Duke basketball dealing with injury issue after two week hiatus

Duke basketball forwards Theo John and Wendell Moore
Duke basketball forwards Theo John and Wendell Moore /

The Duke basketball team is dealing with an injury issue after its two-week break. 

After not playing a game since November 30, the Duke basketball team is dealing with an injury problem entering Tuesday’s game against South Carolina State.

The program announced on Tuesday afternoon that Marquette graduate transfer Theo John will miss the game with a back injury.

Since joining the Blue Devils, the 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 15.3 minutes, 3.8 points, and 3.3 rebounds per game.

The Blue Devils have not had a key rotational player miss a game this season, although several key players have dealt with cramping during games, most notably freshman star Paolo Banchero.

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John’s injury most likely came during practice at some point over the last two weeks since there was no talk of a back injury prior to the two-week hiatus on the schedule.

There is currently no timetable for Theo John’s return, but Duke will not play another big game until ACC play begins on December 29 against Virginia Tech in Durham.

Mike Krzyzewski’s team will host South Carolina State, Appalachian State, and Cleveland State on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, respectively.

Potential replacements for Duke basketball reserve forward

It is likely that center Mark Williams will see an uptick of playing time with Theo John sidelined, but it also gives Duke the possibility of trying new lineup combinations, specifically with Banchero at center.

Placing Paolo Banchero at the center position could allow freshman forward AJ Griffin to see extended playing time as it is vital that the five-star prospect gets comfortable on the court ahead of the most important months of the season.

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Duke could also use 6-foot-8 Davidson transfer Bates Jones more in the absence of Theo John.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. inside Cameron Indoor Stadium between No. 2 Duke (7-1) and South Carolina State (3-7).

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