Duke basketball heads into their first true road game of the season versus ACC opponent Wake Forest. The Blue Devils look to remain undefeated in the ACC.
TV schedule: Tuesday, January 8, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Tuesday night’s game marks the 250th time the two opponents have faced off. The Duke Blue Devils lead the series 171-78, versus the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Not only is it the 250th match-up, but it is also the Blue Devils first true road game of the season.
The (7-6, 0-1 in ACC) Demon Deacons are looking to spoil the young Blue Devils first true road game of the year. They are coming off their first loss in ACC play to Georgia Tech on Saturday, January 5.
Junior guard Brandon Childress is the son of Wake Forest All-American and current assistant coach Randolph Childress. Childress is making his own mark on the program as he leads the Demon Deacons team. He is averaging 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Childress is an all-around scorer, but what is most impressive is that he is shooting 46.7 percent from behind the arc.
The Demon Deacons are ranked 158th according to KenPom. They only have defeated one team that is in the KenPom top one-hundred. The Demon Deacons have also lost to four sub-one-hundred KenPom teams in their non-conference schedule.
Meanwhile, the (12-1, 1-0 in ACC) Duke Blue Devils look to enter Winston-Salem, NC and earn their first road win of the season. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 1 in both the AP poll and KemPom rankings for yet another week. They are coming off their first ACC win versus the Clemson Tigers on Saturday night.
Freshman point guard Tre Jones will enter Tuesday night’s game with the opportunity to make Duke history with the most career 7+ assist/0 turnover games. Jones is currently tied at four with former Blue Devil greats Steve Wojciechowski, Bobby Hurley, and Tommy Amaker. If Jones was able to have another one of these great games – he would sit alone at No. 1 on this list of greats. Jones is leading the ACC and third nationally in assist-turnover ratio (5.85) according to Duke Sports Information. Jones will also celebrate his 19th birthday on Tuesday, January 8.
Fellow freshman Zion Williamson is coming off ACC freshman of the week honors after his performance versus Clemson. Williamson had 25 points and shot an efficient nine of eleven from the floor to earn ACC freshman of the week. Williamson and R.J. Barrett are the only duo in a power conference each averaging 20 points per game.
The Blue Devils have been a must-watch team all season from their hard-nosed defense to their high-flying offense. They are ranked second in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency on KenPom.
These teams don’t match-up the best as the Blue Devils talent far outweighs that of the Demon Deacons. This game could get out of hand early if the Demon Deacons aren’t careful to start the game. Look for the Blue Devils to get rolling early and blowout the Demon Deacons.
Prediction: Wake Forest 61 – Duke 89