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Blue Devils enter tough stretch

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Duke will face off against a gauntlet for its next six games. First up, a road trip to No. 3-ranked Virginia this Saturday that will be broadcast on ESPN and serve as the site for College Gameday. After that top-five matchup, the No. 2 Blue Devils go back on the road to take on No. 16 Louisville for their eighth game against a ranked opponent on Tuesday. The next two games will see Duke take on an N.C. State team that was ranked at one point in the season next Saturday. Then, the following Wednesday, the first meeting game against archrival UNC takes place. Following that game, it goes back on the road, looking for a revenge victory over on Feb. 23. To cap it all off, Duke will take on No. 11 Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 26 to finish an insanely difficult month of February.


Duke started slowly against Boston College on Tuesday, going into halftime down 30-28 to one of the lower-tier teams in the ACC. But the Blue Devils, who are tied for first in the ACC with North Carolina and Virginia, flexed their muscles in the second half to ultimately blow the Eagles out of Cameron Indoor Stadium. They did the same against St. John’s on Saturday (well, the blowing out part), crushing the Red Storm 91-61.


After going through a tough stretch where the freshman didn’t score over 10 points for six consecutive games, Reddish seems to have found his groove in the last three outings, averaging 17.7 points per game and going on a free-throw streak of 18 consecutive made the last four contests.


The ACC’s leading scorer, RJ Barrett, crossed over the 500-point mark to move in to the top 10 of freshman scorers all-time at Duke, passing Wendell Carter’s 501 points to get to 505 just 22 games into his college career. Barrett is on pace to fly by Marvin Bagley’s record of 694 points set just last season, depending on how many games Duke gets to play in the postseason.


Barrett and his teammate, Zion Williamson, were both named to the Wooden Award Late Season Watch List, a collection of 20 players from around the sport of college basketball who are candidates for the most prestigious honor in college basketball. The unique talents of Williamson undeniably have the most-watched player in the country poised to become the first freshman Wooden Award winner since Kevin Durant (Texas,2007) and Anthony Davis (Kentucky, 2012)


Duke signed every member of the program’s 21-man 2019 recruiting class in January during the early signing period, just how David Cutcliffe and staff like it. The class finished at No. 46 in the country, with an average star rating of 85.38. It finished eighth in the ACC, right in the middle of a crowded recruiting cycle for the league. The coaching staff focused heavily on the state of North Carolina, adding six players from inside state boundaries, including the top two ranked commitments in cornerback Tony Davis (Gastonia Hunter Hass) and Jacob Monk (Corinth Holders).


Luca Diamont announced his commitment to Duke just over two weeks after he received an offer from ‘one of his dream schools’ in late January. The Venice, California native and son of Bold and the Beautiful actor Don Diamont, is a competitive signal caller who is looking forward to being coached by David Cutcliffe and follow in the footsteps of Daniel Jones, who is off to the NFL after three years as Duke’s starter. He’ll have to fight off Chris Katrenick and Gunnar Holmberg for the starting quarterback role, and potentially another quarterback added in the 2020 class.

Adam Rowe covers Duke basketball, football and recruiting for 247Sports.com. Check out more of his work at duke.247sports.com.