No. 7 Duke aims to continue winning ways in clash vs. Arkansas
League: NCAA Basketball
Posted on: 28 Nov, 2023 at 06:58 PM
Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Duke encountered some unexpected recent glitches but found ways to work through them.
The No. 7 Blue Devils now will encounter an Arkansas team that wasn't able to shake off all of its problems last week.
The teams will tip off Wednesday night in Fayetteville, Ark., as part of the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge.
"We must move on quickly now, and we're going on the road next two games," Duke coach Jon Scheyer said.
The Blue Devils (5-1) learned some lessons during their four-game winning streak that has included the past three contests at home. They trailed by 10 points Friday night to Southern Indiana before responding with a better second half in an 80-62 victory.
"We are not close to where we want to be," Scheyer said. "It's good to win, but it is not just about winning. It is about playing to the best of your ability. But a great learning lesson for us in playing these three games."
Arkansas (4-3) dropped out of the Top 25 after consecutive losses to Memphis and then-No. 14 North Carolina to wrap up play in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Much of the Razorbacks' fate could hinge on the status of guard Tramon Mark, who racked up 34 points against North Carolina on Friday before departing on a stretcher due to a back injury.
Mark was released from a hospital and traveled back home with the team. He is unlikely to play against Duke.
"We had a player show up in his practice gear that was not going to practice," Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said Monday on his radio show. "And was struggling to even walk, because his back was so sore. And now the hamstring is also sore. I don't know if I've ever seen a guy that there was absolutely zero chance that he was going to practice, and he put his practice gear on. Then he was going around station to station."
Duke will be in its first true road game of the season. This will be the Blue Devils' first ever game at Arkansas.
The Blue Devils have seen some strong moments from guard Tyrese Proctor and forward Kyle Filipowski. They might be the most accomplished players on the offensive end for Duke.
"Tyrese and Flip are always going to be focal points of what we do, and those two together is even better," Scheyer said.
Filipowski, a sophomore, registered his first double-double of the season Friday night.
Arkansas might be more focused on internal fixes than a scouting report on Duke.
"I think there are a lot of concerns," Musselman said. "Maybe too many to go through right now. We've just lost two in a row. We have a lot of things to sort out."
Musselman said the Razorbacks probably needed a day or two for recovery after playing three games in three days.
Duke pulled out a full-court press in the Southern Indiana game. That's the type of defensive aggression that the Blue Devils might see applied against them in the Arkansas game.
Arkansas reserve guard El Ellis lists Durham, N.C. -- which is home to Duke -- as his hometown. He played the past two seasons for Louisville, so he faced the Blue Devils during Atlantic Coast Conference games. In 2021-22, he had 18 points versus the Blue Devils and followed that with a 21-point game against Duke last season.
Ellis scored 19 points earlier this month against UNC Greensboro, but he was scoreless in three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis in 35 total minutes.
--Field Level Media