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Duke Star Jahlil Okafor Could Play Against Virginia Tech
Fourth-ranked Duke probably doesn't need star freshman Jahlil Okafor to win at Virginia Tech, one of the ACC's worst teams, on Wednesday night but there's a decent shot the likely future No. 1 overall draft pick will return from a sprained ankle. Duke is a 16.5-point favorite on Sportsbook.ag.
Does Duke Even Need Him?
Okafor injured his ankle late in the first half of Duke's overtime win against rival North Carolina last week, but he played the entire second half and overtime. He was held out of Duke's victory over Clemson on Saturday and watched from the bench in a sport coat and the boot. Duke coach Mike Krzyzweski said Monday he is hopeful Okafor will be able to return to the lineup Wednesday against Virginia Tech.
"He's showing progress as far as coming off his injury," Krzyzweski said.
The 6-foot-11, 270-pound Okafor leads the No. 4 Blue Devils in scoring (17.9 points per game), field goal percentage (66.1), rebounding (9.4 rebounds per game) and blocks (1.5 blocks per game).
Duke posted a 78-56 win over Clemson Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium as four Blue Devils scored in double figures. Quinn Cook matched a career-high with 27 points to go along with four rebounds, four assists and a steal. Cook was 11-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-7 from three-point range. Justise Winslow recorded a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while also collecting a season-high four steals. He was 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from the foul line in the win. Tyus Jones delivered 11 points, nine assists and four steals, while Grayson Allen had his second career double figure scoring game with 10 points. Duke shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the field, marking the 13th time it has shot 50 percent or better from the field in a game.
Duke leads the ACC in scoring at 80.6 points per game. The Blue Devils are looking to pace the conference in scoring in back-to-back years for the first time since finishing atop the league scoring charts from 1997-2003. The Blue Devils are 11-2 away from Cameron Indoor Stadium this season and ranks first in the NCAA in road/neutral site RPI. The Blue Devils have wins at No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 2 Virginia and No. 6 Louisville as well as a neutral site win over No. 19 Michigan State.
Hokies Not Good Team
The Hokies (10-17, 2-12) lost to NC State on Saturday night, 69-53. Justin Bibbs came off the bench to lead all scorers with 19 points and Adam Smith added 15 points for Tech. Christian Beyer started for the Hokies and had eight points, a team-best seven rebounds and led Tech with a career-high three assists. Virginia Tech will miss the NCAA Tournament for an eighth straight season.
This will be the 52nd meeting between the two schools, in a series that dates back to 1912. The Blue Devils lead the all-time series, 43-8. Tech has lost the last seven games in the series, most recently a 66-48 loss in Cameron Indoor Stadium exactly one year ago. Virginia Tech is 6-10 against Duke in home games, and 2-5 in games in Cassell Coliseum.
Key betting trends: Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record. Blue Devils are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Wednesday games. Blue Devils are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win. Hokies are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games. Hokies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Hokies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast.
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