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Next Up - Utah Valley

Time: 7:00 || Venue: Cameron || Video: ACC Network Extra

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NCAA Basketball: Elon University at Duke
Nov 10, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Trevon Duval (1) handles the ball during the first half agains the Elon Phoenix at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

When Utah Valley announced it was going to open with back-to-back games at Kentucky and Duke, people laughed.

Well, they’re not laughing after last night’s eye-opening performance at Kentucky. The Wolverines are experienced, talented and big.

They’re also full of transfers with only two players who started their careers at UVU.

They’re as big as Duke with four guys who are at least 6-11.

Utah Valley actually led in the first half before UK went to a 2-3 zone. Coach Mark Pope, a Kentucky grad, said his team wasn’t well versed against the zone, so you may see it tonight in Cameron.

Five Wolverines made it into double figures against Kentucky though and the Wildcats won by just 10.

For what it’s worth, UVU shot just 5-15 from three point range.

This team is vastly more experienced than Duke: it has two grad students, three seniors, four juniors, and most of them have had a redshirt year.

There is a danger here for Duke. Last night, Marques Bolden sat out with strep throat and he’ll be out tonight as well. Wendell Carter got in early foul trouble and suddenly Duke looked a bit thin inside. That would be bad against this team.

Guys to watch: Conner Toolson, Danny Ainge’s nephew, is probably the best player. Kenneth Ogbe had 12 against Kentucky.

Starters are

7-0 Akolda Manyang, 6-2 Brandon Randolph, 6-7 Kenneth Ogbe,

6-4 Conner Toolson and 6-5 Jake Toolson. We’re not sure if this Toolson is also related to Ainge.

We don’t know a whole lot about this team but we do know that the president of the university would like UVU to be known as a basketball school and he’s well on his way to that goal. This is a potential NCAA tournament team and one with legitimate aspirations to win the WAC. Don’t be surprised if the Wolverines give Duke a solid game and, if it’s close late, they will have a significant advantage.

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