When Duke faces the Kansas Jayhawks in the Champions Classic in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, the Blue Devils will likely be without three of its talented freshmen.
In his postgame comments following Saturday’s win over Grand Canyon, Mike Krzyzewski indicated that he’s not anticipating having Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, or Harry Giles available for Tuesday’s showdown with Kansas, and that all three players could miss the entire week.
Giles is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered during his senior season of high school and the various setbacks that have occurred during his rehab, while Tatum is healing from a foot sprained suffered a couple weeks ago during Duke’s pro day, and Bolden is sidelined by a lower leg injury.
Instead of having three potential lottery picks in the 2017 NBA Draft in the lineup, Coach K will likely rely on a 6-man rotation that is heavily dependent on its backcourt trio of Grayson Allen, Luke Kennard, and Frank Jackson, who’s been impressive in his first two games as a Blue Devil. It also means there will be added pressure on Amile Jefferson and Chase Jeter to be effective in the paint while staying out of foul trouble.
Duke will have its hands full in facing a Kansas squad that entered the season as the No. 3 team in the country, though the Jayhawks fell in their season opener in a 103-99 overtime loss to Indiana in the Armed Forces Classic in Hawaii.
Tip-off at Madison Square Garden is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.