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Next Up: The Citadel

The Bulldogs present some surprising challenges

Lafayette v Duke
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 19: Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on during their game against the Lafayette Leopards in the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 19, 2021 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Duke plays The Citadel Monday evening and if you think that this is going to be like playing Army or Navy, you should probably think again.

The Citadel is coached by Duggar Baucom and while he hasn’t been as successful there as he was at VMI, he still likes a fast-paced game.

The Citadel has topped 100 points twice already this season and has already upset Pitt.

But it won’t be easy in Cameron.

Baucom has a bit of height - one kid is 6-9 and three are 6-8 - but no one is heavier than 225.

Not surprisingly, given Baucom’s preferred pace, the Bulldogs have a deep rotation, with nine guys getting double figure minutes and three not very far off of that.

Hayden Brown, a 6-5 senior, is their leading scorer (17.8) and rebounder (10.5). He also averages 4.0 apg and 1.8 steals.

Jason Roche, a 6-5 freshman from Berkley, is putting up solid numbers too with 16.8 ppg and 4.8 boards.

As is often the case with teams that get less of the limelight, it’s tough to know what to make of the Citadel’s players. Just know they’re going to be offensively aggressive and are averaging 30.5 three point attempts per game.

For Duke, this game presents some challenges. For one, Baucom’s offense lets it fly. For another, as we’ve seen already this year, against smaller teams Mark Williams isn’t always effective and Duke may end up going small as they did against Campbell.

Duke also needs to work on cutting down on turnovers and smoothing out some rough edges and it needs to build on the superb play AJ Griffin showed Friday night.

For the most part, Duke’s defense is ahead of schedule and certainly ahead of the offense and that should make life tough for the Citadel. A win by the Bulldogs is a long shot but certainly not impossible. And if the three point shooting heats up, things could get very interesting but Duke is obviously favored and should win.