Duke 74, Georgia State 55 (end of game): Krzyzewski did not take his foot off the gas despite the comfortable Duke lead, clearly upset with the defensive effort on a lay-up by Devonta White that resulted in a three-point play. The Blue Devils looked just fine on offense as they closed out the victory, though, draining an open three from Thornton and setting up an easy Plumlee dunk in the final minutes before Duke took the air out of the ball for a 19-point win. A solid statement for the Blue Devils in their opener, with Kentucky looming on the horizon Tuesday in Atlanta. Thanks for reading, and as always keep refreshing The Blue Zone and @dukebasketball on Twitter for the latest on Blue Devil hoops.
Duke 68, Georgia State 51 (3:50, second half): Duke took advantage of a tired Georgia State squad that became extremely turnover- and foul-prone late. Duke failed to capitalize on Georgia State fouls as poor free-throw shooting reared its head. Mason Plumlee and Amile Jefferson each missed the front end of a one-and-one to make them a combined 5-for-10 on the line on the night. The Blue Devils were merely mediocre from the charity stripe last season, and it could loom large late in the season if Jefferson contributes to the problem rather than helping fix it.
Duke 61, Georgia State 40 (7:46, second half): Duke is dictating tempo and controlling the game completely as the lead has been extended to 21 points. Seth Curry has, in his typical quiet fashion, snuck into the scoring lead for Duke in the season opener with a 15-point effort. Mason Plumlee has just four points since the half, as his teammates have shot 6-for-13 from beyond the arc since halftime. Sulaimon and Jefferson haven't seen nearly as much action here in the second period as they did in the first, so we're left to wonder whether this is an early-season choice to stick with more experienced players or a hint at diminished playing time for the freshmen as the season goes along. Traditionally Krzyzewski has liked to find a rotation and stick with it, so the disappearances of Murphy and Jefferson could be a harbinger of those players' roles throughout the season.
Duke 53, Georgia State 33 (11:47, second half): As time winds down, the Georgia State offense is shooting just 3-for-11 in the second half and showing continually poorer shot selection as it tries to make up a 20-point deficit. Curry and Thornton hounding Panther ball-handlers 30 feet from the basket and generally making life difficult for head coach Ron Hunter's squad. Duke has moved into its half-court set offense in an early effort to burn some time off the clock. Much different game than last year's opener, when Belmont took Duke down to the wire.
Duke 47, Georgia State 30 (13:39, second half): Cook and Thornton continued to spend a lot of time on the court together, giving Krzyzewski dual ball-handling threats bringing the ball up the floor as the Blue Devils have built a comfortable lead over Georgia State. The Duke head coach kept the new looks coming for the opposing Panthers, though, as he pulled Thornton and Mason Plumlee for Josh Hairston and Amile Jefferson to go from two point guards to three players 6-foot-8 and over. If Duke can be effective with all the different groupings it can put together, that could be a huge boon for matching up with a variety of teams.
Duke 45, Georgia State 28 (16:16, second half): Both teams traded punches early in the second half. Seth Curry opened the second-half scoring after a quiet six-point effort in the first half, and Sulaimon drained a three of his own not long after, but Georgia State's R.J. Hunter drained a 25-footer to answer. After a Mason Plumlee reverse dunk on the ensuing possession drove the crowd into a frenzy, Panther forward Manny Atkins completed a three-point play to bring Georgia State back within 12. Tyler Thornton took over the show after that, though, making a three and then getting his hands in a passing lane for a steal and transition lay-up that gave Duke its largest lead of the game so far at 17 points.
Duke 32, Georgia State 22 (halftime): Duke's defense began to find a rhythm at the end of the half, and Georgia State's dribble-heavy offensive style began to falter. Panther turnovers began piling up, giving the Blue Devils plenty of chances for unanswered points. Krzyzewski kept his defense fresh with big helpings of substitution, showing off his team's ability to play with three guards including at times two point guards, and to go big with Plumlee, Kelly and Jefferson all on the floor for the end of the half. For all the personnel changes, though, Alex Murphy, who is dressed to play, still has not removed his warm-up.
Duke 24, Georgia State 17 (3:33, first half): Head coach Mike Krzyzewski keeping the subs coming throughout the first half here, showing lots of different looks to Georgia State. Mason Plumlee drew the first name chant of the year from the Cameron faithful after a layup in transition to put Duke up by nine, but missed the and-one free throw. Georgia State offense starting to get a little bit out of sync, with R.J. Hunter bringing the ball up and Devonta White playing the two. Fatigue may be showing for the Panthers.
Duke 19, Georgia State 15 (6:53, first half): Sulaimon has played almost the entire half to this point, mostly defending Georgia State's best scorer, junior Devonta White. Duke getting to the line with good aggressiveness attacking the rim, but the pesky Panthers keep finding ways to get good shots: a quick dribble move here, a tip-in there, some good cuts through the Blue Devil defense. Georgia State center Vincent showing great mobility and hustle, definitely keeping up with Plumlee to this point.
Duke 14, Georgia State 9 (11:50, first half): Quinn Cook entered the game for the first time out of the first TV timeout, as Georgia State showed a half-court trap zone defense. Against the pressure, the Blue Devils didn't get the ball inside the 3-point arc for two straight possessions, with the only points coming off of a miraculous tip-in from Plumlee off a Curry missed three. Plumlee had mixed results down low early, missing his first turnaround jumper of the season early in the half but then making up for it with a great assist from down low on an ensuing possession. He will get good practice at being physical against 6-foot-10, 260-lb. Georgia State center James Vincent. Amile Jefferson joined the fray later in the period, bringing his trademark intensity with some enthusiastic defense (and high-fives) as the Blue Devils picked up three-quarter court defensive pressure.
Duke 8, Georgia State 2 (15:50, first half): Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon got the Blue Devils' season started with a three pointer, followed by two free throws from senior Ryan Kelly. Georgia State bringing full-court defensive pressure from the outset, but the Blue Devils have handled it so far behind Tyler Thornton, who got a somewhat surprising starting nod in the season opener.
Georgia State: F Denny Burguillos, G RJ Hunter , G Devonta White, G Rashaad Richardson, F Manny Atkins
Duke: F Mason Plumlee, F Ryan Kelly, G Seth Curry, G Tyler Thornton, G Rasheed Sulaimon
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