Duke basketball picks up second victory in span of two hours

Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard Trevor Keels (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The return of the Duke basketball team was emphatic on Tuesday night in Durham. 

It was a busy night for the Duke basketball program as the Blue Devils secured two victories on Tuesday evening.

Minutes before the ball was tipped between No. 2 Duke (8-1) and South Carolina State (3-8), head coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer landed another 2022 recruit in Oak Hill Academy (Va.) center Christian Reeves.

Reeves is a three-star prospect and is listed at 7-foot-1.

Two hours later, the Blue Devils earned another victory on the night with their 103-62 victory over the Bulldogs.

Duke led from start to finish, and the game was never close as the five-time National Champions led by 33 points at halftime.

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None of the starters played more than 27 minutes as Mike Krzyzewski saw contributions from up and down his roster while the team shot 55.9-percent from the floor and 55.6-percent from 3-point range.

Freshman forward AJ Griffin led Duke with 19 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two blocks on 7-of-8 shooting from the field, making 3-of-4 from downtown.

Joey Baker looked the most confident in his shooting stroke all season as he added 13 points off the bench. And Paolo Banchero flirted with a triple-double in just 22 minutes with 12 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

Theo John (back) did not play for Duke on Tuesday night, but 11 of 12 players who did see the floor scored for the Blue Devils.

Michael Savarino made his return to the court after an indefinite suspension for his involvement in a DWI incident earlier this season.

Duke basketball with two more tune-ups before ACC play begins

Duke will host Appalachian State (6-5) and Cleveland State (6-3) on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, before Virginia Tech (7-4, 0-1 ACC) comes to Durham to begin conference play next Wednesday night.

App State and Cleveland State should be better competition than South Carolina State, although Duke should win each game comfortably.

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The biggest keys for the Blue Devils entering ACC action should be to continue to build the confidence of AJ Griffin and remain healthy entering the most important part of their schedule.

There is no timetable for the return of Theo John as he was in street clothes on the Duke bench on Tuesday night.

Tipoff between the Blue Devils and Appalachian State is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.

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