Duke Basketball: Rims sore after Blue Devils soar in final exhibition game

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

With two impressive wins in exhibition games out of the way, the Duke basketball team can now set its eyes on the regular season, which begins against Kentucky in 10 days.

How does one begin to recap a Duke basketball win that included a 48-point lead at halftime and an eclipse of the 100-point mark before the under-eight-minute timeout in the second half?

One word: Dominance.

The Blue Devils defeated the reigning Division II champion Ferris State Bulldogs,132-48, on Saturday, wrapping up their exhibition play. On Tuesday night, Duke topped Virginia Union, 106-64.

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In terms of scoring for the game, many Blue Devils got involved in the party that often looked like a dunk and three-point contest rolled into one; however, as expected, a freshman led the way. Diaper-dandy shooting guard R.J. Barrett, who finished with a game-high 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting, was sensational from start to finish and from all areas of the court.

Of course, sensational is the best way to describe so many of the Blue Devils’ performances.

And that includes the play of junior center Marques Bolden, who had struggled to find his role on this squad during Duke’s three-game Canada Tour in August and the Blue-White Scrimmage a week ago. But the big man ran the floor well against the Bulldogs and wasn’t shy about getting involved in the action — a great sign for the future.

After again drawing the start — alongside Barrett, freshman power forward Zion Williamson, freshman small forward Cam Reddish, and freshman point guard Tre Jones — Bolden contributed 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, which included 1-of-2 from downtown. He also added five rebounds.

Williamson had 23 points — mostly rim-rocking dunks — as well as 10 rebounds. Reddish contributed 20 points while making a habit out of getting to the foul line (he was 4-of-9 from the field, 2-of-6 from beyond the arc, and 10-of-14 from the charity stripe).

Senior center Antonio Vrankovic gave Duke its fifth double-digit scorer for the afternoon. He had 10 points and three rebounds.

Overall, the Blue Devils made 44 of their 74 shots, 11 of 22 from downtown, and 33 of 48 from the foul line. They had 29 assists — led by Jones with 10 — and they forced Ferris State to commit 24 turnovers and shoot less than 30 percent from the field. Duke also finished with a 61-36 advantage on the glass.

Again, the performance was a dominant display all the way around.

This win marks the end of the exhibition season, meaning up next for the Blue Devils is the real thing. And it starts against Kentucky in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis on Nov. 6.

Next. Top 10 wins of the Coach K era. dark

Stay tuned to Ball Durham all season long for recaps, analysis, and opinions about the Blue Devils. Also, look for player previews starting next week and leading up to the season opener.