Okaro White and Ian Miller may be playing Duke for the last time. Since they enrolled at FSU, the Seminoles vs Blue Devils rivalry has been a lot more spirited than perhaps it should be. Over those four years Duke has brought in 12 consensus top 50 recruits, including three who were among the nation's top-3. This compares to a total of three for Florida State - Okaro White, Ian Miller, and Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Ian Miller is the highest rated recruit on FSU's team (consensus No. 35), and 11 of the 12 top-50 players Duke brought in were rated higher than Ian.
That said, Ian and Okaro are 3-2 vs Duke in their careers.
This year's Duke team has nine consensus top 50 recruits on their roster, which is more than any team in the nation. So it was no surprise when Duke received 50 of 54 first place votes in the ACC preseason media poll. But six games into the conference season they find themselves tied for fourth with a team picked 9th by the media - Florida State.
The Blue Devils are led by freshman phenom Jabari Parker, the latest in a long line of great players from Simeon High School in Chicago. The 6-8 Parker is averaging 18.9 points and 7.7 rebounds. He takes 33.2% of the shots when he's on the floor (2nd in the ACC) and can score from anywhere. Pomeroy currently has him No. 4 in his National Player of the Year standings. In their dismantling of Miami on Wednesday, Parker had 17 points and 15 rebounds.
6-8 sophomore Rodney Hood (who chose Duke over FSU when he transferred from Mississippi State) is averaging 17.6 per game, and among players who use at least 20% of their team's possessions, he's the most efficient player in the conference. The engine for this team - 6-2 junior point guard Quinn Cook - averages 12.8 points and 5.6 assists.
With waves of weapons at their disposal, Duke has the No. 2 offense in the nation. They don't turn the ball over (9th nationally) and they score a third of their points on threes. It will be a matchup of strength on strength with Duke's No. 2 offense going up against FSU's No. 17 defense.
It's hard to see how Duke is just 15-4, 4-2 with their lineup. They've played six teams in Pomeroy's top 50 and are 3-3. The problem is defense, and this team ranks just 73rd nationally, which will be the 2nd worst Duke defense since tempo free stats became available in the late 90s. They've been playing better of late, but they allow opponents to make almost half their 2s (49.4%, 195th nationally) and they're 258th in blocked shots.
For FSU to win they're going to have to score at the rim early and often, and keep up their hot shooting from the arc.
The game tips at noon and will be broadcast on ESPN. Duke is an 8.5 point favorite in Vegas, and Pomeroy has Duke -6.