On Tuesday, the Blue Devils will host Wake Forest in their final contest at Cameron Indoor Stadium of the season. The Blue Zone looks at a key player for each team: 

Duke: Forward Joey Baker

On March 4, 2015, a relatively unheralded Duke freshman ran down to the scorers’ table and checked in for the Blue Devils’ final regular season game ahead of their regular season finale on the road against North Carolina several days later. Duke’s opponent that night was Wake Forest, and the Demon Deacons could have been forgiven for focusing their pregame preparation on some of the more prominent freshmen—Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow. 

By the end of the night it was Grayson Allen, who entered the game averaging just three points in less than eight minutes per contest, who torched the visitors from Winston Salem for 27 points, a sign of things to come both that season and down the road for the Blue Devils. 

This Tuesday, Joey Baker will likely come off the bench for Duke nearly four years to the day since Allen’s outburst against Wake Forest. And although Allen at that point had much more experience than Baker, whose redshirt was burned just three games ago against Syracuse, Baker has the potential to be a key piece for the Blue Devils down the stretch heading into the postseason. For him to do so, however, he will need to get more playing time, and a visit from the hapless Demon Deacons would seem to be the perfect time for him to get more minutes and prove his value.

Even with the resurgence of Jack White in Saturday’s win against Miami, if Duke is going to be without Zion Williamson heading into the ACC Tournament, they are going to need every offensive weapon they can get. Baker has missed his only two field goal attempts thus far in very limited time on the floor, but against Wake Forest—which is ranked 281st in the nation in scoring defense—he may have the chance to have his own breakout performance. 

Wake Forest: Guard Brandon Childress

In what has been the latest in a string of disappointing seasons for the Demon Deacons, point guard Brandon Childress has been their unquestioned star, a threat from deep capable of creating scoring chances off the dribble as well. If Wake Forest is to have any shot at pulling off an improbable upset of the Blue Devils on the latter’s senior night, Childress is going to have to have his best game of the season. 

In the Demon Deacons’ last win against Miami, Childress was instrumental in orchestrating a comeback from 14 points down late in the second half to steal a win at home. In the last minute of that game, he had eight points on a pair of triples and a layup that put Wake Forest ahead by one with just 25 seconds remaining. Impressive as that was, Childress will have a difficult time replicating that performance against Duke’s Tre Jones, who is widely recognized as one of the best defenders in the nation and just delivered a stifling performance against Miami’s high-scoring Chris Lykes this past weekend. 

If Childress is able to get enough open looks from beyond the arc—where he is shooting 37.4 percent this season—he could cause some problems for the Blue Devils and open more chances for his teammates. If he is cold from the floor, though, Wake Forest will have a tough time getting anything going offensively.