After a concerning close game against Georgia Tech, No. 2 Duke turned to an unorthodox adage: to get your head right, you need to get your threads right.
Long gone are the days when the Devil wore Prada—the Blue Devils broke out the fifth of their six new Nike-provided uniforms for their first ACC home game with school in session.
Donning their new Gothic-themed navy blue uniforms, the Blue Devils looked right as rain and rained down hellfire upon the Demon Deacons Saturday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke trampled Wake Forest 90-59, moving to a perfect 5-0 in ACC play.
"In my mind, [the uniform] is number one," guard Cassius Stanley said. "They’re nice—a different shade of blue."
"Oh yeah, my threads are right," added center Vernon Carey Jr.
Tre Jones once again ran the show for the Blue Devils (15-1, 5-0 in the ACC), scoring 23 points and dishing out five assists. However, his teammates' dominance made Jones' 10-for-15 performance from the field—including 3-for-4 from deep—seem commonplace by comparison.
"Man, [Jones] shooting 10-for-15… efficient," said forward Matthew Hurt. "Following his lead is really great."
Particularly from long range, navy-clad Duke couldn't miss. Six different Blue Devils knocked down treys on the night, and Duke went 11-of-23 from beyond the arc as a whole. This helped it overcome a weak night from the free throw line; the Blue Devils shot just 13-for-25 from the charity stripe.
The Blue Devils owned the glass and everywhere else early against the Demon Deacons (8-7, 1-4). Duke had recorded seven rebounds before Wake Forest grabbed its first board. The Blue Devils buried their first four field goal attempts and scored 22 points in the paint in the first half.
Duke led 49-23 at intermission, virtually ending the game 20 minutes early. A vicious poster slam from Stanley in the waning minutes of the second half put the finishing touch on an elegant Blue Devil victory.
Typical of this season, Duke spread around its offense. However, it wasn't spread thin, as the team shot a mind-blowing 62.5 percent from the field in the half. Despite scoring 49 first-half points, only one Blue Devil reached double figures in the period—that was Jones, with 11 points.
"If our guys run, they'll be hit," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "If you're open, [Jones is] throwing it. We get to move their defense, and we can try to score on a defense that has had to rush back instead of walk back and set up."
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Joey Baker knocked down both of his long-range attempts in a 6-for-10 team campaign from deep in the first half. Baker went on to bury another 3-pointer in the second half.
The darkest moment in a game that was otherwise a Duke fiesta came when guard Alex O'Connell took a hit in the air as he leapt for a layup, landing hard on his right hip midway through the first half. Krzyzewski walked out to talk to O'Connell, who remained lying on the ground for about a minute before walking off the court.
O'Connell did return to the game, however. He finished with one point in 17 minutes.
"[He's] good," Krzyzewski said. "Well, we'll see tomorrow. I think he'll be all right."
Are these Duke's lucky uniforms? Will the Blue Devils return to the acclaimed Gothic jerseys throughout the rest of ACC play?
"Oh yeah," said Stanley, the highlight machine. "We’re definitely going to try to wear these again. You don’t want to overwear them, but..."
Duke has just a day to recuperate before heading to Clemson for a Tuesday evening matchup against the Tigers.