Duke basketball: Dariq Whitehead’s status still uncertain against Virginia

Duke basketball forward Dariq Whitehead (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Dariq Whitehead (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /

The status of Duke basketball freshman Dariq Whitehead remains uncertain. 

Nearly three weeks sidelined with a lower leg strain might be enough time for Duke basketball freshman Dariq Whitehead to return to the floor on Saturday afternoon against No. 8 Virginia but head coach Jon Scheyer will not commit to anything.

Scheyer met with the media on Thursday afternoon and did not specify on the status of his freshman forward.

“He’s really progressed well,” the Duke head coach said.

Whitehead suffered his injury on January 21 in a loss against Virginia Tech and appeared on track to return last Saturday against North Carolina before dealing with stiffness in his leg a day prior to tipoff with the Tar Heels.

The Newark, New Jersey native did participate in an on-court workout ahead of Duke’s victory but the one day turnaround to Monday’s game was too quick for the forward to take the floor against No. 19 Miami.

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“We didn’t have contact [Wednesday]; he was able to do everything,” Scheyer added. “But [Thursday’s] the next step of being able to go through the entire practice, and then we’ll evaluate and talk…”

Dariq Whitehead is averaging 8.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 37.3-percent from 3-point range but 2022 Naismith High School Player of the Year was posting 11.1 points per contest since December 11.

“He’s right there. I don’t want to say whether it’s going to happen or not,” Scheyer continued.

Duke basketball reaching key portion of schedule

Duke (17-7, 8-5 ACC) remains two games out of the top spot in the ACC regular season standings and is still battling to secure a double-bye in the conference tournament.

However, the struggles the Blue Devils encounter on the road have prevented the team from rising up the league’s standings and make Saturday’s matchup against the Cavaliers (18-4, 10-3 ACC) so pivotal.

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Jon Scheyer’s team is coming off an embarrassing 81-59 showing against the Hurricanes which began a stretch of three road games in its next four contests.

Tipoff between Duke and Virginia is scheduled for 4:00p.m. ET (ESPN) in Charlottesville.

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