Duke hosts Wake Forest on Tuesday night.
Wake enters this final week of league play at 11-17 (4-12 in the ACC), 12th in the ACC overall and are coming off of a 25 point loss to Syracuse at home . They've had losing streaks of 3 and 5 this season. This game features 2 of the 3 worst shooting 3 point teams in the ACC, with both teams shooting under 30% in league play. Wake shoots under 37% from the field as a whole in league play.
Wake Forest has played several teams close with the results usually not going their way in the second halves of games but they are more than capable of beating anyone. They played Duke close for 17 minutes in game one at Wake before succumbing to a talent laden squad but with players like Brandon Childress and Chaundee Brown they are very capable. This will be a test of focus for this young Duke team, with the season finale against UNC looming they need to take care of business first. Duke is not going to win the so-called regular season title (still not sure that even exists) but they have a chance to right a wrong but it will be meaningless if they drop this game against Wake Forest by looking ahead.
Wake Forest offensively has a 3 headed attack, featuring Brandon Childress, Jaylen Hoard and Chaundee Brown. Childress leads the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game, he also averages 4 assists and is the teams best 3 point threat at 37.4%. Hoard and Brown average 13.4 and 11.6 respectively with Hoard leading the team in rebounding at 7.9 per game.
The Blue Devils are led in scoring by R.J. Barrett, who comes in at just over 23 points per game, Barrett averages 7.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. Zion Williamson comes in at 21.6 points per game and 8.8 rebounds but his status as of right now is unknown for this game. Tre Jones is the lead assist man at 5.3 per game for the Blue Devils. Cam Reddish comes in at 14.3 points per game.
There are a lot of things to be worried about on Senior Night in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Emotions generally run high and the possibility of gassing out against a lesser opponent is also on the table for this Duke team. Could this be a trap game for Duke? Certainly. With Wake Forest looking more and more likely to part ways with their head coach Danny Manning this offseason it could be an "us against the world" scenario for the Demon Deacons. They are playing with house money and can play as free and loose as they want. They know there is no post season and beyond that fact the future is very up in the air.
Duke, even with knowing Wake is not a hot shooting team by the numbers, needs to expect big games from Wake's big 3. Childress is very capable of going off from beyond the arc. Hoard is going to be a very hard cover for whichever Duke defender draws him. The Demon Deacons are still a very good rebounding team and second chances points is one way for them to stay close to the Blue Devils should Williamson not play in this game. It comes down to the basics for Duke.