On Tuesday night, after a win over Georgia Southern, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski elaborated on the injury that starting power forward Amile Jefferson suffered earlier this week.
Jefferson, whose foot was in a hard cast during the game, fractured a bone while diving for a loose ball in practice. The injury does not require surgery and the cast will come off on Dec. 26th, but there is no definitive timetable regarding how long Jefferson will be out of commission.
The concern for Duke is that they’ve suddenly become a team with no depth. With Jefferson in the lineup, they really only went seven-deep. Now Coach K is forced to play Chase Jeter major minutes. Jeter was a highly-touted recruit, but he’s also an 18-year old freshman that Coach K didn’t think was ready to be in the rotation.
Here’s the other part of it that it’s concerning: Duke no longer has any lineup versatility. I guess in theory they can play Jeter alongside Marshall Plumlee, but that eliminates much of what the Blue Devils want to do defensively. The defense that Coach K runs is an extended, half-court man-to-man where they switch all exchanges 1-through-4. Jefferson was mobile enough at the four that he could be switched onto any guard Duke would face. Jeter’s not.