Duke, the top-ranked team in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, is looking to start the season 12-0 for the fourth time in the last five years on Saturday, Dec. 31, against UNC Greensboro. Last season, the Blue Devils opened 15-0 before dropping their first contest.
In its last outing, Duke posted a 70-57 win over St. John’s on Dec. 21. J.J. Redick led a balanced attack with 18 points, while Shelden Williams recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Sean Dockery and Josh McRoberts each added 12 points for the Blue Devils.
Freshman Greg Paulus continued to impress at the point, finishing with seven points, three rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
The Blue Devils had a strong defensive showing, holding St. John’s to 40.7 percent (24-of-59) shooting from the field. Williams finished the game with seven blocked shots and two steals.
Redick and Williams have been the offensive catalysts through the first 11 games, combining to average 43.0 points per game (53.5 percent of Duke’s offense). Redick has scored in double-figures in all 11 contests, including six 20+ point efforts. Williams has also reached the 20-point plateau six times this season.
- Duke is 5-0 all-time against UNC Greensboro, including an 87-49 win over the Spartans at the Greensboro Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1997. All five Blue Devil wins have come under Mike Krzyzewski.
- UNC Greensboro head coach Mike Dement began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant under Coach K at Duke in 1982.
- Duke is 132-24 against teams currently in the Southern Conference. Earlier this season, Duke posted an 84-55 win over SoCon member Davidson at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
- The Blue Devils were members of the Southern Conference from 1928-53. In fact, Duke won five Southern Conference Tournament titles before becoming a charter member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953-54. Eddie Cameron led the Blue Devils to SoCon championships in 1938, 1941 and 1942, while Gerry Gerard coached Duke to titles in 1944 and 1946.
- Duke has enjoyed the confines of nearby Greensboro Coliseum, posting a 49-29 record at the 47-year old facility. The Blue Devils have won five ACC titles (1978, 1980, 1986, 1988 & 2003) at the venue and have a 27-15 ACC Tournament mark there. The 2006 ACC Tournament will be held at the Greensboro Coliseum, March 9-12.
- The Greensboro Coliseum will also host first and second round NCAA Tournament games, March 16 & 18. Duke has opened up NCAA Tournament play at the coliseum four times, posting an 8-0 record there. Duke’s 1992 and 2001 NCAA title runs both began at the Greensboro Coliseum.
- The Blue Devils are 7-1 overall when both J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams score 20 or more points in a game, including a 4-0 mark this season.
- The Blue Devils lead the ACC in free throw shooting at 74.2 percent (190-of-256) and have made more free throws (190) than their opponents have attempted (138). In December, Duke is shooting 80.3 percent (102-of-127) from the charity stripe.
- Duke has shot better than 48 percent in 14 of 22 halves this season and is shooting an ACC-best 51.2 percent from the field (309-of-604) on the year. The Blue Devils last shot over 50 percent for the year during the 1998-99 season.
- Freshman Greg Paulus leads the ACC in assists per game (5.27). Only three freshmen (Jeff Jones, Kenny Anderson and Ed Cota) have led the conference in assists per game. Paulus has 58 assists on the year, including 27 in the last three games. His 2.00:1 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the ACC. Paulus’ assist-to-turnover ratio in Duke’s last three games is a remarkable 5.40:1.
- The Blue Devils are shooting 39.2 percent (77-of-194) from three-point distance, while holding the opposition to an ACC-best 24.0 percent (35-of-146). On the year, J.J. Redick has more treys (40) than the Blue Devil defense has allowed (35).
- In his last five games, Sean Dockery is averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.4 steals per game while shooting 62.9 percent (22-of-35) from the field and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from three-point range. Dockery has reached double-figures in scoring in four of the past five contests.
- J.J. Redick leads the ACC and is second nationally in scoring at 24.7 points per game. The Roanoke, Va., native is averaging 14.9 points in the opening half of Duke’s 11 contests. The last player to lead the ACC in scoring in back-to-back seasons was Jason Williams (2001 and 2002).
- Shelden Williams has 42 career double-doubles, including four this year. Duke is 36-6 in those contests, including a 4-0 mark this season. Williams had double-doubles in each of the Blue Devils last two contests.
- J.J. Redick has shot 50.0 percent or better in seven of Duke’s 11 contests. On the year, he is shooting 48.9 percent (87-of-178) from the field, including an ACC-leading 46.5 percent (40-of-86) from the three-point arc.
- Freshmen Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus have combined to start 18 games. Among conference teams, only North Carolina has more starts (24) by freshmen.
- Duke is 11-0 for the 11th time in school history and the eighth time under Mike Krzyzewski (1985, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2005 & 2006). The Blue Devils are one of 10 remaining undefeated teams in NCAA Division I basketball.