After hitting triple-digits in a hard-fought win against Florida State, the Blue Devils will look to stay hot when they take on rival N.C. State Saturday at PNC Arena. Duke is hoping to avenge an 84-82 home loss to the Wolfpack a year ago. The Blue Zone takes a look at one player from each team that could be the difference-maker. 

Duke: Guard Gary Trent Jr. 

Trent has scored in double-digits in his last four games, but is coming off a 4-of-16 shooting performance against the Seminoles. The Columbus, Ohio native has had the green light from beyond the arc and enters the weekend shooting 36.5 percent from deep. N.C. State has given up an average of 71.7 points per game—third worst in the ACC—and will likely need all hands-on-deck to stop Marvin Bagley III down low. As a result, expect Trent to have his share of open looks as the Wolfpack scramble to contain the bevy of threats when Duke has the ball. 

But the Blue Devils’ biggest problems this season have come on defense and Trent must also help his team improve on that end of the floor. The freshman showed his scrappiness with a big defensive play late in Duke’s win against Indiana—the team will need that kind of effort against an N.C. State team that put up 90 points against then-No. 2 Arizona in November. With the guard duo of Torin Dorn and Allerik Freeman combining for 28.5 points per game for the Wolfpack, Trent will need to step up his intensity on defense for the Blue Devils to come away with the win. 

N.C. State: Guard Braxton Beverly 

The freshman guard has been inconsistent so far this season with big games against Arizona and Clemson interspersed between numerous single-digit efforts. But Beverly can get hot from beyond the arc—he has shot  almost 36 percent from deep this season—and could strike some fear into a Duke team that allowed both Boston College and Florida State to hit 15 triples. The Hazard, Ky. native has showcased his ability to make plays for others of late and is averaging 6.7 assists per contest in his last seven outings. 

Even with the Wolfpack entering the game winless in ACC play and facing a top-5 opponent on their home court, N.C. State will give the Blue Devils all they can handle. Considering Duke’s well-documented struggles on defense, Beverly is the type of player that can be hard to track off-ball and force the Blue Devils to communicate effectively in raucous PNC Arena.