Duke Now

Duke’s top two reserves could miss Wednesday’s game against Pitt

Duke's Marques Bolden watches warmups before N.C. State's game against Duke at PNC Arena in Raleigh Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.
Duke's Marques Bolden watches warmups before N.C. State's game against Duke at PNC Arena in Raleigh Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. ehyman@newsobserver.com

Duke will likely be without its top two bench players on Wednesday against Pittsburgh, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said on Monday.

Marques Bolden, a 6-11, 246-pound sophomore center, and Javin DeLaurier, a 6-10, 231-pound sophomore forward, are nursing injuries. No. 7 Duke (13-2, 1-2 ACC) plays at Pittsburgh (8-8, 0-3 ACC) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Bolden missed Saturday’s game against N.C. State (11-5, 1-2 ACC) with an Grade 1 MCL sprain. Duke lost to N.C. State 96-85. He suffered the injury at a recent practice when sophomore forward Jack White (6-7, 226 pounds) fell into his knee.

Krzyzewski said Bolden will also likely miss Duke’s game against Wake Forest on Jan. 13.

DeLaurier, who is doubtful for Wednesday’s game, has been battling a hamstring injury most of this season. It caused him to miss Duke’s game against Evansville on Dec. 20.

Bench production has been one of the weak spots for Duke this season. Krzyzewski has primarily used an eight- or nine-man rotation, with DeLaurier, Bolden, freshman guard Alex O’Connell (6-6, 171 pounds) and sometimes freshman point guard Jordan Goldwire (6-2, 172 pounds) coming off the bench.

In Duke’s loss to N.C. State, without Bolden, the bench players scored a combined four points. All four points came from DeLaurier.

“Antonio (Vrankovic) has to be ready,” Krzyzweski said when asked who on the bench he’d lean on to replace Bolden and DeLaurier. He also said sophomore forwards Justin Robinson (6-9, 198 pounds) and White will likely get playing time.

“Even though he’s 6-foot-6, he’s 225 (pounds),” Krzyzewski said of White. “They have to get the reps in practice to be ready.”

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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