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Blue Devils get good news on Tre Jones

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After the Syracuse game, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said that he expected Tre Jones to “be out for a while, I think…” But then Krzyzewski spoke with The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil on Thursday and revised the expected timeline. Krzyzewski changed his expectation to a much shorter timeline after doctors had a chance to examine Jones. 

“I don’t know if it’s for this game or the next game, but it’s not going to be long term,” Krzyzewski said. A giant sigh of relief could be heard emanating from Durham, as Jones is exceedingly important to the long-term success or failure of this team.

HOW WILL DUKE ADJUST?

After Jones went out against Syracuse, Coach K immediately pointed to backup point guard Jordan Goldwire to play in his place. But after some broken possessions offensively (Goldwire was impressive defensively in relief), Krzyzewski turned to Barrett and Williamson to run point before tapping Alex O’Connell to step in as a third wing player. Whether O’Connell’s extended minutes were a result of Reddish being out in addition to Jones will be seen on Saturday, but the sophomore wing did play well for the most part in his limited minutes. Duke will have to rely on Barrett and Williamson to carry it, while hoping that Reddish has broken out of his shooting slump and Jack White figures out his shooting touch as well.

LOSS TO SYRACUSE

Three unexpected things happened on Monday: Duke lost to Syracuse, Cam Reddish didn’t play and Jones suffered his shoulder injury. The first two won’t impact Duke in the long term, and the Blue Devils almost overcame the loss of two of their starters to beat a defense that was supposed to give their perimeter-shooting deficient offense troubles. The last one could cause the team and coaching staff a lot of heartache as they enter conference play. Jones was not only the team’s best defender, but also drove a lot of what the team did on the offensive end. That was painfully obvious down the stretch of the game against Syracuse, as Duke’s offense stagnated and gave up some easy transition buckets after lazy passes on the perimeter led to turnovers.

COLLEGE GAMEDAY IN TOWN

ESPN’s College GameDay, hosted by Rece Davis with analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams will be on Duke’s campus all day long Saturday. Admission to Cameron Indoor Stadium for GameDay is free. The doors open to the general public at 9:30 a.m.

DELAURIER WATCH

Duke’s starting center for the last seven games, Javin DeLaurier, has now made 20 consecutive shots over the last six games, going back to the start of the Hartford game. That is a record for most consecutive shots made by a player under Krzyzewski, and is just one field goal shy of tying the ACC record of 20 held by Duke’s Alaa Abdelnaby in 1988-89.

TAYLOR HIRED AS WR COACH

After Gerad Parker left Duke to take over the wide receivers at Penn State earlier this month, Duke conducted a nationwide search to find his replacement. Earlier this week, it was reported that David Cutcliffe had chosen former Auburn coach Trooper Taylor to take over for Parker, but no official statement has been released by the athletic department as of publishing. However, all signs point to Taylor being the guy Duke adds. Taylor previously coached receivers at Tulane, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Auburn and currently serves as assistant head coach/cornerbacks coach at Arkansas State. Trooper’s son, Blaise, is a grad assistant at Duke, and he previously coached alongside Cutcliffe while both were on the staff at Tennessee.

Adam Rowe covers Duke basketball, football and recruiting for 247Sports.com. Check out more of his work at duke.247sports.com.

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