Illinois and Duke will be meeting for just the eighth time in their history on Tuesday night, as the two teams will match up as a part of the ACC-B1G Challenge.
This is a matchup that Duke has dominated, winning five of the seven matchups. This is their first matchup since November 2007, when Illinois visited Cameron Indoor. This time around, the usually-raucous Cameron Indoor won’t have the Cameron Crazies. That plays in Illinois’ favor. Playing at Duke is usually one of the toughest places to play, and the Cameron Crazies play a huge part in that. With no students being in attendance, Cameron Indoor will have a completely different feel. We’ll see if Illinois can take advantage of that.
Illinois (3-1) and Duke (2-1) are set up for a top ten matchup. Both teams are coming off of losses last week. Illinois lost to No.2 Baylor 82-69, which caused them to drop from No. 5 to No. 6. Duke lost to No. 8 Michigan State which caused them to drop four spots to No. 10. These top ten teams will square off Tuesday night in a primetime matchup.
Here at Fifth Quarter we have a ton of talented writers. To give Illini fans a better idea of what Duke will look like in the matchup Tuesday night, we talked to FQ Duke manager, Noah Shubert, on what he thinks will happen Tuesday night.
If Illinois needs to look out for one player on Duke Tuesday night, who would that player be?
Matthew Hurt would be the guy to look out for. Illinois seems to allow a lot of three pointers, and Hurt is dangerous from beyond the arc. Illinois stifles the rim, but has trouble containing guards and forwards.
After starting 2-1, what are some positives and negatives for this Duke team so far?
A positive is that Matthew Hurt has taken his role as a team leader. A negative is that Wendell Moore, who’s supposed to be having a similar role, can’t get into a groove. He’s definitely struggling so far this year. Our freshmen are definitely showing their lack of experience, especially Jeremy Roach and DJ Steward, but there is room for growth. I don’t see any of these guys being one-and-done, for now.
What scares you about this Illinois team?
Ayo Dosunmu is always a force to be reckoned with. Duke has allowed a lot of points to guards this season. The Blue Devils have been lucky that their opponents haven’t hit a ton of their shots, even teams such as Coppin State.
What are your overall expectations for Duke in this matchup with Illinois?
I expect Duke to continue playing small ball, with Jaemyn Brakefield having another good game. Matthew Hurt will maintain his consistently good play and I think Duke will have learned some lessons from the Michigan State matchup.
FQ Duke: Duke 79, Illinois 71
FQ Illinois: Illinois 83, Duke 75
This matchup will begin at 8:30 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN.