The fifth-ranked Blue Devils look to respond from a blowout loss as they visit the Terrapins on Wednesday night.
Duke (19-2, 6-1 ACC) fell 89-77 at then-No. 7 Georgetown on Jan. 30, 2010, allowing the Hoyas to shoot 71.7 percent. The loss may have had a positive impact since the Blue Devils went on to win their fourth NCAA title under Mike Krzyzewski.
The Hall of Fame coach can only hope a loss on that same date one year later will have a similar effect. Duke allowed St. John’s to shoot 58.2 percent and trailed by as many as 25 points in a 93-78 loss Sunday.
“Some of our best wins while I have been at Duke have been in non-conference in late January or usually in February,” Krzyzewski said. “I just think it’s a time where you get out of conference (and) somebody does something to you that might help you, or you do something to somebody that might help you get a better picture of what you need to do during the last part of your season.”
With star freshman Kyrie Irving out indefinitely with a toe injury, the Blue Devils probably would like to see senior forward Kyle Singler snap out of a shooting slump in which he’s missed 25 of 34 3-point attempts over his last five games. Singler has also seen his rebounding average dip to 6.1 for his lowest mark since he was a freshman.
Singler’s lone double-double came Jan. 9, when he had 25 points and 10 boards in a 71-64 home win over Maryland (14-7, 4-3). Terrapins forward Jordan Williams had 23 points and 13 boards as part of his string of 15 straight double-doubles in the loss.
Maryland ended a six-game losing streak to Duke with last season’s 79-72 home win - the lone loss for the Blue Devils over their final 19 games. Williams had 13 and 11 while Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes combined for 33 points.
The Terrapins lost their top three scorers from last season in Vazquez, Hayes and Landon Milbourne. Maryland has compensated by limiting opponents to 38.2 percent shooting for one of the best marks in the nation.
“We lost three really good offensive players and guys who knew how to play defense because they were seniors from last year’s team,” said coach Gary Williams, who is one win shy of tying John Wooden on the all-time list with 664. “I knew we would have to be able to play good defense this year because we might not have as much firepower as we did last year.”
Jordan Williams has emerged with averages of 17.1 points and an ACC-leading 11.9 boards. Maryland and Duke are both shooting 47.8 from the field.
The Terrapins are 0-4 against ranked teams and could use a quality win to boost their NCAA chances.
“It should be a very interesting game,” Gary Williams said. “There’s been some great games in this series the last 10 years or so and hopefully this is another one Wednesday night.”