After dismantling the Stetson Hatters in front of a loud home crowd last Saturday night, the Blue Devils continue their home-stand Wednesday against Hartford. The Blue Zone takes a look at a player from each team that could be a difference-maker in the game. 

Duke: Forward Jack White 

Jack White, Duke’s most reliable sixth man thus far throughout the fall campaign, had a bit of an off-night Saturday against Stetson. 

The normally efficient shooter converted on none of his five attempts from the field against the Hatters in 15 minutes of game time, including a zero-of-four tally from three despite getting multiple open looks at the hoop. This is a version of Jack White Duke fans have not seen yet this year— and a matchup against the Hawks (3-6) represents the perfect opportunity for the Australia native to put up a strong performance and reaffirm his role as the Blue Devils’ biggest threat off the bench. 

Even despite his poor shooting performance, he remained strong in the rebounds category, pulling down nine including three on the offensive glass. Combined with two assists, the zero-point effort seems like less of a reason for Blue Devil fans to worry. 

White should not struggle to get open against the lineup Hartford will likely put on the court. In all nine contests this year, the Hawks have started three guards, none of which are taller than 6-foot-4. If the 6-foot-7 White can get into a groove early against the struggling Hawks, there is no reason to believe that Duke’s sixth man will not continue in his role as one of Duke’s most efficient shooters from beyond the arc. 

Look for White to bounce back in a big way Wednesday against another opponent that Duke should beat handily. 

Hartford: Forward John Carroll 

Across the way, the difference maker for the Hawks will need to continue to be John Carroll if Hartford wishes to hang with Duke. The redshirt senior led his team last season in both points and rebounds—15.2 and 6.4 respectively—on his way to earning a spot on the 2018-19 preseason America East All-Conference team. This season, he has kept up, and even improved his production on the offensive side of the ball. Playing the third most minutes for his team, he is averaging an impressive 18.1 points per game. 

And even at 6-foot-8, Carroll is not your typical big man. 

He has also drained 14 three-pointers in his first nine games, shooting an impressive 34.1 percent from downtown. This facet of his game will need to come into focus against a very difficult to penetrate paint defense on the side of the Blue Devils. While Duke does not have a player significantly bigger than Carroll, the team has proven already this year that no matter the size of the man, anyone will have difficulty tallying points from the inside. 

If anyone is going to keep the Hawks competitive against a Duke team coming off a huge win against Stetson, it will be Carroll; the Blue Devils may need to expend a good portion of their efforts in containing him.