Duke figures to be without the services of one of its best players when it squares off against Louisville Saturday afternoon inside the KFC Yum Center.
According to ESPN's Paul Biancardi, Amile Jefferson will miss his second straight game after suffering a foot bruise in the first half of the Blue Devils' win over Boston College last Saturday. The bruise is on Jefferson's right foot, the same one he broke just 10 games into last season, forcing him to sit out the rest of 2015-16.
Jefferson's value to Duke can't be overstated. He averages a double-double at 13.6 ppg and 10.1 rpg, and is the team's leading rebounder, most knowledgeable defender, and unquestioned leader. His presence on the court would be welcome especially at this point in the season where Duke is dealing with more distractions than it could have ever imagined three months ago.
Without Jefferson, Duke was beaten up on the inside and lost to Florida State by 16 points Tuesday night.
Jefferson also holds the distinction of being the only player from the 2013 Louisville-Duke Elite 8 game still playing college basketball. He saw the court for five minutes in that game, but did not record a statistic. Mangok Mathiang was a member of Louisville's team at that time, but he was redshirting.