, including an impressive 11-of-19 from
3-point range. Four players finished in double figures, led by Christopher
Varidal, who came off the bench to tally 17 points. Sherwood Brown added 13
points, while Chase Fieler and Bernard Thompson chipped in with 11 apiece.
The offensive eruption was not the norm in the early going for Florida Gulf
Coast, which is netting just 68.7 ppg through three games, although the Eagles
are doing so on a solid .500 shooting. Thompson has shot the ball extremely
well thus far, converting 51.5 percent from the floor overall and 55.6 percent
from behind the arc, en route to a team-high 15.0 ppg. Brown is also shooting
the ball well from the field (17-of-34, .500), netting 14.3 ppg.
Duke got a huge effort from senior guard Seth Curry, as the Blue Devils caught
the Kentucky Wildcats at the opportune time, posting a seven-point win in
Atlanta last week. Curry was 7-of-14 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from
the free-throw line to lead all scorers with 23 points. Senior forward Mason
Plumlee handled things down low, pouring in 18 points, while Ryan Kelly and
Rasheed Sulaimon added 10 points each. Despite shooting a mediocre 40 percent
from the field in the first half, Duke held a two-point lead at the break
(33-31). The Blue Devils found their range over the final 20 minutes of
action, shooting 51.9 percent from the field to keep the Wildcats at bay.
Through two games, it looks like the Blue Devils possess a potent inside/out
game, headlined by Curry (19.0 ppg) and Plumlee (18.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg). Kelly
(9.0 ppg), a senior forward, provides even more veteran leadership, while
Sulaimon (8.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg), a freshman guard, has made his presence felt very
The Eagles are off to a nice start, but are facing what appears to be an
insurmountable obstacle in the Blue Devils, especially in Durham.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 94, Florida Gulf Coast 57
11/18 10:47:43 ET
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