Tonight at 6:30, Duke comes off of a tough game against ECU to face the Vermont Catamounts at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke coming in at 4-1 faces Vermont who comes into the matchup at 1-4. Here is a breakdown of the key players and what Duke needs to do to come out victorious.
Vermont has a starting lineup that looks as follows: Luke Apfeld (6-7 senior), Brian Voelkel (6-6 senior), Clancy Rugg (6-8 senior), Candon Rusin (6-4 senior), and Sandro Carissimo (6-2 senior). This is not a typo, Vermont comes in with 5 seniors in their starting lineup and no true big man. In their first matchup, Clancy Rugg was the leading scorer with 17 points, 11 coming from the free throw line. Candon Rusin and Sandro Carissimo pitched in with 15 and 10 respectively. Brian Voelkel also had 10 rebounds in this loss to Saint Joseph’s Hawks. The shooting was off, 39% from the field including 23% from 3. They were clearly outplayed.
In the next game against Siena, Vermont was able to come away victorious with the help of Clancy Rugg again ending with 19 points. This was a total team effort as 3 others were in double figures and the shooting improved mightily as they shot 43% from both the field and from 3. Voelkel again came away with 11 rebounds and had an impressive 10 assists. The defense was improved as well, holding Siena to 33% from the field and (2-10) from beyond the arc.
The next three games would add be added on to the loss column, as Vermont just can’t buy a win of late. Voelkel has continued to be a rebounding machine and against the Bryant Bulldogs, they had 4 players to hit double figures including Carissimo with 12 and Rugg with 13. Their defense was dismal at best, allowing Dyami Starks to score 30 points, Alex Francis 22, and Joe O’Shea 15. Defense has been the downfall of this Vermont team. Against Providence, they couldn’t knock down shots as well as play defense, so that was a recipe for disaster. Rugg had 10 points and Apfeld had 14. They were the only 2 to score in double figures and the shooting was atrocious at 33 % from the field. The last game, they lost to Wagner by a final of 68-61. Rugg was again the leader in scoring with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Rusin added 10 and Hector Harold added 11 off the bench as a 6-7 junior from Pasadena. Nobody else could reach double figures and this team is absolutely struggling as of late.
This is a team that Duke should have no trouble with. They let up a lot of points to schools that aren’t at the same caliber as themselves and their offense has been struggling. If Duke can lock down Clancy Rugg, who is Vermont’s leading scorer, they should be able to win this one handily. If you are going by size, it will most likely be sophomore Amile Jefferson to guard him. Cook will be on Carissimo, Sulaimon on Rusin, possibly Jefferson on Rugg (maybe Jabari or Rodney depending on his style of play, not just height), Hood on Voelkel, and Parker on Apfeld. Duke should be able to take advantage of a bad defensive team with a struggling offense to take this one and head up to Madison Square Garden with another victory under their belts. Also, the Cameron Crazies will be rocking after not being able to go to the last 2 games due to ticket issues with the Preseason NIT.