1. Doug Kapustin : Sun Staff 1. On guard: Duke freshman...

March 31, 2001|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff

1. Doug Kapustin : Sun Staff

1. On guard: Duke freshman Chris Duhon may receive extra attention from Steve Blake and the Terps.

2. (MARYLAND VS. DUKE: Comparison of team stats)

The X-factor

Duke: Chris Duhon

Playing in the same starting lineup as the two best college basketball players in the country often consists of throwing passes to Shane Battier or setting screens for Jason Williams. And then there's the role of Duke freshman Chris Duhon.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski wants the 6-foot-1 guard to shoot, especially when opposing teams are focused on the team's All-Americans.

"They were daring me to shoot," Duhon said last Saturday, after hitting three big three-point shots and scoring 13 points in Duke's 79-69 victory over USC in the East Regional final. "Once I got the first one down, I got a lot of confidence."

Many wondered what all the excitement was about Duhon earlier this season. He had some good games, such as the night he hit six of eight shots against Villanova. But he also had nights when he struggled, such as when he missed all three shots in a loss to Stanford.

But as his minutes increased, so did his production. When center Carlos Boozer broke his foot in late February against Maryland and missed six games, Duhon was inserted into the starting lineup. It gave the Blue Devils two point guards and opened the floor for Williams and Battier.

"We felt two players can't beat us," said USC coach Henry Bibby. "He's a big-time college player on the No. 1 team in the country. He should be able to hit those shots."

That will be the job of the Terrapins tonight, with the responsibility of keeping Duhon quiet falling on the capable shoulders of Juan Dixon. In three games this season against Maryland, Duhon has made seven of 20 shots for 18 points with seven assists and two turnovers.

The road to the Final Four

WEST REGIONAL

Maryland defeats: George Mason 83-80

Georgia State 79-60

Stanford 87-73

EAST REGIONAL

Duke defeats: Monmouth 95-52

Missouri 94-81

UCLA 76-63

USC 79-69

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