(No. 4 Duke hosts North Carolina State, Thursday at 9 ET on ESPN3.)
When North Carolina State beat the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils last month, it was the Wolfpack’s 10th straight win.
Since then, Mark Gottfried’s team is 2-4 and heads to Cameron Indoor Stadium on a two-game losing streak -- the first time this season that NC State has lost back-to-back games.
If NC State is going to win in Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time since January of 1995, what will the Wolfpack have to replicate from their Jan. 12 win over the Blue Devils?
NC State Transition Offense
NC State averages 22.0 points per game in transition, that’s second in the nation behind Northwestern State (22.8). In the win against Duke, the Wolfpack scored 27 transition points, the second-most allowed by Duke in a game this season.
Under Gottfried, NC State is averaging an ACC-best 19.9 transition points per game. However, NC State has a total of 25 transition points in its past two games, losses to Miami and Virginia.
As for Duke, the Blue Devils are one win shy of their 29th 20-win season under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. He’s currently fifth in NCAA history in 20-win seasons trailing only Jim Boeheim (34), Dean Smith (30), Bob Knight (29) and Lute Olson (29).
Duke With/Without Ryan Kelly
Duke was undefeated before senior Ryan Kelly got hurt but the Blue Devils are 4-2 in his absence. The biggest difference has been on the defensive end, where they have allowed 10 more points per game without Kelly. In those six games, their opponents have shot nearly nine percentage points higher.
Duke is getting by without Kelly, but can NC State do the same without Lorenzo Brown? The point guard matched his career-high with 13 assists in NC State’s win over Duke, but he missed Saturday’s loss to Miami with an ankle injury and is not likely to play on Thursday.