Duke basketball star reintroduces himself to college basketball world

Duke basketball center Mark Williams (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball center Mark Williams (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

A Duke basketball star reintroduced himself to the college basketball world on Tuesday night. 

The Duke basketball program would like to welcome sophomore center Mark Williams to the 2021-22 season.

Williams finally made his presence known on Tuesday night in Duke’s (4-0) 92-52 victory over Gardner-Webb (0-3) after three lackluster games to begin the season.

Prior to Tuesday, the 7-footer was averaging just 3.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game on 45.5-percent shooting from the field but exploded for 13 points, three rebounds, two assists, and six blocks in 21 minutes of action against Gardner-Webb.

All five starters for Duke scored at least ten points on the night, one of which was freshman star Paolo Banchero, who was on the floor after reports surfaced of his involvement in the DWI arrest of junior guard Michael Savarino, the grandson to Mike Krzyzewski.

Banchero, charged with aiding and abetting DWI, was in the starting lineup while Savarino was not on the bench for the Blue Devils.

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Krzyzewski said following the game that the incidents were “two different situations” and a “violation of our standards, and we’ll handle that internally.”

The reigning ACC Player of the Week went for ten points and eight rebounds in the victory.

However, it was fellow freshman Trevor Keels who stole the show in the first half with 16 points on four made 3-pointers.

Keels finished the game with 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Duke basketball gets injured freshman extended minutes

Five-star freshman AJ Griffin is still getting his legs underneath him after multiple knee injuries in high school, coupled with another preseason injury upon arriving in Durham, but Tuesday was the most action the White Plains, New York native has seen all season.

Griffin logged 16 minutes, the most he has played this season, and chipped in five points and six rebounds.

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While the statistics do not stand out, the way in which Griffin moved around the court was as smooth as he has looked since putting on the Duke uniform last week against Kentucky.

Joey Baker also continued his impressive home stretch as he poured in 12 points off the bench after dropping in 11 points on Saturday night against Campbell.

Duke takes the court once again on Friday night against Lafayette (8:00 p.m., ACC Network).

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