Duke-Wake Forest Preview
Top-ranked Duke ventures out of Raleigh-Durham for its first true road game of the season, but it will be a relatively short trip.
The Blue Devils take on Wake Forest in Tuesday night's game at Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's team carries a seven-game winning streak into the game, coming off a victory against Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
"There's always work to do just getting experience," said Krzyzewski, whose team has played five neutral-court games. "The main thing is to keep getting experience. I think you get ready for conference by playing an outstanding schedule."
Duke (12-1) rode its freshmen in their conference debuts, with forwards Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Tre Jones putting together another highlight show.
Wake Forest (7-6, 0-1) has struggled throughout the first two months of the season, dropping its league opener Saturday at Georgia Tech.
The hype might be growing round Duke if that's possible. Williamson fashioned another dunking display with a 360-degree maneuver on a breakaway in the last game.
"Seeing him do that, I'm happy that I'm coaching him," Krzyzewski said.
Duke has excelled in other areas and that's most pleasing for the Blue Devils at this point.
"Coach K always says we're good but we could be better," Williamson said.
Jones is coming off a season-best nine assists. It marked the fourth game that the point guard had seven or more assists without a turnover.
"Just being able to hand out assists, all the credit goes to my teammates," Jones said. "They make it a lot easier for him. I'm just trying to set them up to be successful and they're able to make plays out of it."
Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said he sees much more from Duke than the highlight-type plays. He said it's clear there is depth with the talent.
"We understand and anyone who has watched them, there's a lot of balance with that team," Manning said. "The way that they play a lot of times … knowing personnel is something that's going to be very important. Not just for the Duke game, but in general that's something that's very key."
The Demon Deacons have been projected to finish near the bottom of the ACC. This will be the team's second game of the season against a nationally ranked team, with the other resulting in a loss last month at Tennessee.
Manning said there have been encouraging stretches at times, including in the Georgia Tech game.
"There were some areas we did some pretty good things," he said. "We have to do a better job of handling the basketball."
Duke is capable of hurting teams in so many ways that the Demon Deacons will have to have a large amount of awareness.
"You can't duplicate what everybody does in our conference," Manning said.
Duke junior forward Javin DeLaurier made his last 16 attempts from the field across parts of six games. That's four shy of the ACC record set by Duke's Alaa Abdelnaby in the 1988-89 season.
Duke won its ACC opener for the 29th time in 39 seasons under Krzyzewski.
The Blue Devils have won the last eight meetings with Wake Forest. This is the first of two meetings between the teams, though the other one won't come until Duke's home finale in March.
Updated January 7, 2019