carterclemson
Carter will have to make an impact in the post for Duke against Clemson.

X Factor: Can Wendell Carter Jr. and Duke score inside against Clemson?



After downing Virginia Tech Wednesday night, Duke will travel to Clemson Sunday to take on the No. 11 Tigers. The Blue Zone gives one player from each team that could be the difference in the game. 

Duke: Forward Wendell Carter Jr. 

It's a foregone conclusion: Duke will get open shots from deep against Clemson. Although the Tigers have one of the best defenses in college basketball, they have been vulnerable from beyond the arc, something Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. should be able to exploit, especially with how how they have been and Marvin Bagley III's status for Sunday still uncertain. 

But whether Duke can penetrate and score inside the arc will determine its fate Sunday. Wendell Carter Jr. will be key to the Blue Devils' efforts inside the paint Sunday, and will have to grapple with forwards David Skara, Mark Donnell and Elijah Thomas down low. 

Without Bagley on the floor, Carter has posted back-to-back double-doubles, including a 19-point, 10-rebound outing against Georgia Tech on Sunday. Especially if Bagley is out, Duke will need that sort of production from the freshman big man if it wants to flummox Clemson's stout defense. 

Clemson: Guard Clyde Trapp

After star guard Shelton Mitchell went down with a scary head injury Wednesday against Florida State, the Tigers will likely be without him on Sunday. That leaves Clemson thin on guard depth—where Clyde Trapp comes in. 

The freshman has carved out a role for himself off the bench after hardly playing at the beginning of the year, playing 13-plus minutes in his last four ACC games. He was the only guard to come off the bench against the Seminoles, so it figures that he will have to assume a starting role. Trapp was not highly-touted coming out of high school, but has shot the three-ball well in a very small sample size this year, shooting 6-of-14 from beyond the arc. 

Trapp will have to grow up fast if the Tigers want to walk off the court Sunday with a win. 


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