Duke basketball dropped its first game of the season Saturday, losing 84-76 on Saturday to N.C. State. The Blue Devils slipped from No. 1 to No. 3 in the rankings and return to action against Georgia Tech on Thursday.
We took to our Twitter account @dukebasketball to answer some questions about the team as senior forward Ryan Kelly remains out indefinitely with a foot injury.
@dukebasketball is Seth going to play this weekend? #AskChron
— Maria (@_mhammy16) January 15, 2013
Andrew Beaton: From all indications, Curry's injury seems minor. If you missed it, Curry slipped with a few minutes left in the N.C. State game and didn't return to the floor. After the game, Quinn Cook said Curry seemed to be feeling better. Coach K has said since then Curry expects to play Thursday against the Yellow Jackets.
Things have only been getting tougher for Curry all season, though. Keep in mind, he has hardly been practicing as he deals with other leg injuries, but he has fought through the pain to play in nearly every game so far this season. And he has done so quite well, arguably having been the best scoring guard in the ACC this season. His power of will has been huge for Duke this season and his being on the court is critical, especially with Kelly out.
— Nick Lyons (@nlyons22) January 15, 2013
AB: Nothing has been announced, so it seems likely Josh Hairston will pick up his second start of the season on Thursday against Georgia Tech, but there's no doubting Amile Jefferson impressed in his time on the floor. Playing just 12 minutes, Jefferson scored 10 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting from the floor while grabbing four boards and blocking two shots.
The problem was, though, Jefferson could only play 12 minutes because he fouled out in that limited time. Jefferson is important because he brings that sort of energy and aggression to the floor, but he has to find the right balance between doing that and finding a way to stay on the floor for more than 12 minutes.
@dukebasketball #AskChron when is Kelly expected to return and because of this will we see more play from Marshall Plumlee?
— Michael (@S1NFULbyN8URE) January 15, 2013
AB: There is really nothing new to report about Kelly's injury—he's out indefinitely, and that doesn't mean he could come back tomorrow, but we really just don't know when it might be. Some reports say it could be four weeks, some say longer. It all seems pretty speculative.
Despite Kelly's injury, Marshall Plumlee played just three minutes against N.C. State, all late in the game. But the interior defense was disappointing throughout the game, with Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie seemingly having their way on offense and on the glass, so who knows, maybe a change is in order.
The one interesting thing to note was that for the first time all season, MP3 played at the same time as his brother Mason. It will be exciting to watch in the next few games if Coach K uses that lineup more. With MP3 on the floor, Mason could slide down to the power forward position and force opponents to make difficult decisions about who is going to guard who. By all accounts, MP3 impressed in practice before he injured his foot and even was potentially going to be the sixth man. It's hard to break into a rotation during the middle of the season, but if he can show some good rebounding and defense during his time on the floor, then he could make some noise with Kelly out.