On Friday, November 9th, the Duke Blue Devils open their season against the Georgia State Panthers, a team coming off a 22-12 season that saw them advance to the second round of the CIT Tournament before narrowly losing to Mercer, 64-59. It will be an interesting test for a Duke team making so many adjustments early on in the season, with G Andre Dawkins red-shirting this season and G Seth Curry struggling to return from a shin injury.
With that said, which Georgia State players will present the toughest test for Duke?
Georgia State’s leading scorer from a year ago, White is coming off a season that saw him average 12.9 PPG, 2.9 APG, and 1.8 SPG. White struggled with injuries throughout his freshman season before blossoming into a solid point guard his sophomore season, increasing his output in every category.
White will be going up against Duke’s own rising prospect at point guard: Quinn Cook. This will likely be the most exciting match-up of the game, as both men are capable of scoring from all over the court. If White continues to progress as he did last year, he will Duke’s biggest headache throughout the contest.
Richardson is the team’s returning leader in 3-point percentage and will see a big increase in minutes after being promoted to a starting role this season. He can score points in a hurry when he gets into a rhythm, and it will be up to freshman Rasheed Sulaimon to stop him from having a large role in the game.
On paper, Duke owns a huge advantage in this game. While Georgia State has a little bit of size in 6’10 James Vincent and 6’9 Curtis Washington, neither has any experience as a starter and neither present much of a threat to a front-court made up of Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, Josh Hairston, Alex Murphy, and high-energy freshman Amile Jefferson. As long as Cook and Sulaimon prevent White and Richardson from having any sort of significant impact on the game, Duke should be fine.
We’ll be providing coverage for the season opener along with a season preview throughout the week here at Ball Durham, so make sure to check back throughout the week.