No. 3 Duke looks to get back on track versus Miami

Duke returns home for a game for the first time since the knee injury to freshman forward Zion Williamson when the third-ranked Blue Devils face Miami on Saturday at Durham, N.C.

Since that injury, the Blue Devils have slipped to third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

But they have a chance to get back on track against one of the league's struggling teams.

Of bigger concern for Duke is making adjustments without Williamson, who could soon be back in action based on some projections. He's listed as day-to-day.

"We have to make some adjustments and that's the thing," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We weren't getting our normal movements offensively and defensively (in Tuesday's loss at Virginia Tech)."

Duke (24-4, 12-3 ACC) completed a stretch of three games in seven days. So with three full days off before the next game, that could aid the Blue Devils.

"We've got to get refreshed," Krzyzewski said. "That six-game stretch was going to be tough no matter what. ... When you lose Zion right in the middle, then it escalates. Overall, my team has done an outstanding job. We will move forward now. We learned a lot."

Miami (12-15, 4-11) is coming off a disturbing loss at Wake Forest. The Hurricanes led by 14 points with 8 1/2 minutes to play, but a series of late-game blunders were costly.

Wake Forest scored the go-ahead basket on its final possession. Miami failed to answer, losing 76-75.

"I thought we played a great game for 35 minutes," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "And (then) just rushed like crazy. Very much out of character for us."

Miami finished with a 3-5 record in February after only winning once in January.

It's a rough stretch late in the season for Miami because the schedule calls for three of the final four games on the road and the Hurricanes have already lost the first of that stretch.

Miami is using primarily a seven-player rotation so that can cause problems. Five of the players average 10.7 points per game or more.

The Hurricanes are 0-7 in ACC road games. Larranaga said the team had trouble communicating late in the Wake Forest game.

Those troubles could be heightened in the raucous atmosphere at Duke.

"The problem is when there's a lot of noise in the arena, the players can't hear you," Larranaga said. "I was standing on the sideline yelling to one of the players (to call timeout) with about three minutes to go in the game and he couldn't hear me."

While Miami doesn't have many options with its roster, Duke has gone to different combinations. Center Marques Bolden has come off the bench in recent situations as the personnel has evolved.

"He has played well," Krzyzewski said of Bolden. "I don't think it matters who starts."

Saturday's game also might mark the home debut for Blue Devils freshman guard Joey Baker. While it appeared he was set for a redshirt season, he played for the first time this season in road games against Syracuse and Virginia Tech.

This is the only scheduled meeting of the season between Miami and Duke.

--Field Level Media
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