Frosh duo help 8th seed Duke beat Wake Forest without Coach K ::

Duke has worked in two shaky shooting games and prone to spinning since returning from the COVID-19 outbreak.

This time around, the eighth-seeded Blue Devils faced their attack behind a burgeoning new player and an opportunistic defense – all without Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski on the sidelines.

Paulo Banchero scored 24 points and Duke hit 13 consecutive shots that extended between the two halves to detonate and beat Wake Forest 76-64 on Wednesday evening, turning in the best period of play since returning from a layoff that included two postponed games.

New teammate AJ Griffin had a season-high 22 points on his first start, the next steps in his growth after he missed most of the past two seasons in high school through injury. That helped the Blues recover from their weekend home loss to Miami, along with securing a win while Krzyzewski was out with what the school called a “non-COVID virus.”

Associate coach John Scheer – who was appointed to succeed Krzyzewski when he retired this spring – has served as acting coach.

“I think there was a lot of motivation to get out of the Miami game with things we can do better,” said Shire.

Banchero and Griffin led the way as the Blue Devils (13-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) suddenly took the lead with two possessions in the last minute of the first half – then held a very hot hand in the second that the Deacons wobbled (13-4, 3-3). ).

“It kind of felt like the way we played at the start of the season,” said young Wendell Moore Jr. “It was so much fun – the players share the ball, a lot of the players are smiling. You don’t even know who scores. You just know the Duke score.”

Griffin finished the first game by forging Server C off his feet and then advanced to defeat a triple pointer before the trigger to advance 35-29.

“Those three that they scored at the end, it was a big shot for them,” said Jake LaRavia of Wake Forest, who scored all 14 of his points in the second half after suffering an early start problem. deported.”

The Blue Devils took their last four shots in the first half, then came out of the break by taking their first shots midway 22-1.

Alonds Williams scored 25 points for Damon Deacons, who had the Blue Devils in a tight game after the break and led 29-27 over Dallas Walton and 1 dunk with 54.1 seconds left. But Deacon Deacon erased a bunch of good minutes with a shaky finish – a throw that leads to one 3, an offensive foul that put Griffin into the break – to move the Duke’s crushing move from well-manufactured shots.

Wake Forest made only 2 of 16 three-pointers while making 15 turns, resulting in 22 points for Duke.

“You still have to play the way you study and the way we play all year,” said Damon Deacons coach Steve Forbes. “And I thought Duke had a lot to do with our acceleration and maybe letting the fitness of the game bother us a little bit with our fight with the ball.”

The Big Picture

The Duke: The Blue Devils came back from their stop by shooting 37% in the low season in a win over Georgia Tech, then made their 17th worst turn of the season in a Miami loss. Along the way, Krzyzewski said it will take some time for the Blue Devils to rebuild their adaptation to the full game format. This time, Duke hit 61% after the first half and 51% overall while making 7 of 15 three-pointers.

Wake Forest: Forbes sparked its sophomore year with the program after years of struggle, and it’s popped up here with a raucous crowd at home—including the full, boisterous student section familiar to Chris Paul’s mid-2000s era. The Deacons gave cause for the commotion by erasing an early eight-point hole and getting into a tight game, only to see this one collapse before the break.

griffin play

The 6-foot-6 Griffin averaged 7.3 points, but he’s now hitting double digits in four straight games.

“I was really ready, either way,” Griffin said of getting ready for his first start.

Coach K’s case.

Banchero said Krzyzewski missed Tuesday’s training, and Scheer said he hopes to be back on Saturday.

Cher, who coached last season’s game when Krzyzewski missed due to quarantine protocols, said he made a quick FaceTime call with Krzyzewski immediately after the win.

“It wasn’t a different look,” Cher said. “The thing was: You better win or the call to Coach K after that isn’t going to be fun.”

next one

Duke: Hosts North Carolina State on Saturday.

Wake Forest: In Virginia on Saturday.


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