Every year before the schedule is pinned down, Duke releases a preview of what teams the Blue Devils basketball team will be playing to the Iron Dukes so that they can make their decisions on which games to purchase tickets to. Thanks to crazietalker on twitter, we have a pdf version of this schedule to look at.
The nonconference schedule has been set for a bit, with one exception, a December 3rd game where the opponent has yet to be determined. Other than that game, Duke will be playing a murderer’s row, facing probable Top 3 team Ohio State in the Big Ten challenge (in Columbus), perennial power Michigan State in the inaugural meeting of the Champions Classic, one of UCLA, Kansas, Georgetown, or Chaminade in the finals of the Maui Classic, Tennessee in the semifinals of that Classic, Washington in Madison Square Garden, Temple in Philly, and St. John’s in Cameron.
For such a young team (Miles Plumlee is the lone senior on the squad) replacing its three leading scorers from last season, this will prove to toughen Duke up and hopefully make them battle ready come tournament time in March and April. The trip to China and Dubai could not have come at a better time as the ten practices the team will get in before they leave on August 14th and the multiple practices they will have while overseas will give ample opportunity for leaders to step up on the team and for the coaching staff to evaluate the players and find the best fit for what looks to be a 9-10 man rotation.
Of note on the in conference schedule (which will not have exact dates until the ACC releases them (it was released on Septemeber 9th of last year), Duke plays Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Clemson, NC State, and Boston College only once. Of those teams, the Blue Devils will face Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Boston College away and NC State, Miami, and Virginia in Cameron.
One thing I really wish the schedule makers would make a priority of is having NC State and Duke play twice a year in the future.
A game that should not be overlooked is the one against Belmont on November 11th (the “1st round game” of the Maui Invitational.” The Bruins were an NCAA Tournament team last year at 30-5, were kenpom.com’s 19th ranked team, and are returning nearly everyone. Thankfully, this game is in Cameron.
If all goes as planned, Coach Mike Krzyzewski will tie his mentor and former coach Bob Knight with 902 wins on November 12th against Presbyterian, and will pass him against Michigan State in New York City. Be sure to grab tickets to that game when they go on sale!