The Duke basketball program will not be healthy entering the regular season.
There is no Champions Classic to begin the season this year and that might be a good thing for the Duke basketball program as they will be shorthanded on opening night.
The Blue Devils will be without five-star freshman wing Dariq Whitehead on opening night against Jacksonville.
Whitehead underwent surgery at the beginning of official practice after suffering a broken bone in his foot and has yet to return to the court in live action.
Head coach Jon Scheyer said following Duke’s lone exhibition against Fayetteville State on November 2 that the Montverde Academy (Fla.) standout was still “a few weeks away.”
The 6-foot-6 wing was a McDonald’s All-American and ranked as the No. 3 overall player in the Class of 2022, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
However, Dariq Whitehead is not the only injury that Duke is deadline with entering its season opener as freshman center Dereck Lively has also been sidelined with a calf injury.
Neither Whitehead nor Lively played in the ‘secret’ scrimmage against Houston or against Fayetteville State although Scheyer seemed much more optimistic that the 7-foot-1 center could see the floor.
“Dereck is still day to day. He’s been really ramping up,” Scheyer said last week.
Stadium college basketball insider Jeff Goodman reported that Dereck Lively is officially listed as questionable for Monday’s game.
Jacksonville was picked to finish second in the ASUN Conference in the Preseason Coaches Poll.
Duke basketball still with abundance of talent remaining
Duke will still have the services of junior point guard Jeremy Roach in addition to freshmen Tyrese Proctor, Kyle Filipowski, Mark Mitchell, and Jaden Schutt.
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Northwestern transfer Ryan Young and Illinois Jacob Grandison were standouts in the exhibition victory for the Blue Devils and should be major factors in the early portion of the season with the two star youngsters sidelined.
Tipoff is slated for 7:00pm inside Cameron Indoor Stadium and can be seen on the ACC Network.