Brown was forced to sit out the Wolfpack’s loss to the Miami(FL) Hurricanes with an ankle injury he suffered in the game before the loss. If he is unable to play once again, it could turn out to be long night for the Wolfpack as they visit Duke.
The Blue Devils are going to be determined and maybe even the most focused they’ve been all season after losing to North Carolina State 84-76 on Jan. 12. It was the first loss of the season for Duke after beginning the season absolutely dominating the competition.
Brown recorded a double-double in the win with 12 points, 13 assists and four rebounds. He was the only member of the Wolfpack to record an assist in the entire contest after playing 38 minutes.
If he can’t play, it’s likely that freshman Tyler Lewis will get the start after a breakout performance against the Hurricanes. Going head-to-head with one of the best guards in the conference, Shane Larkin, Lewis didn’t look out of place in any of his career-high 36 minutes. The 5-foot-11, 157lbs guard, finished with 16 points and five assists in the defeat.
If Brown is able to go, then fans will be able to see the two best playmakers in the conference go toe-to-toe once again. Quinn Cook, who sits second to Brown in assists in the conference, delivered 17 points, seven assists and three rebounds in the team’s first match-up. You can bet Cook, Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and the rest of the Blue Devils will be hungry to avenge the loss from that first contest.
Brown went through warm-up drills before ultimately deciding not to play against the Hurricanes, which could be an encouraging sign for the Wolfpack. However, coach Mark Gottfried isn’t going to put Brown in the line-up just for the sake of having him on the floor. Gottfried’s focus is having Brown healthy and ready for the end of season tournaments, and a game against Duke is nowhere near comparable to how important the end of the season is.
Given Lewis’ play against the Hurricanes, the coach might think he can afford to give Brown some more time off in order for him to be fully healed.