Saturday, December 01, 2007

Davidson vs. #7 Duke, 12 p.m., ESPNU

I won't be doing live blogging today. I apologize. I will, however, put up a story with recap and observations from the student section end zone area. Before I head down to Charlotte, I will leave you with a few thoughts.

-While Duke is definitely a better team right now than UNC was on Nov. 14, I would argue that Davidson has gotten better as well. They will have more teaching points for team huddles ("remember against WMU when we didn't flex our muscles on the post?" or "remember against ASU when we responded to their run and shut down their mo?"). Duke is an excellent team, however, and Davidson will have to be clicking on all cylinders to have a chance at the end.

-Davidson needs to take advantage of Duke's willingness to run out on defensive rebounds. The Blue Devils will no doubt get several transition opportunities off of rebounds, but Davidson can work to negate those points by attacking the offensive glass and using their size advantage for some easy second chance points.

-Jason Richards will be a huge key in this game. He didn't produce much offensively against App (1-9 FG, 2 pts). He will need to lead with more than just setting everyone else up and keeping the offense under control. I would also love to see Thomas get some opportunities with his back to the basket. I have a feeling that Duke will not double team him for fear of our three-point shooting.

-The crowd might be even more in Davidson's favor today. All of the same "rowdy" Davidson students will be back plus there are reports of at least several hundred UNC fans who bought tickets to this game immediately after their Nov. 14 contest with Davidson, only to cheer against Duke (a la 2005 NCAA Second Round in Charlotte Coliseum).

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