No. 4 Duke will look to win its fifth straight game when the Blue Devils visit ACC opponent Wake Forest Tuesday night at 9 p.m. The Blue Zone gives three keys to the game for Duke to come away victorious.

Keep up the defensive intensity

After allowing 96 points in a loss to unranked North Carolina State and giving up 93 points in the previous game against Florida State, there was growing concern about the state of Duke’s defense. The Blue Devils’ current four-game winning streak, however, has alleviated some of those worries—at least for now. During that span, Duke has kept Pittsburgh below 55 points twice and held Miami to 75, as well as holding Wake Forest to 71 points—although none of these teams are offensive juggernauts, or anything close to them. 

If the Blue Devils want to avoid any trap game potential this matchup might possess before a titanic matchup Saturday against No. 2 Virginia, they will have to keep up that same defensive intensity. 

To do this, they will have to shut down junior point guard Bryant Crawford, who leads the Demon Deacons with 15.9 points per game. In the last matchup between these two teams, he scored a team-high 21 points, which was second in the game only to Marvin Bagley III. 

Live behind the arc

In their last matchup with Wake Forest, the Blue Devils shot an impressive 12-23 from deep. They also shot the ball well in their recent games against Miami and Pittsburgh, making 23 of their last 47 threes as a team. 

Much of the credit belongs to freshman Gary Trent, Jr., whose electric shooting has been a major factor in the team’s recent success. In his last three games, Trent has made 17 of 23 three-point field goal attempts, or 73.9%. He also broke out for a career-high 30 points against Miami. 

Duke will likely try to keep Trent hot and get him plenty of open looks against Wake Forest, which ranks near the bottom of the country in 3-point defense. If he continues to shoot the ball at this clip, the Demon Deacons will find great difficulty in attempting to match the Blue Devils’ scoring output.

Pound the glass

One area where the Blue Devils will have a distinct advantage is on the glass. The Demon Deacons haul down 36.1 rebounds per game while their opponents grab 34.5, a margin of 1.6. Duke, on the other hand, is the third-best rebounding team in the nation, grabbing 43.6 rebounds while conceding just 32.4, a margin of 11.2. 

This is in large part due to the efforts of Marvin Bagley III, whose 11.5 rebounds per game give him the title of sixth-best rebounder in the country, and Wendell Carter, Jr., who averages 9.0 rebounds. 7-foot-1 junior Doral Moore is the only player on Wake Forest’s roster to average more than five rebounds per game.

Exploiting this obvious advantage on the glass will give Duke a huge edge against a struggling Wake Forest team hungry for a win.