Marvin Bagley has missed four straight games for Duke. After last night's win over Louisville, Mike Krzyzewski discussed his star's status.
Bagley leads the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounds. The 6-foot-11 big man is a likely top NBA Draft pick.
Duke is currently second in the ACC and in line for a pretty good seed in the NCAA Tournament. It makes to get Bagley back to as close to 100-percent as possible for the Big Dance if possible.
After Duke's 82-56 win over the Cardinals, Coach K addressed the Bagley-shaped elephant in the room. From ESPN's David M. Hale:
Mike Krzyzewski offers little more insight into a Marvin Bagley return. "It's a day to day thing. Marvin has a problem or else he would play. He's getting better. The thing is, it's not a structural problem. But if we weren't concerned about him having more injury, he'd play. He's not ready. He's getting closer. I don't know when it'll happen. I'm not going to push him."
That doesn't sound like a return is all that close. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if Marvin Bagley was out until March.
And that might not be a bad strategic move for the Blue Devils either. The team has performed quite well with Bagley out.
Duke is 4-0 since the North Carolina game in which Bagley suffered his knee injury. The team has won those games by an average of 17 points per game.
Senior guard Grayson Allen has been the main beneficiary of Bagley's absence. The senior guard is averaging 15.6 points per game on the season, but in the last four, has averaged 23.75. His three-point percentage is also up from 38.5-percent for the year to just under 42-percent.
It has just been a four-game sample size, so I'm not going to go full Bill Simmons with the Ewing Theory on Bagley, but Duke does seem to be hitting stride down the stretch here, though it is not as if the team was struggling with the star big man in the rotation. Assuming Coach K can implement him back into the rotation and keep Allen performing the way it is, Duke may yet live up to its lofty preseason expectations.
Duke wraps up the season with Syracuse, a road trip to Virginia Tech, and then North Carolina at home. The game against the Orange is at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday night.