Duke’s Countdown to Craziness performance showcased the squad’s mix of old and new talent.
Seniors Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly got things going with hot starts to kick off the 2012-2013 season in the annual Blue-White scrimmage, and new Blue Devils Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon settled in to put on solid performances of their own for the Cameron crowd.
As part of Countdown to Craziness, the Blue Devils played two intrasquad scrimmages in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The first 10-minute matchup pitted a Blue team composed of Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston, Amile Jefferson, Rodney Hood and Todd Zafirovski against a White team with Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Alex Murphy, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee.
Right off the bat, Plumlee and Kelly made the most of their size advantage to give the White team the lead.
Plumlee started the contest by scoring two baskets, dishing two assists and intercepting a pass to spur a fast-break. Kelly added two jumpers and a three-point play to put the White team up 15-6.
In the early minutes, Hairston, a junior, kept the White team from pulling too far ahead by knocking down three consecutive jumpers for six points. Shooting just 1-5 for the rest of the period, Hairston could not keep the Blue team in the game, and the White team ended the half with a 26-15 lead.
For the second period, the score was reset to 0-0. Additionally, Hairston and Thornton moved to the White team while Cook and Kelly switched to the Blue team.
In the second period, two Duke newcomers seized the spotlight to start things off, going back-and-forth in the early minutes.
Guarding the six-foot-eight-inch Hood—who must sit out the 2012-2013 season due to NCAA transfer rules—the six-foot-four Sulaimon matched Hood basket for basket in the first four minutes of the period.
“[Rodney’s] a handful—two hands full,” Sulaimon said. “He’s a great player. He can shoot. He can drive. He’s very athletic. He’s fast. But I love going up against him. I like the challenge because I think at the end of the day, it’s just going to help me to become a better defensive player and help me down the stretch.”
Sulaimon finished with 10 points for the White team in the half, and Hood ended with eight. The Blue team pulled away, though, and ended with a 29-18 lead as Kelly added eight points, and Cook, a sophomore point guard, scored nine points in the period.
For the twenty minutes, Kelly ended with a game-high 15 points. Murphy, a redshirt freshman, posted eight rebounds and three blocks—both game highs as well.
Senior Seth Curry and redshirt freshman Marshall Plumlee sat out the scrimmage with injuries.
“We’re really happy with where we are right now as a team,” Jefferson, who scored four points and grabbed five rebounds, said. “[We] can’t wait to get the season started when we can actually play against someone else.”