Duke was a decided favorite at home against Syracuse, even down starting forward Cam Reddish. The Blue Devils started the game against the Syracuse Orange down one starter, Cam Reddish, who was out with flu like symptoms. But a few minutes into the first half they were down two starters. Tre Jones was sidelined with what was later diagnosed as a acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation. Jones was hurt diving for a loose ball in the first half, colliding with Syracuse guard Frank Howard. Jones played 5 minutes in the game amassing 2 points, 2 assists and 4 steals.
The Blue Devils struggled throughout the game to defend without Jones and managed to take the Orange to overtime before succumbing to the strength of the 2-3 zone 95-91. The Blue Devils did get a lift from the bench with sophomore shooting guard Alex O’Connell scoring 16 points (a career high) and junior big man Marques Bolden who chipped in 12 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. Zion Williamson led the Blue Devils in scoring 35 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. The freshman forward also added 4 blocks. Freshman forward R.J. Barrett led the Devils in rebounds pulling down 16 to go along with 23 points, just missing a triple double by 1 assist.
The Orange got 32 points from guard Tyus Battle and 20 from forward Elijah Hughes in the victory.
The Blue Devils will go into Saturdays meeting with UVA as an underdog with the status of Cam Reddish still up in the air and Tre Jones being out for the foreseeable future.