No. 9 Duke, No. 13 Michigan State Clash in Champions Classic Tuesday

Jalen Johnson | Photo: Duke Athletics


  • Looking to open the season 2-0, No. 9 Duke welcomes No. 13 Michigan State for a marquee matchup in the 2020 State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
  • The game tips at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN with Sean McDonough and Jay Bilas on the call. On the radio, David Shumate and John Roth have the call on the Blue Devil Sports Network from Learfield IMG College (96.5FM & 610AM in Durham).
  • The Blue Devils are riding a three-game winning streak in the Champions Classic and their 6-3 record in the annual event is the best among the four Blue Blood programs.
  • Duke and Michigan State are meeting for the fifth consecutive season with the Blue Devils winning three of those four contests, including an 88-81 win in the 2017 Champion Classic in Chicago.
  • Behind 19 points and 19 rebounds from freshman Jalen Johnson and a 24-point, nine-board effort off the bench from classmate DJ Steward, the Blue Devils opened the season with an 81-71 win over Coppin State on Saturday at Cameron Indoor.
  • Johnson’s debut also included five assists and four blocked shots as he became the first Blue Devil all time with a statline of 19+ points, 19+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 4+ blocks.
  • The 2020-21 campaign marks the 41st season at Duke Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K’s 1,158 overall wins and 1,085 wins at Duke are each NCAA records.
  • Duke, Kansas and Gonzaga are the only programs to have won 25 or more games in each of the last 13 seasons.
  • Ranked No. 9 in the preseason AP poll, Duke was in the AP’s preseason top 10 for the 13th straight year. The Blue Devils have been ranked in the top 10 at least some point during a season in 25 consecutive years – the nation’s longest active streak (Kansas, 15).
  • Duke’s 2020-21 roster features seven newcomers — six freshmen that comprised the nation’s No. 2 class and graduate transfer Patrick Tapé from Columbia University — the program’s first grad transfer.
  • Duke blocked seven shots in the Coppin State win, extending a streak dating back to last season of five+ blocked shots in nine straight games. The Blue Devils finished second in the nation in blocked shots last season (6.1 per game).

Tuesday’s game is the 17th meeting between Duke and Michigan State, with the Blue Devils leading 13-3…In the Champions Classic, the series favors Duke 3-0…The teams are meeting for the fifth straight season, with Duke winning three of the four previous clashes, including an 87-75 victory last season in East Lansing (ACC/Big Ten Challenge) and an 88-81 in Chicago in 2017 (Champions Classic)…Under Coach K, Duke is 13-2 versus the Spartans…The last 10 games in the series have been decided by an average 8.4 points per game.

As the Champions Classic enters its 10th year in 2020, the Blue Devils are looking to continue their success in the early-season marquee doubleheader that brings together Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State…Duke’s 6-3 record is the best of the four, leading Kentucky (5-4), Kansas (4-5) and Michigan State (3-6)…The Blue Devils knocked off Kansas in last year’s Classic at Madison Square Garden, 68-66, behind a team-high 15 points from Tre Jones…This year’s event was originally scheduled for the United Center in Chicago, but was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. ..This year’s other game — Kansas vs. Kentucky — tips at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night on ESPN in Indianapolis, Ind…Next year’s Classic is scheduled to return to New York’s MSG…Duke’s Champions Classic record book can be found on the final page of these notes (page 34).

Michigan State was 22-9 overall last season, 14-6 in Big Ten play, and won five straight and six of seven to end the campaign…The team lost its two leading scorers from last season — senior Cassius Winston (18.6) and junior Xavier Tillman (13.7) — to the draft…After averaging 10.0 points last season, junior forward Aaron Henry has averaged 10.0 over State’s first two games. Junior Joey Hauser, who sat out last season after transferring from Marquette, has opened his Spartan career with efforts of 15 points and nine boards against Eastern Michigan and 10-16 against Notre Dame. ..Duke will see the other Hauser brother — Sam, who transferred to Virginia — later this season.

Duke is 23-1 when playing on December 1 and has won 21 straight…The Blue Devils last played on this date in 2018 — a 113-49 victory over Stetson at Cameron Indoor Stadium…Duke and Michigan State tangled on December 1, 2010 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge — an 84-79 Blue Devil victory at Cameron Indoor behind 31 points from Kyrie Irving.

Freshman Jalen Johnson stamped his name on the 2020-21 season with a record-setting performance in Duke’s opener…The Milwaukee, Wis., native scored 19 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, had five assists and four blocked shots in 35 minutes becoming the first Duke player in history to post a statline of 19+ points, 19+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 4+ blocks…He is the only player from a power conference — and one of only four in college basketball — with a 19-19-5-4 statline since 2010…Only Johnson and Danny Ferry have posted a game of 19-19-5 in Duke history. Ferry scored 20 points, had 19 rebounds and seven assists at Maryland on Jan. 14, 1987…His 19 rebounds marked the third most by a Duke freshman, while his 15 defensive rebounds set a Duke freshman record…Through Nov. 28th’s games, his 19 boards were the most by any freshman in a game nationally this season. ..He finished the game without missing a shot (8/8 FG, 1/1 3FG, 2/2 FT), also setting a Duke freshman record for most points in a game with 100% shooting…He became just the third Duke freshman to post a double-double in a debut game, joining Jason Williams (13 points, 10 rebounds) vs. Stanford on Nov. 11, 1999 and Marvin Bagley III (25-10) vs. Elon on Nov. 10, 2017.

Freshman DJ Steward played fearless off the bench Saturday, pouring in a game-high 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting (4-of-9 from three-point range) with nine rebounds in 33 minutes…Steward’s 24 points stand as the fourth most by a Duke freshman in a debut game, and the most off the bench by a Duke freshman in a debut game…The record of 33 points in a debut game was set by RJ Barrett vs. Kentucky (11/6/18). Zion Williamson had 28 points in that same game vs. Kentucky and Marvin Bagley III had 25 vs. Elon (11/10/17).

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