Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood score 22 points each in their Blue Devil debut, lifting #4 Duke (1-0) to a 111-77 thrashing of the Davidson Wildcats (0-1).
Nov 8, 2013; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Alex Murphy (12) talks to forward Amile Jefferson (21) and forward Semi Ojeleye (20) during a break in the second half against the Davidson Wildcats at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke won 111-77. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
There is always a bit of nerves heading into a season opener.
As confident as most feel about the Duke Blue Devils and the wonderful product they put on the court year in and year out, there always seems to be this slight feeling of uncertainty that comes with every new season. Could this be one of those dreaded off-years every big program seems to have from time to time? Could the big group of talent on the roster have a problem clicking?
All it takes is a couple brilliant performances early on to put that worry to rest, and Duke certainly got out to a good start, shooting the living hell out of the ball and cruising to a 111-77 victory against Davidson in their season opener.
Everything went exactly according to the blueprint. Jabari Parker knocked down a few three-pointers. Jabari Parker knocked down a turnaround jumper in the paint. Jabari Parker slammed home an alley-oop from Quinn Cook. Jabari Parker had a block. Jabari Parker got to the line and knocked down three of four free throws. Rodney Hood (9-10, 22 points, 9 rebounds) was pretty darn good, too.
Oh, and Quinn Cook, who had been struggling to adjust to a new role, finished with 21 points and 8 assists in a solid outing.
Rasheed Sulaimon (20 points, 7 rebounds) and Matt Jones (5 points, 3 steals, assist) also turned in strong performances for the Blue Devils.
Overall, we got mostly everything we wanted to see from Duke in the opener, as Mike Krzyzewski’s squad shot 70.4% (38-54) from the field and 61.9% (13-21) from beyond the arc in a total dismantling of the Davidson Wildcats. The team still needs a bit of work on the defensive end and rebounding may still be a problem, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the win.
As always, let’s head to the bullet points:
- The most peculiar stat to come from the game was Amile ∞ Jefferson pulling in zero rebounds in eleven minutes. Jefferson suffered from early foul trouble and ultimately gave way to a combination of Alex Murphy, Marshall Plumlee, Semi Ojeleye and Josh Hairston in the second half, leading to his low minute total. He still managed to put in an impressive eleven minutes despite the low rebound total, as the sophomore played impressive defense and tallied 10 points and a steal.
- Andre Dawkins, in his first official game back in uniform, played just two minutes and didn’t record as much as a mark in the stat sheet. The welcome back party has died down pretty quickly, as Dawkins hasn’t made much of an impact in the two exhibition games and one regular season game. Regardless, the crowd exploded when Dawkins made his first appearance, and he has plenty of time to get back on track.
- Newly-named captain Josh Hairston played ten minutes, scoring two points and committing four fouls in the process. Interpret this however you like.
- Matt Jones continues to demand more minutes. The freshman guard played resilient defense during his 17 minutes of playing time, finishing with three steals and all the attention in the world from the Cameron Crazies. Coach K praised Jones’ defense before, and we are starting to get a first-hand look at what exactly he was talking about. I’m impressed.
- De’Mon Brooks turned in arguably the strongest performance of the game, as the Davidson forward finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. The Blue Devils didn’t have much of an answer for Brooks, as they rotated numerous guys around to guard the 6’7″, 230 lb Wildcat. Duke struggled against strong, talented big men all last season, and Brooks’ effort today was discouraging, if anything, for Duke moving forward.
- Duke is now off for four days, as they’ll play Kansas on November 12th at 9:30pm (ET) in Chicago, Illinois.