The 8th ranked Duke Blue Devils get set to take on the Oregon State Beavers in the first round of the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament in Portland, Oregon on Thanksgiving afternoon. Duke, in the first year under new head coach Jon Scheyer, have started out 3-1 on the season. Meanwhile, Oregon State also comes in at 3-1 and is the de-facto host of this tournament. The opening tap for this first round matchup is set for 3:00pm EST.
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Dawn of a New EraWith a legacy that will probably be unmatched as his backdrop, Duke's new head coach Jon Scheyer may never be able to quite live up to expectations. That said, he has his team off to a solid start with three wins in their four games thus far and a #8 ranking in the college basketball Top-25 standings. Duke dropped a five-point decision to #6 Kansas at the State Farms Champions Classic at Indianapolis this year but has bounced back with wins in each of their two games leading up to this tournament. On Monday night, at home, the Blue Devils dropped Bellarmine, 74-57 to improve to 3-1 on the season. Kyle Filipowski led the way with 18 points while Tyrese Proctor pulled down eight rebounds in the win. The Blue Devils took the rebounding battle 37-25 and shot 40% from three-point range in the win.
“That was a great win for us. Bellarmine is a tough team to play against. I don't know the stat yet, but I want to know how many times they scored with under five seconds on the shot clock. I thought our guys, you have a tendency to put your head down after they make a play like that, itcan be disheartening. But really, from beginning to end, I thought our guys did a great job of impacting the ball on defense. I thought our pressure bothered them a little bit. And again, they’re as tough as can be and give them all the credit in the world. This is a great win, I’m really proud of us, unusual circumstances, Monday night at 8:30. And we're ready to go and understanding what a quick turnaround we have this week. And so, for us, it was about being in the moment. I thought we had some really unselfish play sharing the ball. What did we have, 18 assists on 25 made field goals is a big deal. I’m just proud of our effort, proud of this win tonight.” Scheyer said after the game.
Duke, despite their one loss, has a dominant +25.5 average point differential on the season thus far. They are shooting 44% from the field and 31% from 3pt range. The Blue Devils have also been dominant on the glass with a +19.3 rebound differential on the season. As usual, the Blue Devils are very efficient and own a +2.7 turnover differential this season. Defensively, the Blue Devils have held the opposition to a three-point shooting percentage of just 21%.
Host with the Most?Oregon State represents the state of Oregon in this tournament and should have the crowd behind them in each round. The Beavers have started the season at 3-1 but are coming off of a loss to Portland State to end their string of three straight wins to kick off 2022-23. The Beavers shot just 15% from long range while falling to Portland State, 79-66. Glenn Taylor Jr. led the way for Oregon State with a career-high 25 points, including 13-of-15 from the free throw line. Despite the loss, the Beavers did out-rebound Portland State 30-26.
Oregon State has a +6 average point differential through their first four games. They are shooting the ball well overall, at 47%. The Beavers have not shot well from beyond the arc, hitting on just 26% of their long balls. They have a +5.5 average rebounding differential but have struggled with turnovers. The Beavers have an average of -1.5 turnover differential thus far, which could be an issue against Duke. Finally, on the defensive end, Oregon State is holding the opposition to 37% shooting overall and 35% from 3pt range.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Despite having a home-court advantage in this one, Oregon State is out of advantages in every other category against Duke. Primarily, the Blue Devils will dominate this match on the glass and control the pace of play with that distinct advantage. Duke is 7th in offensive efficiency and 9th in defensive efficiency thus far and moves at a middle-of-the-pack pace. Duke is not a strong 3pt shooting team so they will live in the paint and take full advantage of their size. Oregon State is below average on both ends of the floor and don't have the talent to pull off an upset in this spot. The Blue Devils will roll and roll big in this opening-round matchup.
Full-Game Total Pick
Only one of Duke's four games thus far has gone over 140 points this season in total. This is significant in a game that Duke will control the pace and tempo. Duke is 186th in the country in pace of play so don't expect them to run the Beavers out of the building. They will run their sets, dominate the paint and win this game comfortably. All this will be done at a reasonable pace since Oregon state is not a team that has shown any proclivity to want to run themselves. Oregon State ranks 280th in pace of play thus far this season.
Take the under.