With Duke Blue Devils basketball in the midst of a four-game winning streak, there’s a small but vocal minority of Duke fans who think the program is somehow better off without superstar freshman Marvin Bagley III and coach Mike Krzyzewski isn’t having any of it.
Duke’s defense has shined since switching primarily to zone and they absolutely dominated Louisville to the tune of an 82-56 win on Wednesday night. However, Krzyzewski spend time setting the record straight on Bagley after the game.
“We’ll handle that when that happens,” Krzyzewski said according to Ben Leonard of the Duke Chronicle. “If Elton Brand came back or J.J. Redick came back, you [don’t say], ‘Can’t play now. We’re playing too well.’ We’ll figure it out. To win these four games without him is a really big-time thing. Javin, Marques, even Wendell, their confidence is higher.”
Duke’s role players have stepped up without Bagley and the switch to zone defense has been a catalyst to a more unified front on both ends of the roster. But, simply put, there’s no way you’re holding 21.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per night out of the lineup any longer than you absolutely have to.
Bagley is long and athletic and a dominant force on both ends, so he’ll fit in just fine with the new-look Blue Devils whenever he makes his return. And everyone else around him should be better equipped to contribute because of this time he spent recovering from a sprained knee.
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