Although Duke losing to Syracuse on its home court will definitely affect next week’s rankings, the only concern right now for the Blue Devils should be the health of Tre Jones.
Jones went down with a shoulder injury against the Orange, as he collided with Frank Howard early in the first half. The freshman guard was immediately in pain, and from that moment on the entire complexion of the game changed.
Not only did Duke suffer its first conference loss of the season, but the offense sputtered down the stretch without its leader.
More importantly, the Blue Devils struggled mightily on defense when Jones was off the floor. His ability to play lockdown defense on opposing guards really sets the tone for the rest of the lineup.
Duke surrendered 95 points in its overtime loss to Syracuse, which is the highest total allowed this season for Mike Krzyzewski’s squad.
According to college basketball insider Jeff Goodman, Jones suffered an acromioclavicular joint separation and will be sidelined indefinitely.
Duke freshman point guard Tre Jones suffered an acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation Monday night against Syracuse. He will be sidelined “indefinitely." Jones is as important — if not more important — than any player on the Blue Devils.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) January 15, 2019
With Jones out for an extended period of time, the Blue Devils will need to make several adjustments over the next few weeks. Alex O’Connell filled the void on offense with 16 points, but he can’t match the defensive production of the freshman phenom.
The road only gets harder for Duke in the ACC, as an intriguing matchup with No. 4 Virginia is set for this weekend.