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Frank Jackson averaged 17.7 points per game during the last three games of the regular season with ...

X Factor: Duke men's basketball vs. Clemson



Losers of three of their last four games, the Blue Devils will try to build some momentum this week at the ACC tournament in New York, starting with Wednesday's game agains No. 12 seed Clemson. The Blue Zone takes a look at a player from each team who could be the difference-maker in the game:

Duke: Guard Frank Jackson

As Grayson Allen’s playing time has diminished due to recent injuries and a lack of effectiveness on the court, Jackson has stepped up since taking over the starting role against Miami. In his last three contests, the rookie guard is averaging more than 17 points per game and has converted on 7-of-12 attempts from beyond the arc.

Although Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum are the leaders the Duke offense, Jackson has emerged as another scoring threat. With his ability to explode to the basket, if Jackson can shoot the 3-pointer at a consistent rate, he will draw more attention to himself, space the defense and create holes through which the Blue Devils can attack.

As long as Jackson can filter his explosiveness and take care of the ball, look for another strong offensive performance for Duke Wednesday.

Clemson: Guard Shelton Mitchell

Duke has struggled defending opposing guards of late. John Gillon scored 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting for Syracuse, Bruce Brown scored 25 in Miami's upset win and Joel Berry II exploded for 28 points for North Carolina Saturday. Shelton Mitchell also found success against Duke Feb. 11, scoring the majority of his career-high 23 points during an explosive second-half comeback for the Tigers that came up just short.

Although Mitchell only averages 10.1 points per contest, he is the epitome of a consistent player. The sophomore guard has scored at least 10 points in 11 of his last 12 contests and continues to make an impact game in and game out. With his ability to shoot from beyond the arc and convert from mid-range, Mitchell will need to be effective in order for Clemson to pull off the upset Wednesday.


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