Duke (5-1, 0-0) vs. Appalachian State (2-2, 0-0)
DURHAM, North Carolina, Sporting Alert – No. 6 Duke returns to the court on Saturday to take on Appalachian State at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils (5-1) are coming off an 88-67 win over William & Mary on Wednesday night for their third straight since losing to Kansas in the Champions Classic earlier this month.
Last time out, freshman guard Frank Jackson scored 19 points and senior forward Amile Jefferson collected his third successive double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to help Duke beat William & Mary.
Grayson Allen was also active in the game despite dealing with a toe problem that’s limiting his explosive plays
He did, though, managed to score 17 points, while Luke Kennard added 11 and Matt Jones scored 10 for Duke, which shot 50 percent in that win.
Freshmen Marques Bolden, Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum who are yet to feature for the Blue Devils this season, participated in the team warmups on Wednesday night but none of them actually played.
It is our understanding that Bolden and Tatum are feeling a lot better and could even play a few minutes this weekend.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski revealed he allowed the trio to join their teammates in warmups against the Tribe to begin the mental and psychological transition back to playing.
“In the transition from serious injury, it’s not just physical, it’s mental, psychological,” Krzyzewski said.
“I just think, to put on your uniform, to do warmups as much as you can, to be more a part of a team is something, we want to transition to that.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We just don’t know how long the tunnel is. Days like today help.”
On Saturday, Duke will face Appalachian State in the programs’ first meeting since 1988.
The Mountaineers (2-2) have won two in a row and are coming off a 70-61 win over Hartford on Wednesday.
In that win, Ronshad Shabazz, who leads the team in scoring this season with an average of 17.5 points per game, poured in a season-high 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Appalachian State.