Duke basketball looking to string wins together after week long break

Duke basketball point guard Tre Jones (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Duke basketball point guard Tre Jones (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team will take the court after a week long break against the Pittsburgh Panthers in Jeff Capel’s return to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

After snapping its brief two game losing streak, the then No. 8 Duke Blue Devils dominated the Miami Hurricanes by 30 points before going on a week long break.

Despite its convincing win, Duke dropped to No. 9 in the AP Poll but the Blue Devils have the chance to take the floor once again as the Pittsburgh Panthers roll into Durham on Tuesday night.

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Pittsburgh’s trip to Cameron will mark the return of Head Coach Jeff Capel, who left Duke for the Panthers after the 2017-18 season.

Capel was a player under Mike Krzyzewski from 1993-1997 and was an Assistant Coach, developing into an Associate Head Coach on Krzyzewski’s staff from 2011-2018.

In his first season at Pittsburgh, Capel was 14-19 (3-15 ACC), however, the Panthers have improved in year two under the former Blue Devil, sporting a 13-7 record (4-5 ACC).

Tuesday night, Duke will still be without Wendell Moore who is recovering from a broken hand that he suffered back on January 4 in which required surgery.

Coach K updated his status, and although still vague, it seems as if the Duke freshman’s return will come sooner rather than later.

Playing without Moore once again, Duke will have to try and stop Pittsburgh’s leading scorers of Tre McGowens, Xavier Johnson, Justin Champagnie, and Ryan Murphy who combined to average 47.1 of the Panthers’ 66.4 points per game.

Offensively, Duke will have a height advantage over Pittsburgh and that should result in feeding Vernon Carey Jr. down low in the paint.

The Blue Devil freshman is still having a sensational season, averaging 16.9 points per game, but over his last two outings, the Florida native has scored just 12 and 11 points, respectively, albeit only playing 23 and 24 minutes in those two games.

Rust is one concern for Duke in this matchup, but the Blue Devils should prevail in what may turn out to be an emotional night inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Tipoff is at 9:00pm EST and the game can be seen on ESPN.

PREDICTION: Duke 87, Pittsburgh 64