DURHAM, N.C. – In the run-up to Duke's showdown with Virginia on Saturday, Mike Krzyzewski was open enough to raise hopes that the point-keeper could play Tre Jones. Afterwards, the coach of the Blue Devils admitted that Jones – with a separate shoulder – was not close.
"He did not want to play," Krzyzewski said after Virginia's 72-70 win on Saturday. "We've made that decision [Friday] and he just does not have enough movement."
Jones had chased a loose ball against Syracuse on Monday and initially feared a broken bone. Instead, X-rays showed a disconnected AC joint, which Duke hoped would not stop the Freshman Point Guard for a long time.
Against Virginia, Jones sat in sweatpants and a white duke polo shirt on the bench. Standing and cheering was most of the time in the second half, but noticeably absent on the pitch where the Blue Devils had only six assists in 26 shots (versus 53 percent with Jones on the ground) and had to make significant adjustments in defense
The victory was a blessing for the Blue Devils, who had come out against Syracuse without Jones just a few days earlier in the second half.
"Our plan was to come out here and play hard, move the ball, and this game was for Tre," Zion Williamson later said. "Tre was our leader, he was outside, you know we did everything for Tre."
Whether this momentum changes for Duke's road trip to Pitt on Tuesday remains an open question, and Krzyzewski said he is in no hurry to offer an update.
"I can not tell you when [he’ll be ready]," said Krzyzewski. "I will not say that he will be ready for Pittsburgh, and every day we will see him progressing without setting a timetable for him, so there is no pressure for him to enforce anything, we do not want that this happens. "