Friday, March 15, 2013
Duke's limited turnovers are key strength
By Mark Malzewski, ESPN Stats & Information
A glance at several matchups tonight as conference tournaments continue:
Maryland vs Duke (ESPN2, 7 ET)
The Duke Blue Devils will need to be ready near the basket tonight, as Maryland is the third-best rebounding team in the nation, averaging 40.9 per game. Maryland also averages 35.8 PPG in the paint, fourth-most among Power Six Conference schools.
On the other side, Duke's starters are averaging 68.2 PPG, second-most in the nation. Off the bench, the Blue Devils are getting only 10.6 PPG, which is 327th (out of 347 teams) in Division I. Duke also takes care of the basketball, turning the ball over on 15.9% of its possessions this season, the lowest percentage in the ACC and eighth lowest in the nation.
Iowa State vs Kansas (ESPNU, 7:30 ET)
Iowa State scores 37.1% of its points from three-point range, eight-highest in the nation. The Cyclones lead the nation in three-point field goals made (316) and are second in attempts (845). Iowa State also averages a Big 12-best 79.8 points per game.
The Cyclones are one of four teams in the nation that average at least 110 points per 100 possessions while playing at a pace of at least 70 possessions per game.
Iowa State might have trouble scoring, however, as Kansas leads the nation in opponents’ field goal percentage at 35.9%. It might be especially difficult down low, considering Jeff Withey has 127 blocks this season, second-most in the nation. All but 12 of Withey’s blocks have been kept inbounds (91%), with Kansas recovering 95. The Jayhawks have scored 86 points off those 95 blocks.
Florida State vs North Carolina (ESPN2, 9 ET)
Florida State is shooting a league-best 74.3% from the free throw line in ACC play, and gets a league-high 22.6% of its points at the charity stripe during ACC play. The transition game will be key for North Carolina; the Tar Heels are averaging 18.3 transition points per game in their 22 wins and 10.9 in their nine losses.
Prior to North Carolina's first meeting with Duke, the school switched to a four-guard lineup. Since that time, the Tar Heels have lost only twice and seen their opponents score just over two points fewer per game. Switching to the four-guard lineup has also helped in transition defense. In the first 23 games of the season, UNC allowed 13.5 transition PPG, but since making the switch, they are allowing 8.9 per game.