Duke basketball looking to avoid similar trap-game situation

Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball will be looking to avoid another trap-game scenario. 

The Duke basketball team will be taking the floor for the second game of its two-game road trip and will be doing so for the first time after the departure of freshman forward Jalen Johnson.

In terms of Wednesday night’s game against Wake Forest (6-9, 3-9 ACC), the absence of Johnson should not have an impact on the Blue Devils (8-8, 6-6 ACC) considering he was sidelined with a foot injury the first time these two programs met this season, resulting in a 79-68 Duke victory.

Matthew Hurt led the then-ranked Blue Devils with 26 points while DJ Steward chipped in 21 points in the victory.

However, this is a familiar scenario for Duke.

Coming off of victories against Clemson and Georgia Tech in late January, the Blue Devils traveled down to Coral Gables, Florida to face the Miami Hurricanes, a team stuck in a rut and ravaged by injuries, before returning to host North Carolina.

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Head coach Mike Krzyzewski constantly reminded his team that they needed to take the ‘Canes seriously and not look ahead to the pending matchup with the Tar Heels.

Obviously, that message was not heard as Duke fell to Miami and subsequently lost to North Carolina.

Now, Duke is coming off of a 16-point victory over North Carolina State with a trip to Winston-Salem to face the lowly Demon Deacons before returning to Durham to face No. 9 Virginia.

Duke basketball will not make the same mistake twice

The best sign that a team is growing and developing is not making the same mistake over and over again.

That’s the opportunity Duke has at hand on Wednesday night.

A win over Wake Forest would not solve the team’s biggest issues nor push the Blue Devils closer to the NCAA Tournament. However, it would should growth, in that the team is learning from its previous missteps and fully committing and focusing on each game.

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Expect senior Jordan Goldwire and sophomores Wendell Moore and Matthew Hurt to lead Duke on the road for another much-needed victory in hopes of then trying to spring a major upset of the Virginia Cavaliers over the weekend.

Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30pm EST (ACC Network) inside the Lawrence Joel Coliseum.

PREDICTION: Duke 85, Wake Forest 73

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