The independent news organization of Duke University

Men's basketball wallops EA Sports in exhibition

Ordinarily Electronic Arts Sports is known for manufacturing realistic sports games like March Madness 2001, where ordinary players have the chance to alter sports history from the comfort of their own homes. But as the EA Sports real-life All-Stars learned Monday night, probably the only way to beat the No. 1 team in the nation will be by pressing the B button.

The Blue Devils opened the 2001-2002 season with a roar, stuffing the All-Stars 129-94. Although EA Sports shocked the North Carolina by 31 last night, the question for fans was not how much Duke would win by, but how each individual player would perform, especially without the incomparable Shane Battier to lead the team.

"There will be no leader to replace Shane, but there will be leadership," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Jason, Carlos, Dunleavy and Duhon will lead this team, but there will be no primary leader."

The game began with the Carlos Boozer show, as the junior quickly made his presence known. Boozer scored nine of Duke's first 12 points, not hesitating to move strong to the basket and lean on the All-Stars' Will Cunningham, a 6-foot-11 Temple graduate.

Boozer was strong on defense as well, with five of his 11 rebounds coming on that end of the floor. As a team, Duke did not allow the All-Stars to score until almost three minutes into the game, when Cunningham finally laid it in. The Blue Devils out-rebounded EA Sports 56-29, scoring 39 second-chance points while only allowing five for the All-Stars.

The Cameron Crazies were not satisfied with mere execution, though, as they eagerly awaited the lightning-quick passes and three-pointers that helped Duke to its first national championship in nine years. After initial erratic play in which the lead dwindled to six points on a Williams turnover, the Blue Devils were only happy to comply with a blizzard of perimeter passes that culminated in a trademark Williams three-pointer with 10:49 remaining in the half.

Williams converted on a similar play five minutes later when Dunleavy fired the ball to sophomore Chris Duhon at the top of the circle. Duhon barely touched the ball, sending it to a patiently waiting Williams, who again drained the shot to put Duke up by 20. Duke stretched the lead to 23 at halftime.

With the cushion, the Blue Devils came out of the locker room firing. Seven seconds into the half, Williams stole the ball from St. Bonaventure graduate Tim Winn, dribbled behind his back and then passed to Boozer for a fast break dunk.

The second half also allowed new Duke players more chances to win the Crazies' hearts. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, junior Dahntay Jones showed what it truly means to go above the rim. Jones dunked on an alley-oop pass from Duhon with 17:54 remaining in the game and then hung on the rim for emphasis.

Although the message was clear- Dahntay Jones had arrived-the refs still called him for the technical.

"I was real pleased with Dahntay," Krzyzewski said. "He had a great practice the other day, and he took it into this game. It was his first real live performance."

For his part, Dunleavy returned home 20 pounds heavier and full of purpose on both ends of the floor. A triple threat, the Lake Oswego, Ore., native recorded his first double-double of the season with 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

"Regardless of the ACC championship or the Final Four or playing in those big games, you never take it for granted playing in [Cameron]," Dunleavy said. "It's a great atmosphere and the main reason why you come to Duke."

Discussion

Share and discuss “Men's basketball wallops EA Sports in exhibition” on social media.