Duke point guard Jeremy Roach, who injured his toe in Portland against Purdue on November 27th, is “really unlikely” to play when Pitt visits Cameron Wednesday, according to head coach Jon Scheyer.
That’s a double-edged sword for Duke. The obvious downside is that Roach is the captain and leader and you can’t really replace that, though Ryan Young is doing a solid job of being a leader.
He doesn’t have the ball in his hand to run the offense though, so that responsibility will fall to Tyrese Proctor, Jaylen Blakes and Dariq Whitehead.
Duke played without Roach and won at Boston College, something which has broadly been overlooked but is important. BC really pushed Duke down the stretch and kept the Blue Devils from scoring for a huge part of the second half. Despite that, Duke held its composure and eked out the win, something else that has been misunderstood: a lot of the reaction has been wow, Duke only won by one point? The better take is: after the nightmare in Raleigh, Duke found its composure, relying heavily on freshmen in the absence of its point guard.
We’ll see how they do against Pitt. As Scheyer says in the video in this link, Pitt is playing well and together. Considering the struggles Capel has had building his program, that’s an impressive achievement. Pitt is playing outstanding basketball and a win Wednesday, without Roach, would be another major building block for a young team and its young coach.