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Next Up - Boston University

H-S | Asheville
Boston Herald
| Shelby
| GoDuke
Next up for Duke - well, first up as far as the regular season goes - is
Boston University, ably coached by former Wake assistant Dennis Wolff.

Over the last few years, his Terriers have nipped at the heels of Vermont in
the America East Conference, and pretty much kept pace with the Catamounts as
they worked up to their monumental upset of Syracuse last year in the NCAA.

Wolff, possibly best known to Duke fans as the coach who got Joey Beard after
he left Durham, did a masterful job with his team last year, as the Terriers led
the NCAA in field goal percentage defense.

Unfortunately that team is almost entirely gone. Wolff told the Boston
Globe that he has "[n]ine freshmen and sophomores and seven guys who have never played a minute of college
basketball," and to expect a group that callow to debut strongly in Cameron
may be a bit much.

In fact, B.U. has scheduled a rosary for 6:00 p.m., shortly before tipoff in
Cameron. Coincidence? Probably. But it can't hurt!

One problem the Terriers will have with Duke is size. They do have some
size, with six guys who are 6-8, and Amari Peterkin and Ben Coblyn weigh in at
276 and 252 respectively. But none of them are likely to offset the combination
of 6-9 Shelden Williams and 6-11 Josh McRoberts inside. Small note we forgot to
mention previously: Mc Roberts has been jumping center.

Senior Kevin Gardner, one of the 6-8 bunch, will likely start. He
averaged 7.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg last season.

Shaun Winn, 6-2, will probably start at off-guard. He's said to be a
smart player who rarely plays out of control. After having bone spurs for the
last couple of seasons, he appears to be healthy.

JUCO transfer Brian Macon is expected to take over at point guard, but at
5-8, his size may be a liability. Sean Dockery will be much bigger and

The coach's boy, Matt Wolff, may start as well. He's a sound player in
general and plays solid defense too. He's 6-4, so he may well get the
assignment on Redick.

If we had to guess, we'd see two likely scenarios for this game. The
first would be that Duke would just run over Boston University from the
beginning. The second would be that, like N.C. Central, it might take a few
minutes to get everyone pointed in the same direction, but that after an
uncertain 7-10 minute opening stretch, Duke would pull away.

The odds of B.U. staying close for long aren't that great. We have a
lot of respect for Wolff and what he's accomplished at B.U., because it's not an
easy place to prosper. They have had a habit of hiring sharp coaches who left -
think Rick Pitino and Mike Jarvis - but Wolff has stayed and won around 60% of
his games, which isn't bad. No doubt his A.D. and school are grateful for
his loyalty.

For Duke, the big deal is going to be to incorporate the young kids into the
system more completely and to work out roles and rotations. Greg Paulus is
going to make a push for more minutes, since he is an absolutely superb
passer. And Martynas Pocius is not like anyone we've ever seen at
Duke. You just don't see 6-4 Europeans getting way up for alley-oops, or
coming down on the break and going sky-high to reject a basket. The last
guy we saw at Duke who did it quite like that, Grant Hill aside, was Robert
Brickey, who made a habit of flying into view at the end of a break and going
after a shot.

And Eric Boateng is probably much further along than a lot of people
expected. He has work to do, but he's not exactly a project.

So while Duke will almost certainly win this game, the things to look for are
how well the freshmen perform and how the rotation appears to be evolving.
And then, assuming disaster doesn't strike, it's on to the winner of Seton Hall
and Manhattan.