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Change in starters sparks quick start

At the beginning of the game, one question was on everyone's mind: Why weren't co-captains Josh McRoberts and DeMarcus Nelson included in the starting lineup?

Coming off two straight league losses, head coach Mike Krzyzewski had decided to shake things up.

"I thought that was the lineup that would get us off to the best start," Krzyzewski said. "We're going to do things to try to get guys to be freer. We're just going to keep doing things to keep getting better. That change was to make us better, and I thought we were."

Even though Duke would end up losing, the team had jumped out to a seven point lead before McRoberts, Nelson and Lance Thomas were finally sent into the game.

It was exactly the start Duke needed against the deep and talented Tar Heels. Not only did the move give the Blue Devils a boost from the beginning of the game, it kept the team fresh against a UNC squad whose rotation went through 12 players Wednesday night.

"We got off to a good start," Greg Paulus said. "The guys who started did a really good job. But a lot of things don't change whether you come off the bench or start."

Arguably the biggest beneficiary of the move was freshman Gerald Henderson, who has shown signs of late of fulfilling his enormous potential. Henderson scored an efficient 14 points, and he outplayed his high school teammate Wayne Ellington, who finished with just four points on 2-for-8 shooting from the field.

"I kind of felt like guys were helping off of me and leaving me open, and when that happens, I have the green light to shoot the ball, make plays and pass to my teammates," Henderson said.

In the end, however, Henderson's emergence and Scheyer's scoring were not enough, and McRoberts and Nelson remained quiet even after entering the game.

"When you have this many young players you have to constantly give them the opportunity to get better for the short-run and the long-run," Krzyzewski said. "That's the way we do it in our program, and we'll continue to do that for the rest of the season."


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