Duke basketball updates the status of Trevor Keels

Duke basketball shooting guard Trevor Keels (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball shooting guard Trevor Keels (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball will likely be short one full-time starter against Syracuse.

Duke basketball freshman Trevor Keels went down with a “lower right leg injury” at an inopportune time in the second half of the team’s eventual 79-78 overtime road loss to the Florida State Seminoles on Tuesday night. The full-time starter at shooting guard did not come back in the game, although he did return to the bench after attempting brief sprints in the tunnel.

Now, it appears unlikely Keels will play at noon ET Saturday when the No. 6 Duke Blue Devils (14-3, 4-2 ACC) try to bounce back in a home outing versus the unranked Syracuse Orange (9-9, 3-4 ACC). In a tweet on Friday evening, the program listed him as “doubtful” for the bout.

His updated “doubtful” status might give fans optimism, though, in that it doesn’t seem Keels would have that tag if the program anticipated a prolonged absence from the former five-star recruit.

The predicted Duke basketball starting five without Trevor Keels

Should Trevor Keels sit this one out, sophomore point guard Jeremy Roach will probably return to the starting lineup. Presumably, there will be no change to the other four starters: junior small forward Wendell Moore, freshman small forward AJ Griffin, freshman power forward Paolo Banchero, and sophomore center Mark Williams.

Roach drew the starting nod in each of Duke’s first 14 games this season. Then Griffin emerged — after playing catchup following his knee injury in the preseason — to start over Roach in each of the past three games.

Finally, seeing that a 3-point splash from the hands of Keels has been the Blue Devils’ first score in seven of their 17 games thus far, it’s safe to say Duke could miss his early firepower. That’s not to mention the 18-year-old’s instincts and intensity on the defensive end as the squad’s top ball thief at 1.9 steals per game.

Next. Predicting every Duke win and loss this season. dark

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more on Trevor Keels’ eventual return from injury, plus other Duke basketball news and views.