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Pittsburgh Basketball: 3 keys to pulling off home upset over Duke Blue Devils

Pittsburgh Basketball looks for its first defining win of the season. What do they need to do to beat the Duke Blue Devils?

Syracuse v Duke
Syracuse v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages
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2. Avoid a breakout game from one of the guards

In a rare situation, Duke’s backcourt won’t be the youngest in a game, as Pittsburgh very well could start two young freshmen in Jaland Lowe and Carlton Carrington. Ish Leggett may not play and since the Panthers have no depth to begin with, these two are going to have to play 35-40 minutes on Tuesday night.

The somewhat good news (game-wise) is that Proctor (9.5 ppg and 4.3 apg), likely will miss another game with an ankle injury. But they still have plenty of other guards capable of contributing, led by senior starter Jeremy Roach (14.8 ppg and 3.1 apg).

There are two other five-star freshmen guards for Pittsburgh to deal with, including Jared McCain. The starting player is averaging 12.1 ppg on 44% shooting from three-point range, including four games of at least 18 points in the last six outings. 

Caleb Foster (8.4 ppg) is another capable scorer at the three-spot, while former Pitt target Jaylen Blakes has become the first guard off the bench. As the Notre Dame game showed, true road games will be a different environment that could cause them to struggle. If the Panthers can make sure Roach doesn’t go off, their backcourt could have a chance in this one.