On a night when he racked up six steals, Blue Devil senior Matt Jones did something he had not done since early in his Duke career.
With a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the Blue Devils' final exhibition contest against Augustana Friday, the DeSoto, Texas, native picked Viking guard Matthew Brazendale's pocket, taking the ball downcourt before throwing down a left-handed slam to put Duke up by 50. Although Jones doubled his previous career high of three thefts, his first in-game dunk in multiple seasons was arguably the highlight of the night.
"To see those young legs coming out for that dunk from an old man, I thought he did a great job tonight," graduate student Amile Jefferson said. "This summer, he really worked on his athleticism and it shows—just him going up and dunking that ball like that."
Jones struggled offensively, going just 2-of-7 from the field and 0-of-5 from beyond the arc, but made his mark on the defensive end. And like the senior co-captain did on his breakaway, the Blue Devils capitalized on Augustana's 22 turnovers, converting them into 27 points on the other end.
"He can do it. We've been telling him to do it for a while now and he finally did it," junior Grayson Allen said. "He can throw it down two hands, one hand, off two feet, off one foot. I don't know why he doesn't do it more often but after he had that one fastbreak where he just laid it up, we were on him to go dunk the second one."
If Jones can continue to be a defensive force for a Duke team that struggled in man-to-man for much of last season, expect the Blue Devils to have plenty more opportunities for highlight-reel plays when they get in the open court.
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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."