Duke basketball needs certain outcome in matchup against Wake Forest

Duke basketball sophomore forward Wendell Moore (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball sophomore forward Wendell Moore (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Duke basketball program needs a certain outcome against Wake Forest.

Wednesday night did not provide many Duke basketball fans with a boost of confidence, but it was a great sign to see the Blue Devils rally from a 16-point deficit to defeat Boston College.

However, the same will not be accepted on Saturday afternoon against Wake Forest (3-2, 0-2 ACC).

Prior to Wednesday night, the No. 21 Blue Devils (4-2, 2-0 ACC) had not played in 21 days, and there was an anticipated amount of rust the team would show against the Eagles.

Perhaps many did not expect to see Duke in a 16-point first half hole against an ACC bottom feeder in Boston College, but the Blue Devils managed to escape with a one-point victory.

With a game under its belt, Duke needs to show up and dominate for 40 minutes against the Demon Deacons, in an attempt to shake the notion that this is not a team built for a late-season run.

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The best game the Blue Devils have played this season came on the road in a victory over Notre Dame while their other five home games have all been uninspiring in the three wins and two losses.

Duke is expected to have head coach Mike Krzyzewski on the sidelines for Saturday’s matchup, as long as the Hall of Famer returns a negative COVID-19 test on Saturday morning.

Associate head coach Jon Scheyer had been filling in for the 73-year-old in his absence, dating back to December 30.

Duke basketball might have other reinforcements returning against Wake Forest

Not only were the Blue Devils without their head coach on Wednesday night, but Duke was also missing five-star freshman Jalen Johnson (foot) and graduate transfer Patrick Tape (back).

Johnson indicated earlier in the week that his return to the court would be coming soon, although Scheyer said following Duke’s victory that the forward would be re-evaluated on Thursday, but he has yet to practice with the team and is unlikely to return against Wake Forest.

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Tape is listed as day-to-day, according to the team, after injuring his back in practice.

Expect an announcement from the team on the status of Krzyzewski, Johnson, and Tape prior to Saturday’s game.

In order to come away with a convincing victory, Duke must manage to do these three things against Wake Forest.