Duke forward, Ryan Kelly has been out with a foot injury since Jan. 5. He has missed 11 games for the Blue Devils due to his injury and his return was unknown until today. Today, Kelly came out and said that senior night, March 5 against Virginia Tech would be a good target for his return.
Every single Duke fan and person in the organization is ecstatic to hear this information. Duke is a completely different team and a worse team without Kelly. They had no idea when he was going to come back and if he would even come back and they have to breath a sigh of relief now.
The only question now for the Blue Devil’s is if Kelly will in fact be back for his target. Kelly just began walking and putting pressure on his foot again about a week and a half ago and is still yet to return to practice.
With Kelly on the court, Duke was dominating every opponent it played. The Blue Devils are a perfect 15-0 in all 15 games Kelly has played and that includes three wins over top five teams.
Without Kelly, the Blue Devils have been a smaller team, that relies a lot more on the three-point shot. With Kelly in the line-up it adds a really good outside shooter, but is also opens up the lane for Mason Plumlee and the Duke guards.
In the 11 games Duke has played without their senior forward, they are 8-3. Not bad, but not great for a team that was 15-0 against one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation. Also they have played a lot of close games against teams they should easily beat and the ACC is having a bit of a down year this year.
If Kelly returns for senior night, that means he would also play in the season finale at North Carolina. A nice game to get him ready for postseason play because the Blue Devils are going to need him or another Lehigh will emerge.