With the release of the college basketball schedule for the 2013-14 season, Duke fans are starting to get excited for this years’ team. The first game of the season for the Duke Blue Devils is against the Davidson Wildcats. The game will be November 9th at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
This is not an opening game that Duke can just show up for and expect to win; they will be challenged from the start. Most years, Duke has had at least one warm up game against an opponent who might not even be able to beat their second string, but this season that’s not the case. Davidson is a mid-major team, but they are a good team year after year. In fact, last year the Wildcats went to the NCAA tournament.
The Duke Blue Devils will have to be ready for the season in game one or they could start out with a loss. This will be a tough opener and as soon as it starts they will have to be ready or it could cost them momentum going forward.
Davidson did lose some key pieces from last year, but they have shown in the past a unique ability to replace players they have lost. However, they did lose JP Kuhlman and Nik Cochran who will be hard to replace. Davidson will look to hit three pointers against Duke to stay in the game and also look to force Duke into turning the ball over.
If Duke comes out with a lack of enthusiasm, they could be looking at a tight game going into half time. Duke cannot afford to be looking ahead to the game against Kansas, because Davidson is capable of beating Duke.
The biggest thing that Duke will have to do against Davidson is to attack the basket. Duke should have most of the advantages, but the one thing most programs look to exploit with mid-major teams is their lack of size, and Duke won’t be able to take advantage of that because of their own small stature.
The good thing about this game is that it is in Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke does have the superior team. This will be a good early test for Duke and hopefully they come out ready for it. If not, Davidson will steal a game in Durham.
The experience and athleticism that Duke will have going in to this season should give them a first game win. This should be a close game, but Duke should pull away in the second half.
Davidson is too inexperienced this year with only four seniors on the team, and will be going into hostile territory for their first game. I predict Duke will start the season undefeated and Davidson will begin the season winless.