Just prior to No. 7 Duke’s game against Utah at Madison Square Garden, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced that senior forward Amile Jefferson would be out for a month due to a broken right foot.
Jefferson sat out the Blue Devils’ win over Georgia Southern, and with the timeframe provided by his coach the Philadelphia native won’t be back until mid-to-late January at the earliest. This is a big loss for Duke, as Jefferson has been their most consistent front court player to this point in the season.
Jefferson’s averaging 11.4 points and a team-best 10.3 rebounds per contest for Duke, which entered Saturday’s game with a 9-1 record.
With Jefferson out of the lineup guard Luke Kennard moved into the starting lineup with fellow freshman Brandon Ingram sliding down to the four. Ingram has improved his play in recent games, but he isn’t a particularly physical player. And with freshman Chase Jeter not ready for major minutes, the absence of Jefferson places more pressure upon the shoulders of Ingram and center Marshall Plumlee.