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Next Up - Boston College

Time: 2:00 || Venue: || Cameron Indoor Stadium: || Video: ACCN

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Georgia Tech v Duke
DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 04: Frank Jackson #15 of the Duke Blue Devils battles Kellen McCormick #32 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for a loose ball during the game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 4, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Assuming the game isn’t postponed by weather, which it shouldn’t be since BC presumably flew in before the snowstorm hit North Carolina, Duke will see a vastly improved Boston College team Saturday.

They’re still not fully recovered, but this is a dangerous, well coached young team.

The star of course is Raleigh’s Jerome Robinson, who is having an All-ACC caliber season at 20.6 ppg. He’s also averaging 3.2 apg which is pretty solid.

Sophomore Robinson teams with freshman Ky Bowman, a 6-1 guard out of Havelock, giving BC an all-NC backcourt.

He absolutely erupted against Syracuse last weekend and showed he is a talented and confident guard who demands respect.

AJ Turner is the third main offensive threat. A 6-7 sophomore, Turner is averaging 0 ppg and is a solid offensive forward. He’s not off the charts great but he’s certainly an ACC talent who can hurt you.

Connor Tava is a grad student forward who transferred from Western Michigan and who has really fit in well. He’s not a huge offensive threat but he’s smart and he is in particular an outstanding passer. He shredded Syracuse’s zone on multiple occasions last weekend, making a habit of connecting with...

...6-11 freshman Nik Popovic, who is a very savvy young big man. He’s not that far along but could develop into a really useful player.

Like Tava, Mo Jeffers is a grad student transfer and he has given the Eagles a spine inside. He’s not a huge scorer or rebounder but he’s tough, he defends well and he brings a lot of experience, which is not something BC has a lot of.

Ty Graves, yet another NC guard (freshman/Greensboro), 6-5 sophomore Garland Owens and 6-5 sophomore Jordan Chatman round out the rotation.

What we really admired against Syracuse was the verve of the offense, the willingness to fire up threes (easy to do when they’re dropping of course) and the brilliant interior passing.

Of course Syracuse helped and Wake Forest, later in the week, wasn’t as obliging.

Still, this is a very young team with a fun style and, as we’ve said before, well-coached.

BC’s problem is that it has been in a massive hole but for the first time in a while, there is reason for optimism.

As for Duke, the situation with Coach K is a big factor. He had successful surgery on Friday and so now begins his rehab. He’ll be working from home as it were, consulting with interim coach Jeff Capel, the rest of his staff and presumably players as well.

No doubt he’ll watch tons of video.

As for his team, Georgia Tech was a good launch pad. Duke got a chance to reincorporate Grayson Allen and to further incorporate Harry Giles. The still-rehabbing freshman isn’t nearly where he will be but he is already a force on the boards: in the last 30 minutes he’s had 20 rebounds. That’s good by any standard.

Toss him in with Amile Jefferson, who is averaging 10.6 rpg and things change down the road.

Duke is running Allen at point guard and using Frank Jackson as backup.

Against Georgia Tech, Allen had seven and Jackson had four.

There was a lot of sharing in that game: Duke had 24 assists on 39 shots. Jefferson, who is a much better passer than people realize, had three while Jayson Tatum had four.

Duke has been up-and-down, as noted earlier, but a lot of that is because roles were not sorted out due to injuries.

That’s going to stabilize now and while there may be some bumps yet, Duke is on the right path.

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