In Duke’s 82-78 loss to North Carolina back on February 8th, freshman phenom Marvin Bagley suffered a mild knee sprain in the first half. He has since missed Duke’s last four games and his status for Saturday remains unclear.
“As far as Marvin’s status, I’m not sure. It’s not day-to-day but in some respects it is. He’s improving,” Mike Krzyzewski said on Monday’s ACC teleconference. “He’s getting better and we’re going to make sure he’s completely good before we get into March. That may mean he plays.”
Of course, Bagley is widely considered to be a top-5 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. Given his profile as an elite NBA prospect, the Duke coaching staff will ensure he’s good to go before pushing the envelope. So how is his status determined and how does the decision to play or not to play Bagley get made?
“We wait until game day when we have our shoot-around and then we know where he’s at at that time and that’s what we’ll continue to do. And we’ll be very forthright in what we’re doing, we’re not trying to hide anything,” Krzyzewski finished.
Net net, don’t expect any color on Bagley’s opaque situation until game day — this will be a game time decision. After Duke’s win over Louisville last night, Coach K offered further commentary.
“It’s a day-to-day thing, Marvin has a problem, or else he would play. He’s getting better. The thing is, it’s not a structural problem. But if we weren’t concerned about him having more injury, he’d play. He’s not ready. He’s getting closer. I don’t know when it’ll happen. I’m not going to push him.”
Bagley is leading the ACC in points (21.2) and rebounds per game (11.4). Duke is 4-0 without Bagley in the lineup, winning at Georgia Tech, against Virginia Tech, at Clemson and against Louisville last night.
Saturday’s contest will tip at 6:00 pm EST from Cameron. The game will air on ESPN.