Duke Quick Facts
Duke All-Time Record Vs. SU: 5-9
Duke Streak Vs. SU: L3
Duke Last Win Vs. SU: May 23, 2014
Duke 2015 Record: 12-6; Lost in the ACC Finals; Lost in 1st Round of NCAAT
Duke 2016 Record: 6-4; Wins versus High Point, Lehigh, Jacksonville, Mercer, Loyola, and Georgetown; Losses versus Denver, Harvard, Richmond, and Air Force
2016 ACC Preseason Coaches' Poll: #2 out of five
2016 ACC Preseason All-Conference Players: Deemer Class (M), Myles Jones (M)
2016 RPI: #17
2016 SOS: #33
Since 2011, Duke and the Syracuse Orange have matched up 14 times, twice per season in three of the last four years. Four of those 14 games have finished with one goal being the difference maker. Five of the contests were played in the NCAA Tournament with SU going 3-2.
It was expected that Duke would be coming into Saturday with a 7-3 record, but on Tuesday the Blue Devils fell at home to Air Force in overtime. Overall, Duke is 1-2 against the Southern Conference, but at home Duke is 0-2 versus the SoCon. The only quality win for the Blue Devils came against Loyola, so at this point I think this team is in danger of missing out of the NCAA Tournament.
This is a dangerous shooting team. Duke has the third best scoring offense in the nation, putting up just over 14 goals per game. The Blue Devils are also third in the country in shooting percentage at .374. Jack Bruckner has the third best shooting percentage in the ACC with a .471 percent of his shots finding the back of the net. The junior is a second year starter and has played 48 games over his three years. This season, Bruckner has 23 goals and has 11 assists. Next to him is Justin Guterding, the reigning ACC Rookie of the Year. In 2015, the sophomore had an astounding 70 points. He is nearly halfway to his 2015 total with 42 points and has a team high in assists with 19. Case Matheis is the third starting attackman for the Blue Devils. The senior has started nearly every game over the last four seasons. He has 18 goals and 18 assists on the year. Matheis came to Duke as the #1 incomming freshman back in 2012, and he has lived up to expectations with 169 points in his career. He is a good midrange shooter, and is a scrappy player who has a nack for grabing rebounds around the crease
Myles Jones is a 6'5", 240 lbs. athletic specimen and a human highlight reel. He is one of the favorites to win the Tewaaraton Trophy this year and is a matchup nightmare. When Jones dodges and puts his shoulder down, watchout. Of course he also has a cannon of a shot. Left handed or right handed, it doesn't matter, he can fire heat with both. The Syracuse defense must be ready to slide early to him and I would guess that the Orange will pole him. He has 197 points through four years, including 18 goals and 18 assists in 2016.
The leading midfield scorer is Deemer Class who has 26 goals and six assists this year. Class has a great ability as a deep shooter andwas rated as the third best midfielder coming into his freshman season. He's put up 170 points in his time in Durham. Last year, TNIAAM's Brian Tahmosh put together a great Q&A with Paul Carcaterra. In the article, Carcaterra perfectly described the matchup problem that Class and Jones create: "You have to have a philosophy, defensively: do you let these guys just go berserk and shut down the rest of the team, or do whatever you can to stop them and open up opportunities for some of these other guys."
The third midfielder is fellow senior Chad Cohan. Cohan has spent time at both midfield and attack. This year he has 15 goals and five assists.
After starting 18 games last season at close defense, Brian Dunne has been moved to the long-stick midfield position. Dunne is one of the team's best leaders and through ten games he has six groundballs and two caused turnovers in his new role. As a first year starter, Chris Coady as 12 groundballs and six caused turnovers. Ethan Powley came to Duke as a long-stick midfielder but transitioned to close defense in his sophomore year when he made 15 starts. The junior is tied for a team high ten cuased turnovers and adds 19 groundballs to his stats. Fellow sophomore, Greg Pelton, got nine starts in 2015. As the third, full-time starter this year, Pelton has picked up 27 groundballs, a team high amongst non-faceoff players, and also has ten caused turnovers to match Powley.
Luke Aaron was the starter in 2014 and made nine starts in 2015 but has been overtaken by Danny Fowler this year. It is certainly not often that you sit a National Championship starting goalie. Fowler has a 9.28 goals against average and a .518 save percentage, so he's been better than 2015 but still about middle of the pack in terms of the national landscape.
Syracuse will travel to Durham, NC on Saturday at noon to take on the Duke Blue Devils. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU and can be heard on TK99. Of course you can also follow me @Orangelax for game updates.