Duke drops to No. 3; Curry should play Thursday

lkeeley@newsobserver.comJanuary 15, 2013 

Saturday’s loss at N.C. State cost Duke its top spot in the rankings, but the Blue Devils did avoid losing another key senior for an extended period of time.

Seth Curry suffered a slight left ankle sprain in Saturday’s loss to N.C. State, but he should be ready to go for Duke’s next game, head coach Mike Krzyzewski said on the weekly ACC coaches teleconference. Duke, now ranked No. 3 in the polls (15-1, 2-1 in the ACC), plays Georgia Tech (10-5, 0-3) Thursday at 9 p.m.

“There wasn’t a lot of swelling after the game, and yesterday it looked pretty good,” Krzyzewski said. “He won’t practice today, but unless something else happens, he’ll be available for Thursday.”

N.C. State (14-2), which is 3-0 in ACC play for the first time since 1988-89, moved up from No. 20 to No. 14 in the rankings.

Curry slipped on a wet spot on the floor and crumpled to the ground in pain with three minutes, 14 seconds remaining in Saturday’s game. He did not return, and finished with a team-high 22 points. Curry is Duke’s second-leading scorer, as he averages 16.4 points per game. He’s also made a team-high 36 3-pointers, shooting 42.4 percent from deep.

Curry’s 3-point shooting prowess is even more important to Duke with Ryan Kelly out indefinitely with a foot injury. There is no timetable for Kelly’s return, and Krzyzewski reiterated Monday that it’s a long-term recovery process.

Curry tweaked his left ankle earlier in the year against Ohio State and missed the Dec. 1 Delaware game as a result. He has also been managing a right shin injury that has affected him since the summer and kept him out of several practices a week.

“It causes you to adjust and make adjustments in how you practice, and it does have its negative impact on your continuity, your sharpness on offense, because he’s not there,” Krzyzewski said of managing Curry’s injury. “But overall it’s worked great for us to be in the position we’re in and that Seth is playing. We’re very pleased.”

With Duke’s loss Saturday and Michigan’s loss at Ohio State Sunday, there are no more undefeated teams in college basketball. Duke is ranked No. 3 in the latest AP Poll behind Louisville and Indiana. The Blue Devils still received 14 first-place votes, one more than Indiana. Louisville, which lost to Duke Nov. 24 without its starting center in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, received 36 first-place votes.

Keeley 919-829-4556; Twitter @laurakeeley

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