As Duke looks to continue its perfect start to conference play, the Blue Zone gives you three keys in a matchup with Wake Forest:
Get Cassius Stanley involved early
With only a few days between games, many themes in the win over Georgia Tech will need to carry over against Wake Forest, and it starts with Duke’s explosive guard Cassius Stanley. Early on against the Yellow Jackets, the Blue Devils struggled to get Stanley involved and suffered for it. However, they were able to take back the moment with a few incredible plays from Stanley, and it will be imperative from the get-go that Mike Krzyzewski’s gameplan surrounds Duke’s most electric talent. Nothing gets the Cameron Crazies going more than a jaw-dropping dunk, and with Stanley’s ability to be dangerous from any part of the floor, the ball needs to be in his hands.
Foul trouble hurt the Blue Devils in a big way last game. Not only did it give free points to Georgia Tech, but two of Duke’s leading scorers, Vernon Carey Jr. and Stanley, got in foul trouble early on in the game. The Blue Devils are clearly better when both freshman are on the floor, so in order to keep the squad in strong position against the Demon Deacons, the whole team needs to be more aware on the court and not pick up lazy fouls.
In addition, Wake Forest guards Chaundee Brown and Brandon Childress rank third and fourth in the ACC, respectively, in free-throw percentage this season. The Demon Deacons are shooting a very respectable 75.1 percent from the line this season, and will take advantage of bad Duke mistakes.
Protect the ball
Turnovers were another big theme from last game as Duke racked up 14 turnovers, an unusually high mark for the Blue Devils. A return to Cameron Saturday does not mean that the team can relax though, as Wake Forest has a pesky defense that forces 12 turnovers per game. Figuring out how to efficiently move the ball without getting sloppy will allow Duke to open up the floor and find good looks.