DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Richard Morgan Fliehr once said, “To be the man, you have to beat the man.”
When Ric Flair shouted those famous words, he was talking about Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. In the world of ACC basketball, the man this year is the Virginia Cavaliers. Duke has a date with Tony Bennett and the Cavs Saturday night.
“We’re still going to be Duke basketball. We know that they like to get in the paint a lot and create open 3s,” said sophomore Wendell Moore Jr. “It’s a big game for us. We’re hoping to not allow those open 3s. So, [it’s important to] contain the ball and really stay with our guys.”
This is the first time these two schools have met this year. For Moore, the way the Cavaliers play is nothing new. For a majority of his teammates, this will be the first time they will be exposed to Virginia’s unique style of play.
He’s been trying to help coach the youngers guys up on what to expect all week.
“The best way to attack their defense is really in transition. If we’re in transition, it doesn’t give them the chance to set up that pack line defense. Our offense comes from our defense, and that goes back to stopping their offense again,” Moore said. “That’s really the main thing I’ve been telling them. If we do get stuck in the half court, then our thing is to move the ball, get multiple touches on each side of the floor — just make the defense move because we’re not going to get anything off the first drive.”
More of a team than most in the ACC, the Cavaliers do have a few standout problem players that warrant extra attention. One of them is forward Sam Hauser.
“He’s a really good player in our conference. Him in particular, he thrives off those over-penetration, kick 3s. For us, not helping so much off of him and doing a good job containing the ball will ultimately limit those 3s,” Moore said.
Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. Saturday at Cameron Indoor.