Dukies persevering through key ailments
Grayson Allen’s steady hand has helped Duke navigate a litany of early-season injuries. Will the junior guard be able to deliver another strong performance today?
The sixth-ranked Blue Devils tackle Appalachian State at 12 p.m. ET in Durham. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Mike Krzyzewski’s squad odds of -2250 to take care of business at home. Conversely, the Mountaineers represent +1650 underdogs.
Coming off a 17-point outing against William & Mary, Allen continues to show he’s one of the nation’s top perimeter threats. The Florida native’s responsibilities have increased, too, as the Dukies’ three heralded freshmen in the post remain sidelined. Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques BoldEditoren did dress for Wednesday’s meeting with the Tribe. Yet expect Allen and backcourt mate Luke Kennard to perform most of the heavy lifting for the foreseeable future.
On the other side, Appalachian State (2-2) recently knocked off Hartford. Sophomore Ronshad Shabazz had 28 points and eight rebounds in that 70-61 triumph. Earlier this month, Jim Fox’s group suffered tough losses to Davidson and Tennessee.
Keeping pace with Duke (5-1), however, requires a level of athleticism that the Mountaineers simply lack. Considering that Fox owns just three non-conference road victories in three years on the job, we’re not holding out hope for a particularly close affair, either. Bank on the Blue Devils to capture their fourth in a row.
SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: DUKE -31.5