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Bob Sutton | Times News | January 8, 2019

Duke basketball: Blue Devils take first road assignment

Zion Williamson headlines the hoops show at Duke

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Duke is intent on playing better and Tuesday night will be something new for the top-ranked Blue Devils.

A true road game.

Duke takes this test at struggling Wake Forest.

"Coach K always says we're good, but we could be better," freshman forward Zion Williamson said.

Duke carries a seven-game winning streak into the game.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said the Blue Devils have gained a vast amount of experience in going through the first 13 games of the schedule. He said that should prepare the team for what's ahead, including road games.

MORE: 'He's not like anybody:' Duke's Zion Williamson is one-of-a-kind

"There's always work to do just getting experience," Krzyzewski said Monday. "The main thing is to keep getting experience."

The Blue Devils have had five neutral-court games.

Despite more than two weeks between games, Duke looked mostly sharp in Saturday night's Atlantic Coast Conference opener against Clemson.

MORE: These are the can't-miss college basketball games in January

Freshman point guard Tre Jones provided a season-best nine assists, marking his fourth game with seven or more assists without a turnover.

Duke churned out the 87-68 victory despite combined 6-for-22 shooting from freshmen RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish.

Will RJ Barrett be one of Duke's next stars?

Meanwhile, junior forward Javin DeLaurier had made his last 16 attempts from the field across parts of six games. That's four short of the ACC record for consecutive field goals set by Duke's Alaa Abdelnaby in the 1988-89 season.

Wake Forest hasn't been nearly as efficient, losing three of their last four games. One of those came to No. 3 Tennessee, the only ranked team it has faced this season.

MORE: These are 7 of the best college basketball players we've seen this season

Duke's team has provided countless highlights this season. But for Wake Forest coach Danny Manning, he sees a well-drilled unit that does much more than string together head-turning plays.

"Anyone who has watched them, there's a lot of balance with that team," Manning said.

Manning said the Demon Deacons had some good sequences in the Georgia Tech game. He's making a pitch for reducing turnovers.

"We have to do a better job of handling the basketball," he said.

RANKINGS: AP Top 25 USA Today coaches poll

This will be the 250th meeting between the teams. That's the most for Duke for any opponent.

Tip-off

Who: No. 1 Duke (12-1, 1-0) at Wake Forest (7-6, 0-1)

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN)

Where: Joel Coliseum, Winston-Salem

Series: Duke leads 171-78, including eight victories in a row 

This article is written by Bob Sutton from Times-News, Burlington, N.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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