In their first exhibition game last week, the Blue Devils got off to a slow start before turning on the jets.
They wasted no time taking control Friday night.
A week before its season opener, Duke has been firing on all cylinders from the opening tip, starting the game with a 13-0 run en route to an 52-19 halftime lead against reigning Division II national champions Augustana. Four Blue Devils have at least eight points led by Grayson Allen's 14, and several Duke reserves have logged major minutes with the outcome essentially already decided.
Although the Blue Devils gave up 27 first-half points to Division II Virginia State last week, Duke has cranked up its defensive effort so far, holding the Vikings to just 28.6 percent shooting from the field. The Vikings have struggled mightily against the Blue Devils' man-to-man defense without three stars from last year's team—Augustana committed 16 turnovers and collected just two offensive rebounds.
Senior Matt Jones led Duke's defense in the first half, collecting three of the team's 13 steals. The Blue Devils have easily turned offense into defense with 21 points off turnovers, highlighted by Javin DeLaurier's transition slam after the freshman jumped into a passing lane.
After struggling to find his bearings when he was on the court in Duke's first exhibition, Chase Jeter opened the scoring Friday night with a two-hand jam and finished the half with nine points and five rebounds in 12 minutes. Jeter started in place of freshman Marques Bolden, who has not entered the game but is wearing his warm-up suit on the bench. No reason has been given for Bolden's absence.
Here are some other observations from the first half:
- Freshman Jayson Tatum appeared on the court still in street clothes after spraining his foot last week, but was not wearing a walking boot. Tatum, classmate Harry Giles and Sean Obi are out with injuries and in street clothes, with Bolden sitting next to the trio.
- Jeter made his first career start in a Blue Devil uniform after playing no more than 17 minutes in any game last season and went a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 3-of-3 from the free throw line.
- Amile Jefferson continued to expand his ball-handling duties—he collected rebounds and went coast-to-coast for scores multiple times in the opening period. The graduate student had nine points and nine rebounds, though he also had four turnovers.
- Augustana did not clear the 10-point mark until the 5:45 mark in the first half.
- The Blue Devils scored at will despite only shooting 47.1 percent from the field and going 1-of-9 from 3-point range.
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A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak."