Duke basketball: Studs and duds show new dynamic duo forming

Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball coach Jon Scheyer and guard Trevor Keels (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /

A new Duke basketball duo might have formed against Wake Forest. 

Wednesday night was the best the Duke basketball team has looked in weeks, and the No. 8 Blue Devils were not even whole.

Despite missing head coach Mike Krzyzewski due to a non-COVID illness, Duke made things look easy against Wake Forest thanks to the play of two freshman stars.

Paolo Banchero has been a force for the Blue Devils all season long, but the world has been waiting to see the full array of moves fellow freshman AJ Griffin has.

Well, wait no more.

The training wheels have been dropped off Griffin as he is showing what many envisioned once he committed to the program.

Jon Scheyer, in his second career game as the acting head coach, opted to start AJ Griffin in place of Jeremy Roach, and it worked to perfection in Duke’s 76-64 victory.

The Blue Devils led by as many as 20 points in the second half. The 12-point margin of victory does not accurately describe how dominant Duke was on the road in Winston-Salem.

Duke basketball looks impressive, yet still has things to correct

Duke shot 50.8-percent from the floor, 46.7-percent from 3-point range, yet only 53.8-percent from the free throw line as the team continues to have its problems from the charity stripe.

Wake Forest also out-rebounded Duke, 36-29, with the Demon Deacons pulling down nine offensive rebounds in the game.

The Blue Devil defense remained tough, forcing 15 turnovers that turned into 22 points on the other end.

Despite shooting 44.4-percent from the floor, Wake Forest was just 2-of-16 from deep, a staggering 12.5-percent.

However, the Blue Devils could have a new duo that will star upfront for the remainder of the season.