After more than two weeks without a game, Duke finally returned to the floor in their first conference game of the season, beating Clemson 87-68. The Blue Zone looks at three takeaways, three stats, and shows what’s to come for Mike Krzyzewski’s squad:

Three key takeaways:

1.  Thieving Devils

Turning over the calendar certainly didn’t have an effect on Duke’s ability to force turnovers, forcing the Tigers to cough up the ball 18 times on the night. Clemson head coach Brad Brownell tried his best to keep Tre Jones from pressuring the ball by having his off guards bring the ball up, but the Blue Devils showed why they are second in the nation in steals and displayed the attacking defense that has been terrorizing opponents ever since the Gonzaga game.

2. Cam Reddish and R.J. Barrett struggle in first half

Sometimes the physicality of conference play can frustrate young players, and it seemed to have that effect on R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish in their ACC debuts. At the half, the two freshmen had combined for just four points and six turnovers. Barrett seemed to find his groove in the second half, and Reddish gained some confidence attacking the rim, but they’ll have to adjust their games going forward in such a grueling conference.

3. Zion continues to amaze

Despite his fellow classmates struggling, Zion Williamson made it a point to show Clemson just what they were missing when he passed on his home state Tigers. The Spartanburg, S.C, native finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks, and gave Blue Devil fans a glimpse of how the offense could run with him demanding the ball. Williamson took care of the ball with only one turnover and connected on his fourth three of the season.

Three key stats:

1. 9 assists and zero turnovers

Tre Jones again gave a dazzling performance, as he kept his composure and found his teammates all over the floor. Saturday night marked the fifth time this season that the freshman tallied at least six assists without a turnover and his current assist to turnover ratio of 5.85 beats what his brother, Tyus, had through 13 games, at 3.65.

2. 14-0 run to start the second half

As the Blue Devils continued to shake off rust, they found themselves only up seven at the break. But, it was key back to back threes from Jack White and Barrett that started a commanding run to pull away from the Tigers for good. 

3. 9,314

The number of shocked faces in the crowd after Zion threw down what could be the dunk of the year. Williamson picked up a loose ball at half court and took off from just inside the ACC logo, completing a full 360 with a ferocious stuff.

Looking forward:

Duke will face another new experience on Tuesday, as they play their first true road game against a slumping Wake Forest team. The Demon Deacons are coming off a loss against another ACC bottom feeder in Georgia Tech and look to be in for a rough season. It will be crucial that the few veterans on this Blue Devil team keep the freshmen focused because overlooking any conference foe on the road, no matter how bad, could lead to a disaster of an upset.