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Grayson Allen rediscovered his fire and shot against Pittsburgh Saturday.

X Factor: Can Grayson Allen stay hot at Wake Forest?



After romping Pittsburgh, Duke will make the short trip to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest in its final tuneup before a titanic matchup against No. 2 Virginia Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Zone takes a look at one player from each team that could be the difference-maker.

Duke: Guard Grayson Allen

After struggling to find his shot throughout the entirety of conference play, Allen finally got his attempts to fall consistently against Pittsburgh on Saturday. Six minutes into the game, he was fouled hard when going for a breakaway dunk by Kene Chukwuka. The eventual flagrant foul got Allen jawing off, something he said added to his fire—and it showed. 

Allen finished with 16 points after shooting 5-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-10 from deep, by far his best performance in ACC play. Allen's intensity and fire also translated to Duke's defense, which brought a level of intensity that had been absent at times this season, forcing 11 first-half turnovers. If the Blue Devils' senior captain can keep up his hot shooting from deep and trademark fire that had been absent previously, Duke can become a much scarier team against the Demon Deacons and moving forward. 

It will be a great opportunity for Allen to keep up his confident play—Wake Forest has been particularly susceptible on the perimeter, ranking No. 327 in the nation in allowing opponents to shoot nearly 40 percent from three-point range. 

Wake Forest: Guard Keyshawn Woods

In Duke's 89-71 win against Wake Forest earlier in the month, the Blue Devils struggled to defend the perimeter, especially against Woods. The 6-foot-3 guard came off the bench and scored 15 points in 21 minutes, nailing three triples in the process. 

Shooting almost 44 percent from deep this season, Woods will be a focus of Duke's defense, along with the rest of Wake Forest's deep array of sharpshooters. The Demon Deacons have struggled to defend the perimeter, but have been very good at attacking from deep—they have shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range as a team this year. 

Duke will also have to look to contain guard Bryant Crawford, who dropped 21 points despite a poor shooting effort in the Blue Devils' previous matchup against Wake Forest. 


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