NOTE: Updated at 3 p.m. Nov. 3 to include Trevon Duval's suspension.

With a week left until the start of the regular season, Duke will have one more tune-up before the games begin to count.

Following an easy victory in their first exhibition contest last weekend, the Blue Devils will conclude their preseason slate against reigning CIAA champion Bowie State Saturday at 1 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devil freshmen finally got to face real competition after months of practice last weekend against Northwest Missouri State. Although Duke showed its potential with massive size and athleticism, it was clear that the Blue Devils have a way to go to reach their ceiling.

“We’re a work in progress,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. “A good work in progress.... The more they can see, the better, and they like it, and then they respond. They have a lot of learning to do, but they want to learn.”

With eight freshmen—though point guard Trevon Duval was suspended for the game Friday afternoon—Duke will need time to find its chemistry and rhythm. 

The Blue Devils showed their inexperience Friday against Northwest Missouri State, when they coughed the ball up 15 times. But Duke also displayed unselfishness and a willingness to work for the best possible shot, racking up 18 assists on 40 made field goals. 

Another advantage the Blue Devils will continue to utilize is their size on the court. Duke has four players taller than 6-foot-9 in its rotation with sophomores Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier alongside freshmen starters Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr.

The Blue Devils haven’t had a strong interior presence offensively since Jahlil Okafor during the 2014-15 season, and with two top-10 recruits manning the middle, Duke is hoping it can be dominant inside the paint. 

Bagley—the nation’s top recruit— has been heralded as one of the best big men to grace the college game since Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis. The Phoenix native will likely see his share of double teams, and his ability to find the open man and kick the ball out of the post will be a key offensively.

“We’re just coming along and we’re going to be all right,” Bagley said. “Everybody is happy for each other, scoring the ball. Everybody is getting involved, sharing the ball and having fun. We come out and play as one.”

Carter and Bagley will also try to use their shooting ability to create space down low—both big men converted from beyond the arc Friday. If they can hit jumpers with any consistency, defenders will be forced to come out of the paint, creating space for them to drive or set up in the post. 

Look for the Blue Devils to utilize their size in the paint Saturday, as the Bulldogs’ two tallest players are just 6-foot-8. This lack of size caused Bowie State difficulty last season, when it was outrebounded by more than five boards per contest. 

Instead, the Bulldogs will look to attack from the perimeter behind senior guards Ahmaad Wilson and Dayshawn Wells. Wilson carried Bowie State to the CIAA championship last season, earning the tournament MVP award after a 20-point performance in the clinching game. Both men took more than half of their shot attempts from beyond the arc, with Wilson and Wells making 39.6 and 34.5 percent of the time respectively.

Duke is hoping to limit those attempts and improve on its perimeter defense from last week. Northwest Missouri State jacked up 33 attempts from downtown and converted at a 36.4 percent clip. 

Although a lot of these attempts were caused by the Blue Devils’ fearsome interior presence, some were wide open due to defensive lapses.

“We expected to be playing as one group,” Bagley said. “That’s something coach always preaches to us, taking our individual talents and putting it into one team and taking what everyone else does individually and just making it work for the team. I think we still have a long way to go, but we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

Sameer Pandhare and Andrew Donohue contributed reporting.