Duke basketball team expected to get major boost on Saturday evening

Duke basketball forward Joey Baker (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Joey Baker (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

After being hampered in a loss on Tuesday against Clemson, the Duke basketball team should be getting a big boost on Saturday night against the Louisville Cardinals.

Depth has been a major positive factor for the Duke Blue Devils this season, but that depth took a significant hit on Tuesday night in the loss to the Clemson Tigers.

Duke was already without Wendell Moore who is still recovering from a broken hand suffered on January 4 in the win over Miami, but the afternoon of the game it was announced that Joey Baker would not play against the Tigers.

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Baker, a sophomore guard, has been remarkable this season in terms of how efficient he has been in shooting the basketball and the energy and presence he has once Mike Krzyzewski puts him on the floor.

The Blue Devils fell 79-72 to Clemson on Tuesday in which Duke only had an eight-man rotation to work with, and foul trouble and poor play from a handful of players only handcuffed Coach K even more.

Stephen Wiseman of the Raleigh News and Observer first reported on Friday afternoon that Joey Baker has returned to practice and, barring a setback, is expected to play on Saturday afternoon when the No. 11 Louisville Cardinals enter Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Baker has played in 16 games for the Blue Devils this season, starting two, and is averaging 6.5 points per game on 48.1 percent shooting and 43.5 percent from 3-point range.

The Fayetteville, North Carolina native is only trailing freshmen Vernon Carey Jr. and Cassius Stanley in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

In games at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Baker is averaging 7.6 points per game on 47.3 percent shooting and 44.4 percent from 3-point range.

If Joey Baker is all set to go on Saturday, the Blue Devils will love to have his energy and minutes in what will be a critical ACC game against Louisville.

Duke and the Cardinals will tipoff at 6:00pm EST on ESPN from Durham but ESPN’s College GameDay will be live from Cameron Indoor Stadium starting at 11:00am EST also on ESPN.

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