Duke is still, clearly, not 100 percent over its Corona outbreak. And coach Mike Krzyzewski had to miss the game due to a viral infection of his own, although it wasn’t Covid. Top it off with a game effort from Wake Forest and it could have worked out to an upset. But that didn’t happen. Not this time.
Duke was far from perfect but a few dominant stretches put the game out of reach for the Demon Deacons. In his first career start, AJ Griffin shot 8-11 for 22 and played with tremendous maturity. Paolo Banchero shot 11-23, grabbed five boards and at times was incredibly dominant. Mark Williams was not overly effective but had some great stretches and really controlled the inside.
Trevor Keels, like just about everyone else, had some erratic moments but also really took it to the Deacs in spots. We haven’t heard why yet but near the end of the game he took himself out. Hopefully it’s something minor.
From the cheap seats, Wendell Moore appears to have had a serious bout with the virus. Against Miami he had a real problem with turnovers (he finished with six). Against Wake Forest, he had none.
Jeremy Roach came off the bench for the first time this season – we think he’s also been strongly affected – and played better than he did against Miami but still not up to his normal standards.
We haven’t seen minutes in the box score yet but Theo John didn’t play a whole lot yet got four fouls. So we’d assume that he, Moore and Roach, and possibly Joey Baker, had the toughest time with the virus. Obviously that’s speculative.
As for Wake Forest, they hung with Duke for the first half and again showed signs that they can be highly competitive. Alondes Williams finished with 25 and Jake LaRavia finished with 14. No one else got more than six and Carter Whitt started but didn’t score. Honestly we can’t remember anything he did in this game which is kind of unusual. We tend to notice him if, for no other reason, his distinctive hair.
So while Duke is not entirely back on track, things are heading in the right direction. The Blue Devils play NC State next, on Saturday in Cameron. The Pack is having a tough season in some regards but only a fool would take a Tobacco Road game for granted.
Jim will be along soon with his take on tonight’s game.
Player Of The Game vs. Wake Forest
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