Preview: Wake Forest at Duke
One of the ACC’s worst teams takes on one of its best as Wake Forest visits Duke on Tuesday evening in the penultimate regular-season game for both. The Demon Deacons are coming off a lopsided home loss to Syracuse, while the No. 4 Blue Devils improved their record to 2-1 without Zion Williamson following a blowout win over Miami on Saturday.
Wake Forest was within five points early in the second half before going without a basket for over 13 minutes as the Orange ran away with it 79-54. “It’s tough playing against the Syracuse 2-3 (zone),” Wake Forest freshman forward Isaiah Mucius told reporters after the loss. “They’re super athletic. … We tried as best we could. They just played great defense and we had a tough time scoring the ball.” Duke bounced back following last Tuesday’s loss at Virginia Tech with a resounding 87-57 home win over Miami on Saturday where everyone contributed, much to the delight of its head coach. “Our guys played really well today. They responded to the practice we finally had. We had two really good days of practice. Especially our defense; our defense was outstanding. I’m proud of them. Everyone helped us today,” coach Mike Krzyzewski told the media afterward.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (11-17, 4-12 ACC): Sophomore guard Chaundee Brown led the Demon Deacons in scoring against the Orange with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, while Mucius added 10 points in 19 minutes off the bench. Leading scorer Brandon Childress (14.6 points) had an off-day with just five points on 1-of-8 shooting, including 1-of-7 behind the arc. Wake Forest shot just 32.7 percent from the field while getting outscored 44-10 in the paint and turned the ball over 23 times against Syracuse.
ABOUT DUKE (25-4, 13-3): Freshman RJ Barrett, the ACC’s leading scorer at 23.1 points per game, scored 19 points on 8-of-18 shooting against Miami, while Cameron Reddish matched him for game-high scoring honors on 7-of-14 from the field. Even Jack White, who hadn’t made a 3-pointer in his last 28 attempts, got in on the action as the junior forward scored nine on 3-for-3 shooting from 3-point range. The Blue Devils completely overwhelmed the Hurricanes, shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and winning the rebounding battle 45-29.
1. Duke leads the all-time series 172-78 and has won nine straight over Wake Forest, including an 87-65 win earlier this season.
2. Barrett needs 25 points to break the Blue Devils’ all-time scoring record for a freshman. The current record was set last season by Marvin Bagley III (694 points).
3. The Blue Devils lead the ACC in offensive rebounding (13.7 per game) and offensive rebounding percentage (36.1).