Duke Battles Wake Wednesday Night in Winston-Salem

DJ Steward | Photo: Duke Athletics

THE OPENING TIP

  • Looking to sweep the season series, Duke battles Wake Forest Wednesday night at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem on ACC Network.
  • The game tips at 8:30 p.m. ET on ACC Network with Jay Alter and Malcolm Huckaby on the call. On the radio, David Shumate and John Roth have the call on the Blue Devil Sports Network from Learfield IMG College (96.5FM & 610AM in Durham).
  • In a rivalry that dates back to the first game in Duke’s history in 1905-06, the Blue Devils lead the all-time series, 175-79, including a 50-40 margin in Winston-Salem. Duke is 17-12 versus Wake at LJVMC.
  • Behind a career-high 26 points from Matthew Hurt, the Blue Devils won the season’s first meeting, 79-68, at Cameron Indoor on Jan. 9, which improved the Blue Devils to 3-0 in the ACC.
  • Duke is 10-4 since the start of the 2017-18 season when facing an ACC opponent for the second time in the regular season.
  • Duke’s six ACC losses have come by a total of 28 points — none decided by more than seven points — and the Blue Devils have been out-scored by 41 points at the free throw in those games.
  • The Blue Devils have used nine different starting lineups through 16 games with only Hurt starting all 16, while freshman DJ Steward has started 13 straight and sophomore Wendell Moore Jr., the last seven.
  • Hurt is coming off a 24-point effort at NC State, where he finished 8-of-10 from the field and 6-of-7 from three-point range. He is one of just two ACC players this season to post multiple games with 6+ made three-point field goals.
  • Hurt is the ACC’s second-leading scorer overall (18.1) and second in conference play (17.8). He is also third  in FG percentage (.543), fourth in most made threes per game (2.3) and 15th in rebounding (6.7).
  • Freshman Mark Williams had career highs in points (13), blocked shots (five) and minutes (28) at NC State. Over his last two games, Williams is 9-of-16 from the field for 21 points, with nine rebounds and seven blocked shots.
  • A Blue Devil has been the ACC’s leading freshman scorer in six of the last seven seasons, and Steward is on pace to make it seven of the last eight. Steward leads all ACC freshmen at 13.0 points, while averaging 13.4 in conference-only games (ranked 17th in ACC).

DUKE VS. WAKE FOREST
Duke and Wake Forest are meeting for the 255th time in a series that dates to the 1905-06 season. The Blue Devils lead the series 175-79, including 50-40 in road games (17-12 at LJVM Coliseum) … Duke won its 22nd consecutive home game in the series earlier this season (Jan. 9) at Cameron Indoor as sophomore Matthew Hurt poured in a career-high 26 points in the 79-68 victory … When the teams met last season in Winston-Salem (Feb. 25, 2020), Duke saw its 11-game winning streak in the series snapped in a a 113-101 double-overtime decision at Lawrence Joel … Wendell Moore Jr., scored a career-high 25 points in last year’s game at Wake, including 15-of-16 from the free throw line to set a Duke freshman single-game record for most made free throws … Wake Forest was the opponent for Duke’s first game in program history — a 24-10 Wake victory on March 2, 1906 in Durham.

SCOUTING THE DEMON DEACONS
Under first-year head coach Steve Forbes, Wake Forest is 6-9 overall and 3-9 in ACC play … The Demon Deacons are back home after a three-game road trip and four of their last five away from the Joel where they went 2-2 … Wake took No. 16 Florida State to overtime in Tallahassee on Saturday before falling, 92-85 … Six of the Deacs’ last eight games have been single-digit decisions … Ian Dubose leads the team in scoring at 14.3 points, while Daivien Williamson averages 12.7. Ody Oguama is the team’s leading rebounder at 6.1 per game while averaging 9.2 points … Williamson and Ismael Massoud each scored 17 points when Duke and Wake met earlier this season in Durham.

STEWARD LEADS ALL ACC FROSH IN SCORING
A Blue Devil has been the ACC’s freshman scoring leader in six of the last seven seasons and seven of the last nine … Freshman DJ Steward is looking to keep that run going in 2020-21, as Steward is ranked first in scoring among the conference’s freshman corps at 13.0 points per game … Duke is 2-0 this season when Steward leads the team in scoring … Steward has been named ACC Freshman of the Week twice this season … The Chicago native posted a 19-point, five-rebound, three-assist effort against Georgia Tech, with his ACC career-high of 21 coming in the win over Wake Forest … Steward has hit at least one three-pointer in 13 consecutive games — he’s also started in each of the 13 … He has scored in double figures 13 times this season, including in seven consecutive games and in 12 of the last 13 games … The freshman is also Duke’s leading free throw shooter at .853 (29-of-34) this season.

HURT’S IMPROVEMENT
Making a case for ACC Player of the Year, but also the conference’s Most Improved Player, sophomore Matthew Hurt is the ACC’s second-leading scorer overall (18.1) and third in conference play (17.8). He is also third in field goal percentage (.543), fourth in most made threes per game (2.3) and 15th in rebounding (6.7) … Hurt has shot better than .400 from the field in every game this season and scored 12+ points in 15 of the 16 games … Of all returning ACC players, his points per game improvement of +8.32 from last season (9.74 to 18.06) is third-best in the league … With 108 made field goals this season, Hurt is just two shy of matching his total from his freshman campaign … Three of his four career double-doubles have come this season, including 21 and 13 vs. Michigan State, 17 and 11 vs. Boston College and 20 and 11 at Virginia Tech … He is one of the final 10 candidates for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award.

SENIOR STEPPING UP
Senior Jordan Goldwire leads the ACC in assist/turnover ratio this season (+2.73), while ranking second in steals (2.5) and seventh in assists (3.8). He is eighth nationally in steals per game … When Goldwire leads Duke in assists, the Blue Devils are 5-2 this season and 11-3 in his career … Goldwire has 2+ steals in 15 of 16 games this season and his 15 multi-steal games are tied for second nationally and tied for the most among all power conference players … Only Georgia Tech senior Jose Alvarado (105) and Boston College senior Steffon Mitchell (88) have more steals over the last two seasons than Goldwire’s 87 … His career-high five steals came against Winthrop last year and he has recorded four steals three times this season.

WILLIAMS: 8TH NATIONALLY IN BLOCKS PER 40 MINUTES
Mark Williams, a 7-foot freshman, found a groove in late January, setting a career-high for points in consecutive wins over Georgia Tech (six points) and Clemson (11) … Over Duke’s last three games, his minutes per game have increased each time, and the rookie is coming off an NC State performance that saw him set career highs for points (13), made field goals (five), blocks (five) and minutes (28) … He is ranked seventh nationally with 5.1 blocked shot per 40 minutes — 20 blocks in just 155 minutes. That puts him third among power conference players and second among freshmen … After hitting just six field goals over the season’s first 10 games, Williams has connected on 18-of-31 over the last six contests … He earned the start against North Carolina on Feb. 6 and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds while swatting three shots … Sixteen of his 20 blocks have come over the last five games.

DUKE AWAY FROM CAMERON
In the Coach K era, Duke is 262-150 (.635) in true road games and 275-77 (.781) in neutral site games, for a combined mark of 537-227 (.703) in all games outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium … In ACC regular season play, Duke is 191-125 (.603) away from home under Coach K. The Blue Devils are 135-72 (.654) in ACC road games since the 1996-97 season … In ACC Tournament play, Duke’s .696 winning percentage and 103 wins each lead the conference … Coach K’s 191 ACC road wins are a conference record … Coach K has also won 16 road games against AP top five teams, the most in the history of the AP poll.

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