Key three: Duke vs. Wake Forest

The Blue Devils will look to stay hot Saturday at 1 at Cameron Indoor Stadium against a Wake Forest team that still lacks a signature win. After Jayson Tatum carried Duke to a win Wednesday and Luke Kennard willed the Blue Devils past Clemson last Saturday, Duke will be looking for a more well-rounded offensive performance against the Demon Deacons. Here are three keys to the game for the Blue Devils:

Get Grayson going again

Grayson Allen seemed to get back in his shooting rhythm against North Carolina, when he shot 7-for-12 from beyond the arc, but Allen’s midseason struggles have returned in his last two contests. After scoring 20 or more points in three straight games, Allen has scored a combined 13 points on 20.0 percent shooting from the field during that span. With Tatum heating up and the ACC tournament approaching, if Allen can get back to last season’s form, Duke will be a force to be reckoned with come March.

Establish the inside game

After a dominant start to the season as a double-double machine, Amile Jefferson has been much quieter since he returned from a foot injury in January. During that span. Jefferson has scored more than six points just once in eight games and has pretty much been eliminated as a factor inside. For a team that is reliant on the three-ball, spacing is crucial and drawing defenders into the post will create openings on the perimeter. The Blue Devils will be helped if Jefferson and freshman Harry Giles can establish themselves as offensive threats and convert inside on a consistent basis moving forward.

Maintain the defensive intensity

Despite struggling for much of the first half of its ACC slate, Duke has stepped up its defensive intensity of late. The Blue Devils have held three of their last four opponents to fewer than 65 points and are 4-0 during that span. Duke has held each of its last two opponents to worse than 40 percent shooting and will need to continue that intensity against a Wake Forest team that shot 47.3 percent in its last matchup with the Blue Devils. The Demon Deacons average 81.9 points a contest on the season and have scored at least 80 points in nine of their last 10 matchups with Duke, including in an 85-83 Blue Devil win Jan. 28 that started Duke's current six-game winning streak.

Comments