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November 9, 2005Duke will welcome city neighbor North Carolina Central to Cameron Indoor Stadium tonight for the final exhibition game before play begins for real against Boston University in the preseason NIT on Monday night.
Duke claimed a blowout win in exhibition play by handing the Eagles a 95-58 defeat.
Duke will be hitting the floor fresh off a 123-66 exhibition win last Thursday over Concordia (Canada). It will be the first time NCCU has suited up this season. The Eagles play a second exhibition tilt Saturday at East Carolina before beginning regular season play next Friday night against Eckerd College.
There could be several wide eyed Eagles at Cameron tonight as NCCU must replaced four starters off of last year's 16-12 squad.
Their leading returning scorer is Jason Hervey at 9.8 points per game. He's a much bigger player than any Duke saw from Concordia last week. Hervey stands 6-feet-9 and weighs 255 pounds and should provide Shelden Williams and Josh McRoberts a little better competition around the bucket.
Duke is expected to start the same lineup used against Concordia, with Sean Dockery, J.J. Redick, and DeMarcus Nelson joining Williams and McRoberts.
The Devils should once again utilize several different looks as Mike Krzyzewski works to develop the rotation he will employ when the Devils tip it off for real Monday night.
In what was basically an exceptional performance last week, there will be at least two key areas Duke will be hoping to improve against NCCU.
1) First shot efficiency: Duke got a ton of points off the offensive glass against Concordia. While those points are certainly nice to have, the Devils would like to shoot a little higher percentage on their first attempt of the possession. Williams will especially be looking to be more accurate around the goal.
2) Free throw shooting: The Devils were below 65 percent from the stripe last Thursday night. McRoberts, Nelson, and Eric Boateng were the three biggest contributors to that number. A team with this much talent will be much more difficult to beat if they show free throw shooting to be a strength.
Tipoff at Cameron Indoor Stadium is set for 7 p.m.