WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina — No. 17 Duke and acting head coach Jeff Capel travel to Winston-Salem on Saturday to take on Wake Forest, hoping to shake off a poor run of form in recent outings.
Saturday’s game is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. ET and will be stream live on the ACC Network.
DUKE MID-SEASON SKID
The Blue Devils (15-5, 3-4 ACC) have been struggling since the start of conference play and their shocking second half meltdown in the 84-82 defeat to NC State at home on Monday night is another strong indication of how far the preseason No. 1 team has fallen this season.
Three defeats in the past four outings haven’t rested well with head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is understood to be very unhappy with his team’s performances.
Krzyzewski is currently recovering from lower back surgery, but the experienced COACH made known his frustrations during a meeting with this players.
According to ESPN, Coach K met with the team and coaches at his house this week and banned players from the locker room and also restricted them from wearing Blue Devils apparel “until they start living up to the standards of the Duke program.”
LOOKING FOR A ROAD REACTION
Despite the criticisms from a few college basketball pundits, Krzyzewski and his coach staff are sticking to the tactic and are now hoping for a positive reaction from his team at Wake Forest.
Duke head into the Lawrence Joel Coliseum hoping to secure its first road win in Atlantic Coast Conference play this season and given a number of talents in the squad, it’s no wonder the visitors are starting as the favourites again.
According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Blue Devils will start with a 73 percent chance of winning against Wake Forest on Saturday.
The Demon Deacons (12-8, 3-5 ACC) has won two of their past three games, but are coming off an 81-76 defeat against Syracuse on Tuesday night.
John Collins has been the main contributor this term for Wake Forest, scoring 17.0 points per game and grabbing seven rebounds as well.
Bryant Crawford at 14.6 points per game, Keyshawn Woods at 12.9 and Konstantinos Mitoglou with 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds, are the other top contributors this season for the Demon Deacons.
BLUE DEVILS NEED A POINT GUARD?
Meanwhile, Luke Kennard at 19.8 points per game, leads Duke in scoring and is ranked fourth in ACC this season.
Freshman Jayson Tatum is scoring 16.5, Grayson Allen is averaging 15.1, while senior Amile Jefferson is averaging 12.7 points and 9.9 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who are getting 10.8 points per game from freshman guard Frank Jackson.
Pundits believe that although Allen and Jackson are very good players, neither one of them are true point guards and the lack of a real playmaker in the team his visibly hurting Duke at the moment.