(7) Duke (10-2) vs. Elon (7-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 31, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Greensboro Coliseum (23,300) -- Greensboro, North Carolina. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Duke 8-0, Elon 5-1. Away Record: Duke 0-0, Elon 2-3. Neutral Record: Duke 2-2, Elon 0-2. Conference Record: Duke 0-0, Elon 0-0. Series Record: Duke leads, 15-5.
GAME NOTES: The seventh-ranked Duke Blue Devils conclude their non-conference schedule on Tuesday, as they take on the Elon Phoenix at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils have won 10 of their first 12 games this season, with the two losses coming to powerhouses Kansas and Arizona. Duke has righted the ship since the loss to the now top-ranked Wildcats, posting four straight victories, including an 82-59 rout of Eastern Michigan this past weekend.
The Phoenix are hovering just over the .500 mark at 7-6, thanks to wins in each of their last two outings. Elon erupted offensively in a 126-78 win over Central Pennsylvania and followed that with a 67-62 win over Florida Atlantic last time out.
The Blue Devils have won 52 straight games against teams from the Southern Conference. Duke holds an 15-5 series advantage over Elon and has won each of the last five meetings.
There are several high profile freshmen across the nation, but Duke may very well have the best in Jabari Parker. The 6-foot-8 youngster headlines a squad that has excelled at the offensive end of the floor, as Duke is averaging 85.2 ppg on an efficient .504 shooting, that includes a .402 mark from 3-point range. Parker is a big part of the success, leading the team in both scoring (22.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg), shooting .539 from the floor and .465 from 3-point range. Fellow forward Rodney Hood has been a lethal offensive weapon as well, delivering on 54.3 percent from the floor and pouring in 17.6 ppg. Point guard Quinn Cook is a a strong backcourt option, as both a potent scorer (13.7 ppg) and deft distributor (6.5 apg).
Duke made light work of Eastern Michigan despite shooting a mere .400 from the floor in the game. The Blue Devils dominated the boards, grabbing a season- high 47 rebounds, while forcing 15 turnovers. Parker had another stellar game, posting 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Andre Dawkins hit six 3- pointers and finished with 20 points, while Rasheed Sulaimon came off the bench to tally 13 points. Amile Jefferson led the way on the glass with 14 rebounds.
The Phoenix hit a couple of clutch shots in the final few minutes to hold off the hard-charging Owls and earn a five-point win in Boca Raton on Dec. 22. Jack Isenbarger led the way in the win with 18 points. Sebastian Koch added 14 points as the only other player for Elon in double figures.
The scoring output against Florida Atlantic was a bit below average for the Phoenix, who are putting up 81.4 ppg and doing so on just under 50 percent accuracy from the floor (.496). Scoring depth comes as four of the five starters are averaging double figures. Lucas Troutman headlines the group with 15.5 ppg. Koch is next in line at 13.9 ppg, followed by Tanner Samson (12.9 ppg) and Ryley Beaumont (10.2 ppg).
The Phoenix have the offensive weapons to hang with a lot of teams, but with the way Parker is playing and his supporting cast delivering as well, the Blue Devils should hit ACC play with a full head of steam.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duke 83, Elon 64
12/31 10:33:41 ET