With five days off since its loss at Maryland, No. 6 Duke (22-3, 9-3 in the ACC) is back in action Thursday night in Blacksburg, Va. to face Virginia Tech (11-14, 2-10).
We took to our Twitter account @dukebasketball to ask if you had any questions before Thursday night’s contest.
What’s Ryan K status? #AskChron
— josh cook (@cook5191989) February 19, 2013
Brady Buck: The million-dollar question. Unfortunately, we don’t have any sort of update regarding the return of Ryan Kelly. There seems to be a fair amount of optimism that Kelly will back on the floor in the coming weeks. I expect there to be some sort of news in the next week or two regarding his status.
BB: It’s been reported by various news outlets that UNC has held or is holding an offer to joining the Big 10. I don’t see it happening, personally. North Carolina will stay true to its southern and ACC roots. I have a hard time envisioning any sort of scenario where Duke would get an offer to join the Big 10. The school’s football program does not generate enough money to make it a viable option for the Big 10. Even if it did and it had an offer, I still don’t think Duke would seriously considering leaving the ACC. But the real thing with conference realignment is who knows what might happen next.
BB: This is a game that Mason Plumlee should be able to have his way. He’s had ample time to rest and recover since Saturday night’s setback. The Hokies’ defense is the least formidable in the conference, giving up a league-worst 73.7 points per contest. They are also the second worst squad in the league in terms of rebounding margin, which should be conducive for Plumlee to regain his confidence and get back on track.
BB: With ’Dre, all signs—as of now at least—point towards him returning to the team next season. It’s an odd situation, to say the least. It’s hard to tell what kind of impact he will have after being away from the game for an entire year. And the Blue Devils will be incredibly deep on the wing too.
As for Marshall, he will be the biggest question mark on next year’s team. Clearly, this season he is not ready for the rigors of ACC play, and his inability to get on the floor this season is a bit worrisome for next year as the only true post player on the roster.
Given the team’s lack of true-interior guys next year, Marshall needs to be able to provide quality minutes at the center spot. He doesn’t need to even score all that much. The Blue Devils will get plenty of offense from the 1-4 positions, so Duke just needs him to rebound, protect the rim and be a competent defender on the block.