Wednesday , Feb , 14 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

“Unranked” Duke challenges ACC-leading Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA (Sports Network) – Sitting outside of the Top-25 for the
first time in 10 years, the Duke Blue Devils make the trip to Chestnut
Hill to battle the 21st-ranked Boston College Eagles in ACC action from
the Silvio O. Conte Forum.

Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils have struggled big time in ACC play this
year and enter this contest with an unimaginable four-game losing streak. The
team was at Maryland on Sunday and dropped a 72-60 decision to the
Terrapins, falling out of the top-25 for the first time since the end of the
1995-96 campaign, as the team dropped to just 5-6 in league play. The Blue
Devils had been ranked in 200 consecutive weeks, the second longest streak
in NCAA history and this game will snap a streak of 380 straight games
played as a ranked team.

The Eagles would like nothing better than to put the final nail in
Duke’s conference coffin. Al Skinner’s squad is sitting atop the ACC
standings at a stellar 9-2. BC has won four straight games, including
Sunday’s thrilling one-point decision at Florida State (68-67).

Duke has won seven of the eight all-time meetings, including the last
six. In addition, the Blue Devils are seeking the regular season sweep
after posting a 75-61 win in Durham on January 28th.

Down 40-28 at halftime in College Park, the Blue Devils bounced back in the
second half, but could not get close enough to overtake the hometown Terrapins
down the stretch, losing for the fourth straight time. Josh McRoberts led Duke
with 20 points, on 9-of-13 shooting. Greg Paulus and Jon Scheyer added 12 and
11 points, respectively, but the team turned the ball over 17 times and shot
just .431 from the floor in the setback. A lack of offensive firepower has
plagued Duke this season. The team is shooting a decent enough .468 from the
floor, but the result has been a mediocre 69.2 ppg. DeMarcus Nelson, who has
moved from the starting lineup to coming off the bench, leads the team with
14.0 ppg. McRoberts is next with 13.2 ppg and leads the team on the glass (7.9
rpg). Scheyer is the only other player currently in double figures at 12.2
ppg, but Paulus (9.7 ppg) is flirting with joining the group.

The Eagles have had no problems generating offense this season, ranking among
the conference elite at 77.5 ppg. All-American candidate Jared Dudley is
bucking for ACC Player of the Year honors. The 6-7 interior force is shooting
nearly 60 percent from the floor (.588) and leads the team in both scoring
(20.0 ppg) and rebounding (9.0 rpg). Tyrese Rice and Sean Marshall are perfect
complements with their perimeter play, averaging 16.9 and 14.8 ppg,
respectively. The dismissal of center Sean Williams (12.1 ppg) has hurt a bit
over the last few weeks, but that has allowed Shamari Spears (8.6 ppg, 6.9
rpg) to take a more active role. Junior center Tyrelle Blair made his only
basket of the game count, as his shot with 3.3 seconds left in the game,
lifted BC to a huge win in Tallahassee this weekend. Dudley was once again
unstoppable in the paint, finishing with a double-double consisting of 23
points and 10 rebounds. Rice matched the offensive effort with 23 points of
his own.