WASHINGTON—Cam Reddish's absence in Friday's Sweet 16 game against Virginia Tech was a surprise to the college basketball world, but the freshman knew something was wrong the day before.
Reddish is still unsure whether he will play in Duke's Elite Eight matchup Sunday against No. 2 seed Michigan State, but spoke to the media Saturday with the rest of the team and said he tweaked his knee Thursday, causing it to swell up. Reddish said he and the coaching staff didn't decide he would have to sit out until warmups right before the game against the Hokies.
"I had an idea, but didn’t really want to believe it. So, I tried to go out there and warm up, get it a little bit loose," Reddish said. "But it wasn’t at full strength and that’s not a risk I really want to take."
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski called Reddish a "game-time decision" against the Spartans. The team had not yet started practice when it held its pregame press conference.
"We're not really going to do anything physical today," Krzyzewski said. "If he's progressed, we might try to get him to shoot.... It's not structural, nothing structural. [It's] a jumper's knee, a tendonitis. I guess there are a number of different things."
If Reddish can't go, sophomore Alex O'Connell would likely step into a big role again Sunday. O'Connell played 35 minutes, holding his own on the defensive boards with seven rebounds and scoring four points. But Reddish's defense and shooting ability are hard for the Blue Devils to replace.
"Obviously we have one of the best medical staffs in the country, so I’m just trying to get all the treatment I can, all the ice I can and be ready for tomorrow," Reddish said. "It’s super hard for me to be on the sideline and not with my guys, so I’m trying to get back."