Discussion

Duke has experience and size over OSU

Updated: November 29, 2011, 5:17 PM ET
By Doug Gottlieb

With tonight's Duke-Ohio State matchup there will be plenty of action to watch. To help you digest the top-4 clash a little better, here are some in-depth scouting notes on each team, as well as key matchups and plays to look for.

Duke Blue Devils

Overview: The Blue Devils are a very big team, and are older and more experienced. Though freshman Austin Rivers is a major part of their offense, the rest of their starters have played at least two years together, if not three. At all times, Duke's back line goes 6-foot-10 all the way across. Traditionally Duke has done well taking charges, but Mason and Miles Plumlee are adept shot-blockers who give Duke a different look than in years past. Duke still pressures the ball at midcourt, challenges every entry pass and generally plays aggressive man-to-man defense. However, this team has evolved since about midyear of their most recent national championship season: They will back off some of their pressure now if the matchup calls for it. Duke will still come out too far on non-shooters or great athletes, in my opinion, but their desire to set the tone defensively has changed some with the growth of this staff.

Intriguing Personnel

Austin Rivers: An explosive off-the-bounce combo guard, Rivers owns that self-confidence a select few college players have and equally few are allowed to use so early in their collegiate careers. When he has the ball, he is most comfortable when using a screen, where he constantly looks to split a hedge, blow by a weak post show or turn down the screen and get into the lane.

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