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Feb 11, 2024 7:31 pm

Duke, Wake Forest a battle of balanced offenses

duke filipowski

No. 9 Duke will attempt to use a quick turnaround as a tune-up for the NCAA Tournament when it faces Wake Forest on Monday night in Durham, N.C.

The Blue Devils (18-5, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) have had just one day to rest after beating Boston College 80-65 on Saturday afternoon, but Duke center Kyle Filipowski believes the hectic schedule will only pay off in the long run.

“Now we’re getting ready for the next game, on to the next game, just because of that type of position we’re in,” Filipowski said. “It’ll be good for us, in that mindset, to kind of be in that position for when it matters most in March.”

Filipowski finished with 16 points against the Eagles, while Mark Mitchell paced the Blue Devils with 17 points and seven rebounds. Jeremy Roach also had 16 points, and Jared McCain recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.

Wake Forest guard Hunter Sallis has played against Mitchell since the two were teenagers.

Sallis averages a team-high 18.5 points per game, and while Mitchell has grown to respect Sallis’ rise to stardom, his main focus is containing him on Monday.

“I’ve been playing against Hunter Sallis since I was about 16 years old, him being from Omaha, me being from Kansas City,” Mitchell said. “I’ve known about him before he was a top-ranked recruit or anything, so seeing him play the way he is, coming from Gonzaga, really I’m happy for him.

“Having someone from the Midwest be able to revive their career and be one of the best players in the country is good to see. But I’m going to lock in on the scouting (report) and see what we have the next few days.”

Wake Forest (16-7, 8-4) got a career-high 33 points from Sallis in its most recent outing, an 83-79 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday.

Andrew Carr chipped in with 15 points and Cameron Hildreth and Kevin Miller each supplied 10 as the Demon Deacons pushed their winning streak to three games.

“The biggest thing I wanted coming out of this game was a win,” Sallis said. “I’m happy my team pulled it through for sure.”

Along with Sallis, Miller (16.3 points per game), Hildreth (14.3) and Carr (14.1) have scoring averages in double figures.

“We have a lot of balance on our team, and we proved that (Saturday),” Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said. “It was still a close game but it’s more of what we would want on our terms.”

The Blue Devils also boast a four-pronged attack, with Filipowski averaging team highs in points (17.2) and rebounds (8.2) per game. Roach is averaging 14.0 points, while Mitchell and McCain are averaging 12.7 apiece.

Tyrese Proctor is posting 10.6 points per contest for Duke.

The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 180-80, beating the Demon Deacons 75-73 on Jan. 31, 2023, in the most recent meeting between the teams.

–Field Level Media

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