Coming off a 12-day break the Blue Devils took the court again Monday night against Gardner-Webb University and it was like they never even left.
Freshman phenom Jabari Parker led the way for Duke with 21 points, and 6 rebounds while Quinn Cook had a game high 9 assists, all of which were in the first half. Fifth-year Senior Andre Dawkins had 18 points off the bench for the Blue Devils behind 4 of 8 shooting from behind the three-point arch.
Duke smothered the Bulldogs on the glass (37-21, including 15 offensive rebounds), and also forced 12 turnovers in what coach Mike Krzyzewski called a good second-half defensive effort. In the Blue Devils first action in nearly a week an a half and the first since Alex Murphy announced he would transfer, every scholarship player saw minutes, even Rasheed Suliamon who finished the game scoreless going 0/2 from the field.
Sulaimon who was expected to be a key aspect of the Blue Devils attack this year has barely scratched the ledger. Duke will need production from him moving forward unless Dawkins can become a consistent threat off the bench every game. Amile Jefferson who has also struggled some this year finished with 4 points but 10 boards’ his play will also be vital heading into conference play.
Duke’s offense seems to be fine, but even though defense and rebounding have been much improved throughout the last 3 or 4 games it is still a work in progress.
This was essentially a warm up for Duke’s next game in Madison Square Garden when they take on the Bruins of UCLA. UCLA is third in the nation in scoring at 89 points per game and also second in the nation in field goal percentage at 54 percent. Duke will need to keep up their defensive and rebounding efforts they have shown of late if they want to win their next game.
By Zachary Lions
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