The Duke trio of Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles and Marques Bolden haven’t played yet this season — and they won’t play Tuesday night against Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, either.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said as much after the Blue Devils’ 93-58 win against Appalachian State at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday afternoon.
On top of that, Duke junior guard Grayson Allen left Saturday’s game in the second half with an injury after scoring 21 points.
“It’s his toe. He just landed funny, and when that happens, it hurts. It really hurts,” Krzyzewski said per the Duke Chronicle. “He looked fresher in that first half than he has the entire season.”
Allen’s status for the Michigan State game is unclear.
“We had this unbelievably deep team, supposedly, and we really the last month have been back to what we’ve done the last two years,” Krzyzewski said. “There’s no contact in practice, we can hardly practice, you’re in therapy, and that’s frustrating, but you do what you need to do.”
When Duke does get the freshmen back, they figure to be a completely different team since all three are projected lottery picks. Tatum is currently projected as the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, while Giles is listed at No. 5 and Bolden at No. 15.
“Duke could be scary good provided they can share the ball and play unselfish,” Don Showalter, an eight-time USA Basketball gold medalist head coach, recently told ZAGSBLOG. “Those three are lottery picks.”
Photo: Blue Devil Nation
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.