December 30, 2014

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski scheduled two unheralded opponents this week to get his club ready for ACC play.

The second-ranked Blue Devils were tested by the first one, though that might not happen again despite facing a team that has already beaten one of Duke's Tobacco Road rivals.

Wofford has lost all 20 games to ranked foes as a Division I program and has the daunting task of going on the road Wednesday to try to end the Blue Devils' perfect start.

Duke (11-0) is off to another strong start after beginning 15-0 two seasons ago, and enters this contest with the nation's longest non-conference home win streak at 115 games. The Blue Devils are gearing up for Saturday's ACC opener against Boston College.

Krzyzewski starts three freshmen, though Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow are three of Duke's top four scorers. The coach wanted to use this week to have those youngsters play against some experienced players.

The Blue Devils were tested Monday by a Toledo team that started three seniors. Duke led by four at halftime before pulling away for an 86-69 victory.

Next up is Wofford (9-3), which has two seniors and two juniors in its starting five.

"We felt these two games, against Toledo and Wofford, would help us," said Krzyzewski, who is six wins shy of 1,000 overall. "Wofford is very good and very well coached, too."

Okafor took advantage of man-to-man defense as he scored a season-high 27 for Duke, which worked through a tricky contest against a team it expects to reach the NCAA tournament.

"They were like a first-round team in the (NCAA) tournament that you could face, and that was great experience, especially for our young guys," junior forward Amile Jefferson said. "And then this next game, this Wofford game, will also be great because it's like a tournament-style atmosphere. We get one day off and then we play the next day."

The Terriers are returning to the area where they stunned North Carolina State 55-54 on Dec. 14, on Justin Gordon's contested layup with 1.9 seconds left. Wofford returned nearly its entire team from last season's Southern Conference championship club that lost to Michigan in the NCAAs.

Still, Wofford may not be ready for this caliber of competition after its four-game winning streak was snapped with a 77-44 loss at then-No. 18 West Virginia on Dec. 22. The Terriers were held to season lows in points, assists (seven) and shooting percentage (26.8).

"It was not our night, but I did think we did some things very well," coach Mike Young told Wofford's official website. "We ran some plays and created a good amount of open looks, but we just couldn't get in the basket."

Wofford finished with a season-worst 21 turnovers after averaging 9.0 during its win streak.

The Terriers have three players shooting 44.4 percent or better on 3-pointers, though top scorer Karl Cochran (36.5) is not among them. He averages 13.3 points.

Duke is 5-0 against Wofford, winning 36-28 in the last meeting Jan. 6, 1936.

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