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Duke, Limited By Virus And Injuries, Still Overcomes Wake Forest

A tough day but the Blue Devils come through

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Wake Forest v Duke
DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 13: Wendell Carter Jr #34 of the Duke Blue Devils blocks a shot by Doral Moore #4 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Duke moved over .500 in the ACC for the first time this season with an 89-71 win over visiting Wake Forest in a Saturday noon tip-off.

Duke is now 3-2 in the league, 15-2 overall.

Duke did this without Mike Krzyzewski, out with a virus. Jeff Capel filled in. Key reserves Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier again sat out with injuries, while Gary Trent, Jr. was a game-time decision after being described by Jeff Capel as “very, very sick.”

But none of this affected Marvin Bagley, III, still the baddest guy on the block. Bagley’s 30 points and 11 rebounds marks his 14th double-double this season, matching Duke’s freshman record, set by Jabari Parker, four years ago.

Grayson Allen says Duke prioritized getting the ball inside early and often.

“We’re going to be focused on that every game, because that’s where our strength is. We feed the ball into them and see what the defense does. If it’s one-on-one, let them go to work. If not, we’ll move the ball around and find the next best shot. Attack, attack and don’t stop. Our bigs are so powerful, they’re going to challenge defenders at the rim and draw fouls.”

Duke missed some shots early and Wake took some leads, the biggest at 15-11. But Duke also got Wake in early foul trouble. The Deacons had seven fouls in the first eight minutes and intimidating big man Donal Moore only played five first-half minutes due to foul trouble.

Bagley and Wendell Carter, Jr. scored Duke’s first 11 points.

Duke used two first-half runs to get some separation from the Deacons. A 14-2 surge put Duke up 25-17. Trent hit two 3-pointers during this span.

Wake cut it to 27-23 before Duke went on a 16-3 run, as freshman reserve Alex O’Connell had 11 points in a span of just under four minutes.

Duke led 46-33 at the half, led by Bagley’s 13 points and O’Connell’s 11.

It never got any closer than 11 in the second half. Bagley had a highlight-reel-coast-to-coast off a steal and Trent hit a trio of bombs in a 90-second span, the last putting Duke up 82-57.

The largest lead was 27, at 88-61.

Duke played zone a good part of the second half and Capel said Duke played it well.

“Our zone was very active. It slowed them down and affected their penetration. We rebounded well out of it. Our defense once again helped our offense. Today was another good step for us.”

Grayson Allen had one of his stranger games, scoring only two points. But he added 11 rebounds and eight assists.

“I thought Grayson had one of his best all-around games,” Capel said. “He didn’t let his shooting affect the rest of his game. He showed great leadership and maturity in being all about our team.”

Allen says he’s a 40-45 percent 3-point shooter and “whatever the slump is, I think I’m due for a breakout game. That’s how percentages work. I’m just going to keep shooting.”

And Bagley? He makes it sound so easy.

“I love this game so much, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got every time I get on the court. Play like it’s my last game. I don’t like losing. I don’t like not getting a rebound, not getting every loose ball, I can.”

Allen says Bagley is an “incredible teammate to play with because it is so easy. You just throw the ball up to him and he’ll make the right play. If you shoot it and miss, he’ll go find the ball. He can do a little bit of everything up there.”

Duke has a quick turnaround, Miami on Monday and there’s no telling who we’ll see on the bench and on the court. Capel said after the game that Krzyzewski was feeling better and that Bolden and DeLaurier are improving. But no timeline for any of them.

And he added that Duke was making sure everyone was washing up and staying hydrated. Allen said it was “fist bumps, not handshakes.”


Krzyzewski actually was at this morning’s shoot-around but made the decision to stay home in large part because he wanted to keep from infecting anyone else.

After a woeful 2-8 from the line against Pitt, Bagley made 7-8 foul shots today. The Blue Devils hit 27 of 34 from the line, Wake 7 of 9. Duke hit 12-23 on 3s, with Trent going 6-7.

Duke outrebounded Wake 45-36, with Carter (15 and 11) joining Bagley and Allen with double-figure rebounds.

Bagley added four steals, three assists and three blocks to his glowing stat line.

O’Connell ended with a career-high 12 points, Trent with 19.

Duke was only called for 15 fouls, but Carter had five of them. Carter has four or five fouls nine times this season. He and Capel agree that he’s reaching too much and needs to do a better job of moving his feet. Carter called it “improving my basketball IQ.” Capel called these “chintzy” fouls and added that Carter seems to pick these up when he’s tired and that the coaches need to do a better job of noticing his fatigue.

Bryant Crawford led the Deacons with 21 points and six assists.

Duke and Wake Forest square off again in 10 days, this time in Winston-Salem. I’m sure this makes sense to someone in the ACC office.

Wake’s losing streak at Cameron is now at 18. Tim Duncan led the last Deacons win in 1997.

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