Stats & Info: Seth Curry

Threes the key for Blue Devils, Hurricanes

January, 22, 2013
1/22/13
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The top-ranked Duke Blue Devils hit the road for the second time this season to take on the Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday (ESPN, 7 ET).

The Blue Devils are 16-1 this season, but lost their only previous road game against North Carolina State on January 12.

Miami is ranked for the first time since January 2010, when the Hurricanes reached No. 23 in the AP poll after starting the season 15-1.

Key to the game
Duke is shooting 42.2 percent on three-pointers this season, best in the ACC and fourth in the nation. The Blue Devils have won 77 straight games when making at least 44 percent of their shots from behind the arc.

The last time Duke shot better than 40 percent from three-point range for an entire season was in 1991-92, when it won its second of back-to-back national championships.

The Hurricanes are holding their opponents to 31.1 percent on three-point shots and have held five of their last six opponents under 40 percent from long range.

Despite Miami's solid defense against the three-point shot, the Hurricanes give up a large percentage of their points from beyond the arc. Miami’s opponents have scored 33.0 percent of their points on three-pointers, which is the second-highest percentage in the conference.

Take care of the ball
Duke and Miami are the best two teams in the ACC at taking care of the basketball. They are the only two conference members to turn the ball over on less than 17 percent of their possessions.

The Hurricanes’ ball control could limit Duke’s easy baskets. The Blue Devils lead the ACC with 19.1 points per game off turnovers. Miami allows a league-low 9.6 points per game off turnovers.

Catch me if you can
Duke leads the ACC in points per game (19.2) and field goal percentage (43.1) on catch-and-shoot jump shots this season.

In the Blue Devils’ lone loss, they went cold on those shots, scoring just 12 points on 36.4 percent shooting in catch-and-shoot situations against the Wolfpack.

Duke struggled on those shots, despite being left unguarded on nine of its 11 catch-and-shoot attempts.

Seth Curry is shooting 47.9 percent on catch-and-shoot plays, fifth best in the ACC. He’s even better when guarded, making an ACC-best 53.7 percent of his contested catch-and-shoot attempts.

As good as the Blue Devils are on catch-and-shoot offense, they are just as good on the defensive end. Duke limits its opponents to 8.5 points per game and 26.7 percent shooting in such situations. Both figures lead the ACC.

Final Four pedigree?
Duke is allowing 88.4 points per 100 possessions this season, on pace for the team's best defensive efficiency since the 1997-98 season.

The Blue Devils have held their opponents to 92 or fewer points per 100 possessions four times in the last 15 seasons. They’ve made it to the Sweet 16 each time and played for the championship twice, winning the 2001 title.

Last season, the Blue Devils allowed 99.7 points per 100 possessions, fourth-worst in the ACC.

Duke readies for reloaded Wildcats

November, 13, 2012
11/13/12
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(The No. 9 Duke Blue Devils face the defending national champion No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday at 9:30 ET on ESPN.)

Kentucky had six players -- including all five starters -- drafted in the first two rounds of the 2012 NBA draft. That’s the most for any school in the first two rounds of a draft in the common draft era.


So how are the Wildcats ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll?

That lofty ranking reflects head coach John Calipari's ability to recruit wave after wave of the nation's most highly regarded high school talent to Lexington. He had the No. 2 recruiting class of 2012, according to ESPN 100, and that might have been a "down" year because Kentucky had the No. 1 ranked class in 2009, 2010, 2011 and currently has the top-ranked class for 2013. This year’s class is the fourth straight year that Calipari has at least four of the top 100 recruits in the country.

That recruiting success is paying off on the the court. Calipari has won 103 games in three-plus seasons at Kentucky. The Wildcats’ 103 wins are the most in Division I since Calipari took over in Lexington. (The only other school with at least 100 wins is Kansas.) Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke have the third-most wins over that span with 95.

Kyle Wiltjer is the only returning player for Kentucky who averaged more than five minutes per game last season. Wiltjer shot 45.8 percent on catch-and-shoot plays last season, good for fifth in the SEC.

Largely because of the talent around him, Wiltjer excelled on unguarded catch-and-shoot plays, attempting 45 of his 71 catch-and-shoot field goals while unguarded. When he was unguarded last season, Wiltjer shot better than 50 percent from the floor and 50 percent behind the 3-point line. When guarded, Wiltjer’s shooting percentage dropped to 34.6 and made only 36 percent of his 3s.

While Kentucky lost all five starters from last season, Duke lost just one -- Austin Rivers.

Senior Mason Plumlee had three offensive rebounds in Duke’s season-opening win against Georgia State. Last season he ranked fifth in the ACC averaging 2.9 offensive rebounds per game. The question this season will be can he convert those offensive boards into points?

According to Statsheet.com, Plumlee shot 41.7 percent on put-back plays in 2011-12, which ranked 57th out of 66 ACC players with at least 10 such plays.

On the perimeter for Duke, Seth Curry is one of the league’s best deep threats. Since joining the Blue Devils in the 2010-11 season, Curry has made 128 3-point field goals, which ranks fifth among ACC players.

This is the earliest the Blue Devils have faced a team ranked in the top three since Nov. 12, 1999, when they lost to No. 1 Connecticut. Duke has lost four straight games against AP Top 3 teams and does not have a nonconference win over a top-three opponent since a 97-66 win over No. 2 Texas in December of 2005.

The Wildcats have won a Division I record 2,091 games. They are one of three Division I teams with at least 2,000 wins and Duke could be the fourth member of that club if it can win 28 more games this season.

Kentucky leads the all-time series 11-8, but Duke has won six of the past seven, including four of five with Krzyzewski as Duke’s head coach.) Three of the past four meetings were decided by three points or fewer.
Since Seth Curry transferred to Duke in 2009, Liberty has been very much out of the limelight. But that isn't the case anymore, thanks to a player who is putting up historic numbers.

Liberty guard Jesse Sanders had 10 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds on Thursday in a loss to Winthrop. It was his third straight double-double and 10th double-double of the season. Sanders has eight games this season with at least eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists. To put that in perspective, Providence's Vincent Council (3) is the only other D-I player with more than two such games this season.

Sanders became the first player in D-I history with a triple-double in each of his four collegiate seasons, posting 14 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in an 84-78 win over High Point on Saturday.

Only three other players in D-I history have posted at least one triple-double in three collegiate seasons - Shaquille O'Neal (LSU 1989-92), Adonal Foyle (Colgate 1994-97) and Shawn James (Northeastern/Duquesne 2004-08).

Sanders' four career triple-doubles is only two shy of the all-time record of six set by both O'Neal and Drexel's Michael Anderson.
Sanders is one of seven players in the country this season leading his team in points (12.5 PPG), rebounds (8.0 RPG) and assists (8.2 APG). If Sanders finishes the season with those averages, he would be the first player in at least 15 years to average at least eight rebounds and eight assists per game in a season.

The previous information was courtesy of Ryan Feldman


Oakland 92, South Dakota State 87
Oakland’s Travis Bader scored 37 points off the bench, the most points by a bench player this season. Bader’s 10 three-point field goals make him one of three players to hit that many in a game this season; two of the three did so off the bench.

Cal State Fullerton 70, Cal State Northridge 68
Cal State Northridge’s starters combined to play 61 minutes, the second-fewest by a team against a Division I opponent this season. Rhode Island’s starters played 58 minutes in a loss to Brown on November 30.

Monmouth 58, Central Connecticut State 56 (OT)
Malcolm McMillan of Central Connecticut played 34 minutes without attempting a field goal or free throw. Only one player this season (Jackson State’s Sydney Coleman in 35 minutes) played longer in a game without attempting a shot.

Arizona 85, Washington State 61
Washington State became the fourth Big Six school this season not to record a steal in a game.

Coastal Carolina 52, Presbyterian 49
Trillions of the Night: Tyler Deihl and Ryan McTavish of Presbyterian each played five minutes without accumulating a stat. They are the fifth pair of teammates this season to pull off that feat.

Blue Devils look to roll over Cavaliers

January, 12, 2012
1/12/12
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AP Photo/Eugene TannerSeth Curry's offense will be key for Duke tonight against Virginia.
In one of the best early-season ACC conference games, the sixth-ranked Duke Blue Devils face the 17th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in a classic strength-versus-strength matchup on Thursday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils are the nation's fourth-most efficient offensive team, according to the rankings at kenpom.com; the Cavaliers are ninth in the country in defensive efficiency.

Duke has failed to score less than a point per possession in just two games this season; Virginia has allowed only one opponent to score more than a point per possession.

However, the Blue Devils present a unique challenge for the Cavaliers. The two plays that Virginia is the worst at defending are also the ones where Duke has had success this season.

DUKE OFFENSE VS VIRGINIA DEFENSE
Three of Duke's guards – Austin Rivers, Seth Curry and Quinn Cook – have been really efficient in generating offense as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll. Each ranks among the top six in the ACC in points per play (min. 20 plays), and both Curry and Rivers are shooting over 50 percent in those situations.

Duke was at its best running the play in its 68-61 victory over the then-14th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks. The Blue Devils’ pick-and-roll ball handlers torched the Jayhawks for 10 points (season-high 1.25 points per play) on 4-for-7 shooting, including two three-pointers.

The Cavaliers have struggled to shut down their opponents in this situation. In their last five games, opposing ball handlers executing the pick-and-roll have made 13-of-24 shots and totaled 31 points on 28 plays.

Duke also excels in isolation, leading the ACC in points scored this season. Most of their success has come down low, where Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly have combined to score 30 points on 27 isolation plays while shooting 8-of-14 from the floor.

Virginia's starting frontcourt of Mike Scott, Assane Sene and Joe Harris has been exposed when defending in isolation. The trio has combined to allow a point per play as on-ball defenders and their opponents have connected on more than half of their shots in isolation.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: DUKE FROM DOWNTOWN
The ultimate predictor of this game could be Duke’s long-range shooting.

The strength of the Cavaliers defense is defending the perimeter where opponents are shooting just 27 percent, a rate that ranks them in the top 10 nationally. Duke, however, has had the hot hand shooting from beyond the arc, making 41 percent of its three-point shots and ranking in the top 10 as well.

Virginia has allowed only one opponent to shoot over 40 percent from long distance this season. Duke has shot below 30 percent from three-point range just three times, though one of those was its most recent game vs Georgia Tech and another was in its loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

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