Duke has two chances this week to reverse its road struggles, starting Monday night with an Atlantic Coast Conference game against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
“V-Tech is going to be big for our confidence,” Blue Devils guard Jeremy Roach said. “It’s never going to be a game that is easy or might seem easy.”
Unranked Duke (14-5, 5-3) is coming off Saturday’s 68-66 home victory against No. 17 Miami.
This is the first meeting since Virginia Tech topped Duke last March in the ACC tournament championship game.
“It’s going to be a different game, just the fight you have to have,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer said of shifting gears after the Miami result. “This is the first time we’re going to have this quick of a turnaround in conference play. Just how quickly you have to move on.”
Virginia Tech (11-8, 1-7) is bound to be desperate as it tries to shed a seven-game losing streak. The latest stinger came with Saturday night’s 51-50 loss at No. 19 Clemson, giving the Hokies their longest losing streak in eight years.
“Turn the page and move on,” Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said.
The Hokies have played their past three games on the road. They were 8-0 at home before losses this month to Clemson and NC State, but playing in front of the home crowd again is bound to be a boost.
Duke’s only victory in four true road outings came by one point at Boston College on Jan. 7.
Duke freshman Kyle Filipowski leads the country in double-doubles among freshmen with nine. He said the Blue Devils have shown good poise in key spots.
“We’ve learned a lot with our wins and losses,” Filipowski said.
The Blue Devils should benefit if Roach can play extended minutes again. He hadn’t played in more than two weeks because of a toe injury before providing 14 points in more than 27 minutes Saturday.
“This was a step,” Scheyer said. “The way our team responded without Jeremy for three games, we learned more. Now with him back, getting guys acquainted with playing with each other again.”
Sean Pedulla leads three Virginia Tech scorers in double figures with 15.9 points per game. Justyn Mutts is averaging 13.1 points with team highs in rebounding (7.7), assists (4.2) and steals (1.7).
–Field Level Media