Duke, Indiana at a glance

April 04, 1992|By Don Markus

Duke (32-2) vs. Indiana (27-6), 8 p.m.

Site: Metrodome, Minneapolis

Outlook: It's as much a matchup of big-name coaches as big-name teams. But neither Mike Krzyzewski nor Bob Knight should have much of an effect on the outcome of this game, unless Knight loses it with the officials or his players. Considering what's at stake, neither seems likely.

Backcourt: Normally, the edge would go to the Blue Devils by a wide margin. But Bobby Hurley, who might have come back from his broken foot a bit too soon, is starting to show signs of wearing down. He made more turnovers last weekend in Philadelphia (14) than he did in the tournament last year (10). But Hurley (12.9 ppg) and Thomas Hill (14.6 ppg) are capable of taking over for long stretches, thus taking pressure off Christian Laettner (21.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg) up front. Chris Reynolds and Damon Bailey (12.5 ppg) are solid, if unspectacular, Knight-type guards. Bailey is a three-point threat (47 of 101), so the Blue Devils will have to do a better job along the perimeter.

Frontcourt: Laettner's presence, not to mention his personality, gives Duke the advantage. He's difficult to stop because of his ability to shoot outside as well as post up inside, and Matt Nover will certainly need help. So closing off Brian Davis (14 ppg) and Tony Lang will become very important for the Hoosiers. Both are capable scorers, with Lang suddenly a terror on the offensive boards. Davis likely will have the responsibility of guarding Indiana's Calbert Cheaney (17.8 ppg), with help from Lang, as well as Grant Hill off the bench. Alan Henderson could be even tougher for the Blue Devils, since he can use his quickness if picking up Laettner and 6-9 size against Lang.

Bench: Each team has one of the best sixth men in the country. Grant Hill (13.9 ppg) of Duke and Eric Anderson (16.5 ppg) of Indiana are former starters; Hill lost his job to Lang because of injury, and Anderson took a seat in Knight's doghouse before emerging as the MVP in the West Regional last weekend. Indiana has more depth, with shooting guard Greg Graham (9 ppg) and defensive specialist Jamal Meeks.

Coaches: Two of the best in the business, like him (Krzyzewski) or not (Knight). Rarely do they get out-coached, so this one is a draw.

Prediction: The Blue Devils didn't play all that well last weekend, especially defensively, so there are two ways to look at the Final Four. Either they are vulnerable and could get beat tonight, or Kentucky had the last best chance to beat them.

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