Clearly, Duke's vulnerable as Maryland heads to Cameron

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy,Terps,University of Maryland

With Kelly out injured, Blue Devils are not the same

Mark Turgeon didn't watch Miami's deconstruction of No. 1 Duke on Wednesday night. He was out recruiting. Sophomore Dez Wells said he saw the game but mysteriously didn't want to talk about it. Leave it to a freshman, Jake Layman, to summarize the upset.

"Miami played the perfect game. They couldn't miss," Layman said. "It was a good game to watch to see what it takes to beat Duke."

Now it is up to Maryland (15-4, 3-3), in perhaps its final visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium, to try to replicate the formula from the Hurricanes' 90-63 victory. In the worst regular-season loss for the Blue Devils in 29 years and the third worst in history for a top-ranked team, Miami sliced through the Duke defense for six dunks and 10 layups, shot 56.9 percent from the floor and harassed Duke into 29.7 percent shooting.

Up next
Maryland at Duke
When » Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where » Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C.
TV » CBS

The performance spoke to the Blue Devils' increased vulnerability. Without injured 6-foot-11 forward Ryan Kelly, Duke (16-2, 3-2) has lost two of its last three and been outrebounded by Miami and Georgia Tech. At this point, there are other teams the Blue Devils would rather see than Maryland, which is third in the NCAA in rebounding margin (plus-10.6).

In addition to rebounding, Kelly's absence has hurt the offense, allowing opposing defenses to focus on top scorers Mason Plumlee (17.3 ppg) and Seth Curry (15.9 ppg), who went 0-for-10 at Miami, failing to score for the first time in two seasons.

"They can look at more ways of stopping Mason and Seth with Ryan being out, and that makes it more difficult for us to score," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday. "We're going to have to really do a good job of screening and getting each other open and really work. We're trying to work at being much better in our execution."

Offensive execution has been a sticking point for Maryland as the Terps have gotten sketchy play at point guard. In Tuesday's 64-59 win over Boston College, Wells dished out a career-high eight assists, including seven in the second half when he became the primary ball-handler. Turgeon said Thursday that Wells will not start at the point but will take a more active role in handling the ball.

On Saturday, Maryland will try to erase a dubious past at Cameron, where they have lost five straight decisively. The margins have been 18, 16, 21, 41 and 12 points. The Terps also are anxious to win an ACC road game after losing 13 of their last 14.

"They're still going to be No. 1 when we play them," Turgeon said. "We have a lot of new players that have never played in that building, so they're going to be excited. More importantly, we're coming off our last road game where we weren't very good in the first half, so I imagine our guys will be a lot more in tuned and ready to go. Obviously Duke is going to be ready to go Saturday after what happened [Wednesday] night. We're really gonna have to be ready and match their intensity early."

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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Kevin Dunleavy

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner