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No. 17 Miami Prepares for Road Test at Duke

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Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) matchup at Cameron Indoor Stadium between Miami and Duke will feature two teams that have formed a rivalry of sorts over the past 12 years.

Since Jim Larrañaga became UM’s head coach in 2011, the Hurricanes have totaled a 7-8 record against the often highly-ranked Blue Devils. 

This year’s installment will showcase a rarity between the two programs: No. 17 Miami (15-3, 6-2 ACC) will enter the game as the nationally ranked team, while Duke (13-5, 4-3 ACC) is unranked.

Despite Duke’s uneven play this year, first-year head coach Jon Scheyer’s team is undefeated this season at its home court.

“They’re called the ‘Cameron Crazies’ for a reason,” UM fourth-year guard Jordan Miller said to reporters on Thursday. “The gym’s always electric, a lot of blue … We want to have success coming out of Cameron again like we did last year.”

Fourth-year guard Isaiah Wong has led Miami to its strong start. His play as of late has been especially impressive, averaging 20.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game over his last nine contests.

The Blue Devils, comparatively, have been led by the frontcourt play of 7-foot freshman Kyle Filipowski. The standout first-year center leads Duke in points per game (14.9) and rebounds per game (9.2).

“Filipowski is a very aggressive offensive player,” Larrañaga said. “We’ve got to guard Filipowski and those big guys very well. We got to keep them all off the offensive boards while still not letting their guards kill us from the perimeter.

Aside from Filipowki’s production, the Blue Devils have underwhelmed in the scoring department. Guard Jeremy Roach is the only other Duke player averaging double-digit points per game, and the team’s 72.2 points per game average is less than the 80.1 points per game it scored last season.

Roach’s status against the Canes is uncertain. He has missed the Blue Devils’ last three games with a toe injury.

This matchup against Duke will kick off a three-game road trip that will also include games against in-state rival Florida State and ACC contender Pittsburgh.

All three of these away contests will take place in the span of eight days. Matt Shodell of CaneSport noted that this is the first time the Hurricanes will play such a stretch since 2016.

“Road games are difficult. When you play them back to back to back it’s even more difficult,” Larrañaga said. “We can’t control that. We’re gonna do the best we can at preparing for each and every game.”

Still, the ‘Canes can’t look ahead to their next two opponents with a matchup against a talented Duke squad in a hostile environment awaiting them.

Miami and Duke will play on Saturday at noon. The game will air on ESPN.

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