Duke, the preseason favorite, now has a trio of highly-touted freshman on the sidelines due to injuries with only days remaining before the start of the 2016-17 season.
Marques Bolden, who missed Saturday’s exhibition win against Division II Augustana, has suffered a lower-leg injury and will be re-evaluated at the start of next week, the team announced on Monday.
In September, Harry Giles underwent a procedure on his left knee. He tore the ACL and MCL in that knee as a freshman in high school. The 6-foot-10 prospect missed his entire senior year with a torn ACL in his right knee.
As of two weeks ago, a time frame had not been put on his return.
On October 26, Jayson Tatum, another potential top pick, was sidelined the with a foot sprain. The timetable for his return was two weeks, so it’s a possibility he could go against Marist in Friday night’s season opener. However, he’s been out of action since sustaining the injury.
The Blue Devils have a quick turnaround following Friday’s opener. They travel to Madison Square Garden to face No. 3 Kansas in the Champions Classic.
With Giles and Bolden on the shelf, redshirt senior Amile Jefferson and sophomore Chase Jeter will start, with Javier DeLaurier, a four-star power forward from the Class of 2016, as the first big off the bench.
Duke had the type of blend — veteran role players and one-and-done caliber freshmen — that remind many of the team that won the national championship two seasons ago. If healthy, Duke can most certainly replicate those results. But the Blue Devils’ promising season is off to an ominous start with a sudden string of injuries to key pieces.