After going nearly twenty months without knocking down a three-pointer, Andre Dawkins hit five of them, and Duke rolled to a 97-64 victory at home against Florida Atlantic.
It was a strong performance for a Blue Devil team that was not only looking to bounce back from a loss to Kansas on Tuesday, but to keep the spirits high after receiving commitments from top-prospects Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor just a couple hours prior. The trio of Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker, and Dawkins made sure that happened.
Hood, who was a ghost in their loss to Kansas, shot 8-11 from the field and 12-13 from the free-throw line to finish with 28 points. Parker, meanwhile, turned in his third-straight 20+ scoring game to start his career, the first freshman to ever do that under Mike Krzyzewski. Dawkins finished with 17.
Duke came racing out of the gates, taking a 21-5 lead at the 13:19 mark on Dawkins’ first three-pointer since March 16, 2012. After a brief run from the Owls, Hood would take over and score 13 points in the final nine minutes of the half, carrying Duke to a 52-29 halftime lead.
The second half would consist primarily of the teams trading blows, with the Owls never managing to make the slightest of dents into Duke’s oft-30+ lead.
Leading the way for FAU was senior guard Pablo Bertone–who finished with 17 points and 3 rebounds–and Justin Raffington, who had 14 points, 8 rebounds and a steal.
To the bullet points:
- Parker finished with ten points to give him the first double-double of his Duke career. He is the first Blue Devil to reach double-digits in rebounding this year, and that should come as no suprise: this team is miserable at rebounding. While they managed to outrebound FAU, 41-38, it was a thoroughly uninspiring performance against a team that starts a four-guard lineup. Of all the Owl players that were on the court for at least thirteen minutes, only two were 6’9″ or taller. Nearly every player found a way to successfully rebound against the Blue Devils, and it has become apparent that rebounding, once again, is going to be a major problem for this team.
- Injury had held Dawkins back during his comeback tour, but he looked like the Dawkins of old tonight. The jump shot was smooth, the confidence was evident, and the redshirt-senior finished 6-9 from the field and 5-8 from beyond the arc. He also tacked on 3 rebounds and 2 assists. His return also saw the decline in the role of Tyler Thornton, who received a cut in minutes for the second straight game (Davidson – 28, Kansas – 20, FAU – 17). Just when you thought we were starting to get a hang of what the rotation was going to look like…
- Semi Ojeleye received seven minutes of playing time and looked, for the most part, pretty darn decent. The freshman scored 2 points (1-1 FG) and added a rebound and a block. I am a big fan of his, so the first points of his Blue Devil career in pretty deserving of its own bullet point.
- For the third straight game, Josh Hairston had more personal fouls (3) than points (2). Yes, I will be keeping an eye on this moving forward.
- The Blue Devils picked up seven fouls in the first ten minutes, bringing about groans from all of us, but they settled down and only committed thirteen more the rest of the way. The new rules have left everyone a bit vulnerable, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see a charge called again.
- Cook continues to struggle to adapt to Duke’s new style of play, but he did manage 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. If Duke is going to be a legitimate contender this year, he needs to get it figured out.
Duke (2-1) returns to action on Monday, November 18th, when they host UNC-Asheville (1-2). FAU (1-2) has a quick turnaround, as they’ll travel to Boston College (0-3) for a game on Sunday, November 17th.