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DeMarcus Nelson Doubtful, Plus Other Items Of Interest

-- Once you get past Roy Williams's boo-hooing about the injustices of conference scheduling, there is this blurb regarding DeMarcus Nelson:

Duke forward DeMarcus Nelson is doubtful for Wednesday's game with N.C. State because of a bruised right ankle. He missed nine games after fracturing the same ankle in a Nov. 23 victory against Drexel. He suffered the bruise last week against Maryland in his second game back, and did not play Saturday at Clemson.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Nelson is getting better but is still unlikely to play against the Wolfpack.

By now, Duke is used to a short bench (seems like they've had one for the last 3-4 years) and to being without Nelson, so this doesn't improve NC State's chances very much. I hope that Nelson is eventually able to put all of these injuries behind him.

-- If you have a subscription to Sports Illustrated, you can read this article on quality big men who are flying under the radar. The piece leads off with Cedric Simmons:

North Carolina State center Cedric Simmons had such a negligible impact on the ACC last year that when Duke forward Shelden Williams was recently asked about Simmons, he responded, "Who's that?" Here's a quick primer for the No. 1 Dukies, who were scheduled to play the 6'9", 233-pound Simmons and the No. 14 Wolfpack on Wednesday: Simmons, who averaged just 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds last year as a freshman, was leading his team in scoring (12.2), rebounding (6.9) and blocked shots (2.94) at week's end.

-- Yoni Cohen writes about Wake Forest's early struggles in conference play, and offers some suggestions for improving their performance. Wake's defense is allowing about as many points/possession as it did last season, but its offense has dipped from an OFF EFF of 120.8 to 107.9.

Cohen also projects the NCAA tournament field and puts the Wolfpack into the tourney as a #5 seed against--eew!--Nebraska. Also, it's kinda funny to see UConn in NC State's region again. Is there some sort of contractual obligation we don't know about?

-- Head over to Ken Pomeroy's blog for some pointers about O Rtg and usage. In that post, Ken reveals the mystery guest who is leading the nation in %Poss--a guy I've been unsuccessfully hunting for since the individual stats were released.