DURHAM, N.C. -- Dukegot its point guard back Saturday, and even if there was a bit of rust, coach Mike Krzyzewski said the Blue Devils have turned the page after Tre Jones missed two weeks with a separated shoulder.
"Sometimes when you're apart for a couple weeks, it's not like you just come back together," Krzyzewski said after Duke's 66-53 win against Georgia Tech, in which Jones returned with six points, four assists and four rebounds. "But he felt great after the game, and we're moving on [from the injury] now."
Jones collided with Syracuse's Frank Howard two weeks ago in what appeared to be a devastating injury. He writhed on the court for several minutes, then was taken to the locker room in obvious pain. X-rays revealed a separation of the AC joint rather than a bone break, and Jones said the recovery progressed quickly.
"When it first happened, I thought it was extremely bad," he said. "It was a horrible pain right away. But it ended up being mostly muscle pain from the collision, and once that went away, I was able to just build the strength back up."
Jones was the anchor of Duke's offense and its best on-ball defender before the injury, but the transition back into the lineup Saturday was met with mixed results. Duke managed just 27 points and trailed by two at the half, as Jones and the offense struggled in transition against Georgia Tech's zone.
Duke switched things up in the second half, moving Zion Williamson to the 5 spot, guarding Georgia Tech's center on D, but opening things up in the paint on the offensive end. He andRJ Barrettcombined for 46 points. By game's end, the offense was running smoothly, and Jones said, aside from a little soreness, he felt no ill effects of his 35 minutes on the court.
"I feel like I wouldn't play if I wasn't 100 percent," he said. "I probably could've gone the last two games, but I wasn't anywhere close to 100 percent then."
Duke has a quick turnaround with a trip to Notre Dame on Monday, and Krzyzewski said he's not concerned about Jones' conditioning.
"He never gets out of condition mentally and character-wise," Krzyzewski said. "His mind is in complete control over his body. He's not going to be tired."