DURHAM Austin Rivers was in high school and played no role in Duke's blowout loss at St. John's last year.
He can still remember watching the Blue Devils' surprising 15-point defeat by the Red Storm.
Even if he didn't, the details would likely be fresh in his mind - the No. 8 Blue Devils' coaches had the team watch excerpts from the game before practice Friday.
"We watched a little bit this morning just to reiterate how tough it was," Rivers said. "I didn't play, but I can only imagine."
The reminder of last year's fiasco should help prevent any over-confidence by the No. 8 Blue Devils (17-3) for this afternoon's game against St. John's (9-11) at Cameron Indoor Stadium (noon, ESPN).
"That's not going to undo the loss, but it's going to make us feel a lot better," Duke guard Seth Curry said of a strong performance today. "It gives us a chip on the shoulder.
"It was kind of an embarrassment of a game. We didn't come in ready to fight, ready to play. They just gave it to us for the whole game."
The win was a bright spot for the Red Storm last season. This season has been trying.
Their coach, Steve Lavin, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the fall. After undergoing treatment, he came back to the team for a brief stint in November before having to take a second leave. Lavin recently told reporters he hasn't ruled out returning to coach St. John's again this season, but he won't be in Durham today.
Without Lavin, St. John's beat West Virginia by 14 points on Wednesday. Before that game, the Red Storm had lost six of its previous seven.
Duke beat Maryland in its last outing, and after that game Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski complimented his team for its poise, saying they played like veterans. Perhaps the last month - when Duke has lost twice and won three games that came down to the final minute - has helped the Blue Devils mature.
"I think we've learned how to play together a lot better," Curry said. "Especially, with Maryland - not everything went our way, but we played as a team. We shared the ball real well, and we played good defense down the stretch, and that's what you need. We weren't making all our shots, but we got good shots for the most part."
While praising his players after the Maryland win, Krzyzewski said his team was good, not necessarily great.
Nonetheless, today's game offers this year's bunch a chance to do something last year's team - which many people considered great before it lost to Arizona in the NCAA tournament - couldn't do.
"We're still a work in progress," Curry said. "We're getting a lot better every day, and that's all you can ask for right now."