Previewing Duke v. Wake Forest

Wake Forest won the most recent game between the two programs, but will that matter on Wednesday?

Duke had an eight-game win streak over Wake Forest snapped late last season, though it's debatable whether that will mean much when these teams meet next.

The second-ranked Blue Devils appear to be significantly better with a starting lineup featuring three star freshmen who will encounter their first conference road game Wednesday night against a Demon Deacons team enduring its worst ACC start in four seasons.

Duke (13-0, 1-0) seeks a seventh 14-0 start under Mike Krzyzewski and looks vastly improved from last season's team that finished third in the conference and lost stars Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood early to the NBA. Jahlil Okafor leads the ACC in scoring (19.5 points per game) and the nation in field-goal percentage (68.2) as he joins fellow freshmen Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones in a star-studded lineup. Krzyzewski, four wins shy of 1,000 overall, still believes his team has lessons to learn through ACC play.

"This is a really good, outstanding young team that has a chance to become a really good team," the coach said. "It's won obviously its first 13 games but it's young and doesn't have the habits that a veteran team would have.

"Most people don't see that because they see us winning but we see it and I know our opponents see it. We're definitely a ways away from being an outstanding team."

Duke's dominance over Wake Forest (8-7, 0-2) ended with an 82-72 defeat March 5. Codi Miller-McIntyre had 13 points and eight assists for the Demon Deacons who prevailed despite a four-point, four foul effort from Devin Thomas.

Slowing down Thomas could be difficult after the junior forward scored a career-high 31 points in Sunday's 85-76 defeat to No. 5 Louisville.

"Again they beat us there at the end of last year, and so they played, Codi Miller-McIntyre and Thomas, both played great games against us," Krzyzewski said. "They provide the foundation for their good young group of players."

Duke will start just one player who started the last meeting -- junior Amile Jefferson. Quinn Cook is now the starting point guard after he was a reserve at the end of last season.

Cook has made 34 3-pointers to lead the Blue Devils while freshman Mitchell Wilbekin is Wake's top 3-point shooter at 45.1 percent. Wilbekin has started the last nine games and scored 14 points Sunday.

"Mitch has been put in a situation where we're depending on him to make shots, we're depending on him to be a really good solid defender, we're depending on him to be a leader out there with the ball in his hands," coach Danny Manning said.

The Demon Deacons are 0-2 in ACC play for the first time since beginning 0-5 in 2010-11.

Okafor scored a season-high 28 points in Saturday's 85-62 rout of Boston College, and grabbed eight rebounds for the fourth straight contest. The 57.3 percent foul shooter made 14 of 17 at the line.

He's a big reason why Duke is among the nation's best at 52.4 percent from the field. Wake has been bad defensively, allowing foes to shoot 43.7 percent and average 67.7 points.

The Demon Deacons became the first team to shoot over 50 percent against the Cardinals, finishing at 52.8.

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