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Louisville star David Johnson expected back for Duke game

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The Coach K killer will try to do it again Saturday night.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Louisville Courier Journal-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville head coach Chris Mack said during his Friday press conference that he expects sophomore guard David Johnson to be available for the team’s Saturday night road game against red-hot Duke.

Johnson missed U of L’s 69-57 win over Notre Dame on Tuesday because of a non-Covid-related illness.

“He is back,” Mack said of Johnson’s status. “He practiced yesterday and he’s feeling much better. We expect him to be ready to go tomorrow night.”

Getting Johnson back would be huge under any circumstances, but it’s especially noteworthy given Louisville’s next opponent.

Johnson has been spectacular in each of his previous appearances against Duke. His first breakout performance as a freshman came at Cameron Indoor Stadium when he went 8-of-12 from the floor and scored 19 points to go along with seven assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks in a 79-73 Cardinal victory.

When the two teams squared off last month at the KFC Yum Center, Johnson finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals, and it was his second half defense on Blue Devil star Matthew Hurt that allowed U of L to notch another win over Coach K.

Here’s hoping Johnson’s third (and potentially final?) appearance against the biggest brand in college basketball winds up being just as fruitful as the previous two.