The Maui Invitational is well under way and today we will see the Duke Blue Devils take on the Tennessee Volunteers.
It should be a good one as Duke looks to win the tournament for the fifth time in school history and is a favorite to do exactly that. Tennessee will be attempting to make a name for its young program that nearly everyone has written off this season by pulling off the upset.
Keep reading to find out more about this exciting game out in the midst of the Pacific.
Where: Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii
When: Monday, Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m. EST
Listen: Vol Radio Network, Free live audio stream at UTsports.com—Tennessee, Blue Devil IMG Sports Network 620 AM—Duke
Betting Line: Duke -12
Quinton Chievous, out (redshirt): Chievous is going to accept a redshirt for his true freshman season after not seeing any floor time in his first two games.
No major injuries to report.
What's At Stake?
The Maui Invitational.
This is one of the most exciting tournaments early in the college basketball season and it looks to be even more important than ever this year.
No. 6 Duke is the highest-ranked team in a field that features No. 10 Memphis, No. 12 Kansas, No. 17 Michigan and teams that could easily be ranked this season in UCLA, Georgetown and Tennessee.
Duke has won the tournament all four previous times it has travelled for it and coach Mike Krzyzewski is looking to lock up a fifth win this year.
The winner of this game will face Memphis or Michigan in the semifinals and move one step closer to winning the prestigious tournament.
What They're Saying
Mike Griffith at GoVolsXtra.com has found that the Tennessee Volunteers believe they have a shot at upsetting Duke despite losing coach Bruce Pearl and star players Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris.
“We talk about it every day, that people don’t think we’re going to do anything,” junior forward Jeronne Maymon said. “We’ll see what we’re made of here. It’s a test to see where our heart is, where our head is. We’re hard workers, we’re dedicated, we’re buying into Coach Martin, and we believe.”
Jeff Scholl, reporting for The Chronicle, found that the defense for the Blue Devils isn’t where it needs to be yet.
“Right now we have different guys stepping up at different times, and you hope that at some point, everybody’s playing great, and everybody’s stepped up to that level,” forward Ryan Kelly said. “That’s when you’re the best team you can be.”
Duke struggled mightily in the first half to contain Davidson but did a much better job after the break. It ended up winning easily despite being down a point at half.
Tennessee Player to Watch: Trae Golden
The sophomore guard is the leading scorer for the Vols with 23.0 points per game and is also nailing his threes. He is shooting 46.2 percent beyond the arc and dishing a whopping 10 assists per game and is going to be a big factor in the success of this Tennessee team.
Duke Player to Watch: Austin Rivers
Doc Rivers’ son is one of the highest-rated recruits Duke has ever landed but is having struggles adjusting to his role in the offense.
He is turning the ball over too much and having trouble getting to the rim.
Will he turn it around soon? I think so.
There is too much natural talent here for him to fail and once he gets his decision making down, Rivers will live up to the hype.
Key Matchup: Tennessee offense vs. Duke defense.
If Duke plays defense like it did against Belmont and Davidson for long stretches, Tennessee is going to have a chance to steal this game.
The Volunteers can catch fire from three-point range at any time, as evidenced by their 15-24 performance from long distance in their opening game.
Duke will need to get out to the perimeter and hound its snipers if it wants to win this game easily.
Duke 82, Tennessee 72
I think this game will be close in the first half but Duke and Coach K will make halftime adjustments that prove to be the difference maker.
They will make a big run in the second half and protect the lead down the stretch.