Tudor: Mich. State's size could spell trouble for Duke - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Tudor: Mich. State's size could spell trouble for Duke

Posted: Updated:

By Caulton Tudor

 

If seasonal patterns hold, Duke's biggest problem against Michigan State will be size.

When the Blue Devils (29-5) and Spartans (27-8) play Friday night at approximately 9:45 p.m. in an NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal game, Michigan State will bring the sort of size that gave Duke trouble against Maryland and Miami in ACC play.

MSU's frontline -- Derrick Nix (6-9, 270, Sr.), Adreian Payne (6-10, 240, Jr.) and Branden Dawson (6-6, 230, So.) -- is among the tallest and heaviest in the country.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner, after a 70-48 loss to the Spartans last weekend, called them "a great team."

"They're big.  They're physical …  It's all but impossible to get anything inside against them on a consistent basis. They just killed us on the boards," Pastner said.

In fact, Coach Tom Izzo's team had a 41-25 rebounding advantage.

Duke, in two losses to Maryland, was out-rebounded 36-26 in one loss and 38-17 in another. Even an 84-64 win over the Terps, the Blue Devils had a 42-31rebounding deficit.

Even with Ryan Kelly (6-11, 230) back from a foot injury to help Mason Plumlee (6-10, 235), the Blue Devils will need to get a lot of help inside.

Dawson will have a distinct size advantage on 6-4 Duke freshman Rasheed Sulaimon.

Not only that, Izzo has impressive size off the bench in freshmen subs Denzel Valentine (6-5, 220) and Matt Costello (6-9, 245).

The Blue Devils are seeded second behind Louisville in the regional and will have the game's best coach, Mike Krzyzewski, to pull the strings.

For Duke, the game certainly is winnable -- but only if Seth Curry, Kelly and Sulaimon can hit shots from the perimeter while Plumlee steers clear of foul trouble.

SIZING UP THE SPARTANS

F Derrick Nix (6-9, 270, Sr.)

Grinding big man averages 10 ppg., 6.5 rebs. and will be playing in his 139th game.

F Adreian Payne (6-10, 240, Jr.)

Much like Nix, only a year younger and step quicker. Averages 10.4 ppg, 7.5 rebs.

F Branden Dawson (6-6, 230, So.)

Hustle guy who has shot almost 56 percent for his career. Averages 9.1ppg, 6.1 rebs.

G Keith Appling (6-1, 190, Jr.)

Team assist leader but a point guard who often looks to shoot first, pass later. Averages 13.3 ppg, 3.5 rebs. 3.4 asts.

G Gary Harris (6-4, 205, Fr.)

Physical wingman who shoots 41 percent on 3-point attempts. Averages 13.1 ppg, 2.5 rebs.

BENCH

G Travis Trice (6-0, 170, So.)

Quickest Spartan, defensive energy guy. Averages 4.7 ppg, 1.9 asts

S Denzel Valentine (6-5, 220, Fr.)

Prolific rebounder for his size and playing time. Averages 5.0 ppg, 4.4 rebs, 1.9 asts.

F Matt Costello (6-9, 245, Fr.)

Big banger, enforcer with impressive length. Averages 1.5 ppg, 1.3 rebs.

  • Duke SportsMore>>

  • College football recruiting has unseemly side

    College football recruiting has unseemly side

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:39:05 GMT
    College football offers are not what they used to be as schools - and players - shop for the right fit.
    College football offers are not what they used to be as schools - and players - shop for the right fit.
  • ACC Kickoff: New QB for State, new talent at UNC

    ACC Kickoff: New QB for State, new talent at UNC

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:17:39 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    The ACC Kickoff is Monday in Greensboro, and coaches from UNC, Duke and N.C. State are analzying their seasons.
    The ACC Kickoff is Monday in Greensboro, and coaches from UNC, Duke and N.C. State are analzying their seasons.
  • Duke baseball team honored by ACC for sportsmanship

    Duke baseball team honored by ACC for sportsmanship

    Monday, June 30 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-06-30 15:16:29 GMT
    The Duke baseball team was one of three ACC Sportsmanship Award Winners for the 2013-14 academic year, the league announced Monday.On April 18, 2014, the Blue Devil team traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia, for a series against Virginia Tech.The date came two days after the seven-year anniversary of a shooting where 32 Virginia Tech students and faculty members were killed in 2007. The Duke players stopped by Burruss Hall, and the team lined up by the April 16 Memorial for a moment of silence in...
    The Duke baseball team was one of three ACC Sportsmanship Award Winners for the 2013-14 academic year, the league announced Monday.On April 18, 2014, the Blue Devil team traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia, for a series against Virginia Tech.The date came two days after the seven-year anniversary of a shooting where 32 Virginia Tech students and faculty members were killed in 2007. The Duke players stopped by Burruss Hall, and the team lined up by the April 16 Memorial for a moment of silence in...
  • Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:26:58 GMT
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."

  • Transformation plan underway for troubled Roanoke neighborhoods

    Transformation plan underway for troubled Roanoke neighborhoods

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:44:27 GMT
    Roanoke (WSLS) - The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority will unveil it's plan to transform one of the most troubled sections of the city at an event tonight.
    Roanoke (WSLS) - The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority will unveil it's plan to transform one of the most troubled sections of the city at an event tonight.
  • Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

    Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:42 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:42:29 GMT
    The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.
    Authorities say a flight operated by Air Algerie carrying 110 passengers and a crew of six has disappeared from the radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.