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Three of Duke's five-star freshmen—Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden and Harry Giles—have ...

Stock watch: Duke men's basketball injury bug spreads to Bolden



The bell of the Blue Zone stock exchange has rung again, meaning it's time to take a look at who is rising and falling with their performances for Blue Devil sports teams. Each week, The Blue Zone will look at whose stock is on the rise and whose stock has taken a hit from the week in the world of Duke athletics.

Bull Market—Trending Up

Luke Kennard: The absence of freshmen Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden allowed Kennard to step into the spotlight, leading the team in scoring in both exhibition matchups against Virginia State and Augustana. The team’s third-leading scorer last season at 11.8 points per game, Kennard poured in 30 points against Virginia State, going 8-for-17 from the field. The 6-foot-6 guard should be a key component in the Blue Devil backcourt alongside junior sharpshooter Grayson Allen. When Duke's three injured freshmen recover from their injuries, a lineup featuring them, Allen and Kennard would potentially make up one of the nation’s most dangerous offenses.

Duke volleyball: With a young team and uncertain expectations entering the season, Duke volleyball has been one of the school's biggest success stories of the fall. After another two-win weekend, when the Blue Devils knocked off Louisville and Notre Dame—which they had lost to earlier in the year—Duke now boasts a 12-2 record in the ACC and an 18-6 record overall. With six conference games left in the season, the Blue Devils will have two games circled—Nov. 18 against Florida State and Nov. 23 against North Carolina. Currently in second place in the conference, if the Blue Devils win out, they will capture their first regular-season ACC championship since 2013.

Bear market—Trending Down

Football come-from-behind victories: After going down three touchdowns against Georgia Tech Oct. 29, the Blue Devils proceeded to crawl back before eventually losing by one field goal, 38-35. That narrative repeated itself Saturday, when Duke hosted then-No. 23 Virginia Tech at Wallace Wade Stadium. Down 21-7 at halftime, the Blue Devils used a season-high 99 rushing yards by Daniel Jones to slowly draw closer. But the first-half deficit again proved too much, as the Hokies topped Duke 24-21. 

The loss marked the Blue Devil’s third straight closely-contested conference loss, including a 24-14 defeat at playoff contender Louisville Oct. 14. The season’s narrative seems to be that Duke performs well, but not well enough against superior opponents, and underperforms against inferior opponents—Wake Forest and Virginia, for example. With three conference games remaining against North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Miami, it is imperative that Duke find ways to capitalize early and take a lead into halftime.

The health of freshman basketball players: Perhaps we were getting ahead of ourselves.

With so much anticipation and hype surrounding this year’s men’s basketball season, it became easy to forget both the fragility of big men and the fact that Harry Giles is coming off of major knee surgery. With health concerns hovering over Giles and fellow forward Jayson Tatum, all eyes were on center Marques Bolden during the final exhibition matchup against Augustana. But Bolden was nowhere to be found on the floor. Despite earlier claims that the center was just resting, the program announced Tuesday that Bolden had suffered a lower leg injury and would miss at least the first two games of the season. Although Tatum is expected to play Friday against Marist, the simple fact that all three of the team’s top recruits have gone down this early does not bode well in a season in which all three must remain healthy throughout.   


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