Over the next seven days, PowerMizzou.com will preview every team in the 2012 Battle for Atlantis. Missouri opens play in the tournament at noon Central time on Thanksgiving Day and we will have complete coverage of the Tigers throughout the three-day event.
Our previews continue today with the Duke Blue Devils.
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
Last Year: 27-7, 13-3 ACC (2nd)
Postseason: NCAA 1st Round
Returning Starters: 4
Strengths: It isn't tough to identify the winningest coach in college basketball history as a strength. Coach K has a track record that is unmatched. As usual, the Devils have plenty of talent across the board. One-time super-recruit Quinn Cook is back from a knee injury and will run the show for the Devils. Seth Curry will be allowed to move over to the two-guard where he is expected to be much more effective. The Devils will go 6-foot-8, 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-11 across the front line and have size that will be tough for anyone to match. Freshmen Marshall Plumlee and Amile Jefferson will provide size off the bench to back up Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly.
Weaknesses: Some viewed last season as a slip for the Devils, but they still won 27 games and were a two seed. Of course, an opening round loss to Lehigh left a sour taste all off-season. Duke has plenty of talent, but it is no longer a simple who's who of the best players in America. Duke has a lot of good players. Does it have one that can take over a game with Austin Rivers gone to the NBA?
Overview: It is Duke. The Blue Devils are a threat to win any tournament they are in. And they're likely on a mission to prove that the end of last season was an aberration rather than a sign of things to come.
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