Duke basketball: Jon Scheyer updates timeline on Dariq Whitehead return

Duke basketball center Dereck Lively and forward Dariq Whitehead (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball center Dereck Lively and forward Dariq Whitehead (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer updated the timeline for Dariq Whitehead. 

It was a disappointing night for the Duke basketball program on Tuesday night in Indianapolis as the No. 7 Blue Devils (2-1) fell to the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks (3-0), but the potential for the Blue Devils was clear.

The missing piece for this Duke team was also very clear as freshman forward Dariq Whitehead was on the sidelines for the third straight game as he continues to recover from foot surgery following his injury in August.

Whitehead has been on the court and progressing nicely, according to head coach Jon Scheyer, as the first year head coach explained earlier in the week that the 6-foot-7 wing had recently been cleared for contact.

However, Scheyer provided an update to the timeline of when the McDonald’s All-American could be making his Duke debut.

“Probably not Friday,” the 35-year old told the assembled media following Duke’s 69-64 loss to Kansas.

Scheyer said that Dariq Whitehead has only had one day of full contact in practice and while he is progressing he still has more benchmarks to clear before he can play in a game.

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The Blue Devils return to the court on Friday night at home against Delaware and will have one more home game on Monday night against Bellarmine before traveling to Oregon for the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament on Thursday.

Whitehead was ruled out of Tuesday’s game well in advance of tipoff but he was in uniform taking part in pregame warmups, something he had not done in the first two games of the season.

Duke saw the return of Dereck Lively II last Friday against USC Upstate after missing nearly three weeks with a calf injury.

Duke basketball missing versatility of freshman wing

Dariq Whitehead is arguably the best player on the Duke roster and the Blue Devils desperately miss his versatility and shot making abilities on the court.

Creating offense outside of the paint was a major issue for Duke on Tuesday night in its loss against Kansas and powerful wing could have aided the 35.8-percent shooting from the field and 3-of-21 shooting from 3-point range.

Whitehead also would have provided another defender against the talented wing trio of Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick, and Kevin McCullar Jr. which combined for 51 points.

Tipoff between Duke and Delaware is 7:00p.m. ET (RSN) on Friday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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