Countdown to Craziness Tips Off 2021-22 Duke Basketball Season

2021 Countdown to Craziness | Photo: Duke Athletics

Fans of the Duke men’s basketball program took their first look at the 2021-22 squad during the Blue Devils’ 12th annual Countdown to Craziness event Friday evening at a sold-out Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was the first basketball event with fans at Cameron in nearly 18 months.

“I thought it was just a great day for our Athletics Department, and Duke, to finally have thousands of people come together in Cameron,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “It was just a great atmosphere … I thought our kids played hard, and pretty well. I was really pleased with the entire day.”

The much-anticipated night began with Duke student group performances before introductions of the men’s squad. After warming up the fans, the Blue Devils took to the court for two 12-minute intrasquad games. The first game ended in a 22-22 tie before White flexed its muscles in the second game and pulled away for a 34-14 victory.

Freshman Trevor Keels led the Blue Devils with 19 points over both games, to go along with five rebounds and five assists while sophomore Mark Williams combined for a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. Sophomore Jeremy Roach led the way with eight assists.

In the first contest, the Blue Team jumped out to a 15-11 lead with 5:53 remaining when Roach found Keels for a triple. But Paolo Banchero found him grove late in the period and sparked a run with a rebound, a dunk in transition, a blocked shot and another layup to tie the game at 15-15 with 3:41 left.

Wendell Moore Jr., canned a three for White with 1:52 left to make it 22-19, but Joey Baker answered with a three of his own off an assist from Roach on the next possession to cap the scoring at 22-22.

After head coach Mike Krzyzewski addressed the crowd at halftime, White came out hot in the second game and opened a 10-6 lead thanks to a Banchero layup in transition. A Moore jumper made it 19-11, and then back-to-back buckets by Williams – a dunk off a pass from Banchero and a three made it 24-11 and brought the sellout crowd to its feet with 3:45 to play.

“(The environment was) crazy,” said Banchero. “Better than I thought it would be. It was crazy, it was surreal, and the fact that we get a whole season in front of them is crazy. I feel privileged to play in front of them.”

White was led by Keels and Williams with 12 and 11, respectively, as White shot 13-of-21 from the field in the second game, including a pair of threes from Keels to take the 20-point victory.

Duke opens exhibition play Saturday, Oct. 30 against Winston-Salem State in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tipoff is slated for 1:30 p.m., on ACCNX.

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