Just when No. 2 Duke's ongoing battle with injuries this season appeared to be almost over, it now will continue a little longer. Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters on Monday that in the aftermath of their 95-62 win over Miami on Saturday, it was determined that freshman wing Wendell Moore Jr. broke a bone in his right hand during the game. He's expected to undergo surgery later Monday and will miss a significant amount of time as he recovers.
"We think everything's going to be good," Krzyzewski said on the weekly ACC teleconference. "But he'll be out for awhile."
Moore played 21 minutes and had six points, four rebounds and two assists in Duke's win over Miami. After the win, Krzyzewski praised Moore for his defense, saying, "Wendell Moore's ball pressure was outstanding."
On the season he's averaging 7.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
Losing Moore comes at a time when Duke was finally enjoying a full roster. Freshman guard Cassius Stanley missed a game earlier this season with a leg injury, and sophomore guard missed several games last month with a foot injury. Jones returned to action last week and his second game since his return, against Miami, came when Moore sustained the injury.
The 6-foot-6 Moore was seeing an increase in playing time in recent weeks, so replacing him won't be easy for Duke. As he battles back from injury, sophomore wing Joey Baker is likely to benefit with more playing time. Baker, a 6-7 wing, is a former top-40 recruit from North Carolina. He played sparingly in his first season last year but has seen a steady role this year, averaging 6.6 points and 1.4 assists per game while playing 15.2 minutes per game. His career-best outing came last month when he scored 22 points in a rout of Wofford.
Duke's stretch without Moore begins Wednesday with a road test against Georgia Tech, which beat North Carolina over the weekend. The Blue Devils enter the game with a 13-1 record and riding a seven-game winning streak.