Duke got back from Chicago around 5 A.M. Wednesday and thus had only a single practice prior to Friday's game against Florida Atlantic.
But they still knew where they needed to improve. The loss to Kansas exposed some chinks and Duke felt they needed to address these.
For the most part they succeeded, well enough to post a convincing 97-64 win over the Owls.
This was the first time the two programs have met. But the guy on the opposing bench was no stranger. FAU coach Mike Jarvis was the St. John's coach back on February 26, 2000, when they nipped second-ranked Duke 83-82. This was the last time a non-ACC team came into Cameron and left with a win.
That team had Big East talent and this team had mid-major talent. So, the outcome was never in doubt. Duke never trailed, led 15-3 after five minutes, 21-5 after seven.
In fact, for much of the first half, Rodney was winning. That would be Rodney Hood, who admitted after tonight's game that he had been overly passive against Kansas.
Hood said his point of emphasis was Hood, "attacking on the offensive end, and being a leader out there. I was too quite in the Kansas game."
"He should look for his own shots." Krzyzewski said. "Against Kansas, those reads were there but he wasn't taking advantage."
Then there was defense. Duke pressed early and forced FAU into a faster tempo than they liked. Mike Krzyzewski praised Quinn Cook's pressure defense.
Hood agreed. "I think we pressured the ball tonight. That's something we need to do when we start playing bigger teams."
"Us proving we can play and get back from a loss," was Parker's take. "It was more mental. Defense is all about effort. I doesn't take skill, just extra effort."
Duke also knocked down 17-24 foul shots (70.8%) but that was almost entirely due to Hood, who went 12-13 from the line. That would leave 5-11 for everyone else.
Rebounding remains a work in progress. Duke dominated early, 23-16 at the half. But FAU grabbed a dozen offensive rebounds in the second half, as Duke too often neglected to block out or secure those rebounds it had hands on.
Hood and Jabari Parker remained the cogs. Hood ended with a career-high 28 points, hitting 8-11 from the field. Parker had his first double-double, with 21 points and 10 rebounds. .
But as dominant as Hood and Parker were, they weren't the big story for Duke tonight. Andre Dawkins entered five minutes into the game and buried a bomb 90 seconds later. It was his first points since March 2010 and the feel-good story of the night.
But Dawkins was just beginning. He nailed four more from beyond the arc and scored inside on a nifty drive. He added three rebounds and a couple of assists to go with his 17 points.
All in a very productive 19 minutes.
What took so long? Krzyzewski revealed that Dawkins has been bothered by a bad back "that knocked him back a little bit" and forced him to miss some practices and cost him conditioning. But Krzyzewski said he told Dawkins before the game that he would be going in early.
Dawkins says "I did have a good day of practice. I came in Wednesday and got some work in. I've been preparing well this week and it showed tonight. You've got to play well to play. It's not a given."
Krzyzewski substituted early and often, trying to blend a few reserves with a few starters, trying different combinations. Twelve guys played at least six minutes.
Rasheed Sulaimon got his first start of the season. Krzyzewski said his sophomore guard has been bothered by a head cold. Sulaimon only scored four points but concentrated on defense, with four rebounds and two steals.
Krzyzewski noted that his team is "young together" and still needs time to gel. If that seems like coach speak, consider this; seventy-two of Duke's 97 points came from players who did not suit up for Duke last season.
Hood had 19 points at intermission and Duke led 52-29. Duke scored the first six points of the second half, after which the lead swung between 24 and 34 points. There were some rough parts in the second half, including one span of five fouls in less than two minutes and those pesky offensive rebounds allowed.
While noting Duke's perimeter dominance, Jarvis also noted that his team wasn't an especially good rebounding team and suggested that opponents would continue to exploit that.
Krzyzewski agreed. "Knock on wood, we've been fairly good with our assists and turnovers. We're way ahead of our opponents in that. The thing that our opponents are way ahead is rebounding."
Duke had 19 assists-Cook had eight-against only nine turnovers. For the season Duke has turned it over only 23 times in three games, while forcing 34. Duke has 50 assists on the season.
Parker has scored 70 points so far, more than any Duke freshman has scored in his first three games at Duke. Parker nailed 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, putting him at 11-16 on 3-pointers.
Duke is averaging 97 points per game and has hit 32 of 62 three-pointers.
Amile Jefferson continued to alternate promise with frustration. He had eight points and five rebounds in only 14 minutes, continuing to struggle with fouls.Want to comment? Join the forums!