In the first official contest for the Blue Devils, Duke cruises past Marist 94-49 to start the season 1-0. The Blue Devils (1-0) would come out on an 11-0 run and would not let up from that point. Marist (0-1) fought a tough game, but the rotation of Duke players would be too deep to handle. Five players scored in double digits for Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team, with freshman guard Frank Jackson leading the scoring efforts with 18 points. The quick lead allowed for a lot of younger guys to see valuable minutes in the second half. Coach Mike Kryzewski stated that “I think our bench did a really good job. It was great minutes for Antonio [Vrankovic] and Javin [DeLaurier] in the second half.” Duke got to the line tonight 37 times and converted 26 of their attempts to be 70.3 percent on the night.
Luke Kennard finished with 16 points and nine rebounds in his performance tonight. Looking stronger and quicker, it is no secret that Kennard has worked on being more aggressive. Kennard mentioned that “throughout the offseason, I got a lot stronger and quicker.” The sophomore guard continued “I think that just plays a role in my aggressiveness and my driving to the basket and battling down low for a bit on the offense and defensive ends.”
The person who arguably had one of the best games of his career was sophomore forward Chase Jeter. Jet
Speaking of size, the size of the Blue Devils really rendered Marist hopeless when it came to trying to get points in the paint. Duke had seven blocks on the night and forced the visitors to take 25 three point attempts, only hitting three of which. Duke’s zone play has been outstanding in the past few seasons, but if tonight is a foreshadow for this season, there will not be many teams scoring against the zone. Jefferson spoke on the tough zone, saying that “I think we are just really active, really big. I think in any defense, if you play that active and you are that big and move that well, it will work out pretty good.
Duke moves forward to focus on Grand Canyon on a quick turnaround as it will be the second game that Duke will play in that amount of days. Coach K rushed through his press conference, mentioning that “we gotta get ready to play against a team that won 27 games last year.” I would expect the Blue Devils to roll in their contest on Saturday
(Photos courtesy of Keenan Hairston)