Duke basketball sleepwalks in embarrassing effort against Wake Forest

Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball guard Jeremy Roach (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team put together its worst performance of the season against Wake Forest. 

The anticipation for the return of the Duke basketball team after a 10-day layoff was high.

It didn’t last long.

The No. 14 Blue Devils (10-3, 1-1 ACC) put together its worst performance of the season on Tuesday night against Wake Forest (9-4, 1-1 ACC), losing 81-70.

Duke only held the lead for 19 seconds in the game and its last lead in the game came at the 17:55 mark of the first half, 4-2.

However, Jon Scheyer’s team was without star freshmen Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively II due to non-COVID illnesses but that should not be an excuse for the performance that the rest of the team put on the floor.

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Both Whitehead and Lively have missed time earlier in the season with injuries and Duke had been slowly working the two players back into the rotation on minutes restrictions as their production number have been limited.

The presence of both players was certainly missed given the struggles of the Blue Devils but being outclassed by Wake Forest, who has not been good this season, was unacceptable.

Jeremy Roach, returning from missing Duke’s last game due to a toe injury, did not have any explosiveness in his game as he only mustered nine points on the night with four fouls and five turnovers.

Kyle Filipowski also struggled in the first true road game of his career with nine points on 4-of-14 shooting and missing all six of his 3-point attempts.

Lone bright spot for Duke basketball team comes from unlikely source

The only positive Duke can take away from Tuesday night’s loss is the performance of Jaylen Blakes.

Blakes did his best to try and keep the Blue Devils in the game with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field and connecting on 3-of-4 attempts from 3-point range but the sophomore guard did not get any help from his teammates.

Midway through the second half it looked like Duke would make a run to try and get back in the game because of the energy from the Somerset, New Jersey native.

Blakes, and Tyrese Proctor, would hit three 3-pointers in the span of four offensive possessions to bring the Blue Devils within seven, 62-55, with 8:04 to play but the inability to get a stop defensively — and a rebound — cost Duke its chance to make a miraculous comeback.

The Blue Devils will have another 10-day layoff before hosting Florida State (3-10, 1-1 ACC) on Saturday, December 31 (1:00p.m ET, ESPN2).

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