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How Duke Handled K’s Wake Forest Absence

Beautifully as it turned out

Duke v Wake Forest
WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 12: Associate head coach Jon Scheyer of the Duke Blue Devils directs his team against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second half of their game at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2022 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Duke won 76-64.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Hearing that Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski would miss the Wake Forest games was a bit discomforting but the good news (at least seems) that it wasn’t Covid. When it comes to viruses these days, nothing seems certain.

The more immediate concern, though, was how Duke would get through the Wake game and the Deacs were a real concern. As we saw in the first half, they’re not the Wake Forest of the Bzdelik/Manning era. Wake now is fast and aggressive and they cannot be taken lightly.

But we weren’t overly worried about Jon Scheyer. Everyone understands that he was gifted as a player and that he has a tremendous mind for the game.

The sudden adjustment though? And Coach K’s ability to motivate? Would Scheyer be able to do that?

There were some bumpy spots but we thought that had to do with getting past Covid physically, which is probably much better now, and also partly about getting back to a high level of conditioning not to mention tons of reps.

In general though we thought Duke passed that test with flying colors. In some ways, the most interesting aspect of it was that Duke had little time to adjust and the staff did it very well. It’s all very encouraging.