The Duke Men’s Basketball team finally got the chance to play an opponent other than themselves today as they defeated Bowie State 103-67 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Bowie State kept the game in the single digits for most of the first half, thanks to officials calling the game tighter and sloppy play at times on both ends by Duke. The Blue Devils would outscore the Bulldogs 49 to 27 in the second half to pull away. Each member of the team saw game action inlcuding Todd Zafirovski and Nick Pagliuca.
Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood showed why they are the best players on the Duke roster. Parker did a little bit of everything from hitting threes, passing the ball well, rebounding, and making several highlight plays on defense. Hood quietly had a great game leading the team with 19 points.
With this being the first game action of the season, let’s look at how each Blue Devil did.
Jabari Parker – He finished with 16 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks in 28 minutes. In the first few minutes of the game he had a highlight dunk and block. He was all over the floor. He is going to be a major factor this season. People knew about his offensive game, but his defense may surprise some.
Rodney Hood – Hood lead the team with 19 points and also had 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and a block. He showed a really nice midrange game. Like Parker, Hood is going to be all over the floor and will stuff the stat sheet this season.
Amile Jefferson – Jefferson had a very good game in really limited action today. From the opening tip, he was on the offensive glass getting Duke second chance shots. In only 16 minutes, he scored 16 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. He’s going to play a key role this season and cause opposing defenses matchup problems as he can step out and hit the open jump shot, as well as slash to the lane.
Matt Jones – Jones continues to show why he’s going to get significant playing time this season. In the span of 10 seconds, he played well on defense causing a turnover, and then immediately hit a corner 3. He saw time running the offense which he did efficiently. He played 20 minutes, scoring 15 points and grabbing 4 rebounds. He wasn’t afraid to get in the lane and fight for a loose ball or rebound.
Marshall Plumlee – Plumlee did not play in the first half, but he made his presence known in the second. He had two key blocks and was aggressive on the offensive end. He scored 7 points in 10 minutes. The most impressive part of his game had to be going 5-6 from the FT line. Marshall and Mason had their struggles at the FT line well documented, so to see Marshall go 5-6 is very encouraging.
Semi Ojeleye – Like Plumlee, Ojeleye did not play in the first half. He did make the most of his 11 minutes of action as he grabbed 6 rebounds and was active on both ends of the floor. He finished with 3 points, meaning each of the Duke freshmen scored in their first game.
Tyler Thornton & Josh Hairston – The two seniors had their typical games that Duke fans have grown accustomed to over their careers. Thornton was a pest on defense, and Hairston took his customary outside shots that left both fans and announcers surprised when he made them.
Rasheed Sulaimon & Quinn Cook – Both were in the starting back court for the Blue Devils, but both had relatively quiet games, especially Cook. Sulaimon had 9 points in 23 minutes, but shot poorly and most of his points came from the free throw line. Cook only played 14 minutes and couldn’t seem to find his rhythm in the offense. He scored 2 points and had 3 assists. With Duke having multiple players able to initiate the offense, Cook may struggle at times this year not having the ball in his hand as much.
Andre Dawkins – Dawkins only played 9 (3 in the first half, 6 in the second) minutes which was rather surprising. He didn’t shoot well in his limited action, but he did get others involved and was active on defense. Not sure why he saw such limited action when he played well during the Blue/White scrimmage at Countdown to Craziness. Those in attendance mentioned they did not suspect an injury, so let’s hope there’s not an off the court issue.
Alex Murphy – Duke fans have been waiting for years for Alex Murphy to finally break out. He did not do that today. In 14 minutes of action he finished with 5 points and 3 rebounds. This would have been a game for Murphy to shine.
Todd Zafirovski & Nick Pagliuca – the Duke walk-ons only got 2 minutes of game time, each grabbing a rebound. Zaf had a chance to score, but was unable to convert.
Overall Duke played well. There will be an adjustment period to how the games are going to be called now. It seemed to really take Duke out of rhythm as the teams combined to shoot 77 FTs.
Duke takes on Drury in their next exhibition game. It will take place next Sat. Nov. 2 at 1pm live from Cameron Indoor Stadium.