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Duke Crushes UNLV In Vegas, 94-45

As the Tark guys said, it ain’t the winning, it’s the collecting.

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Duke v UNLV
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 10: Chase Jeter #2 of the Duke Blue Devils and Dwayne Morgan #15 of the UNLV Rebels reach for a rebound during their game at T-Mobile Arena on December 10, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Duke went to Las Vegas in part to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the legendary 1991 Final Four upset of the Rebels, but there were no echoes. It was Duke, all Duke and nothing but Duke. The Blue Devils approached greatness in the desert and did not blink.

Coach K said before the game that, with all its injuries, Duke was in October mode rather than December mode because so many players still have to be brought up to speed, including Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, Frank Jackson and Grayson Allen.

Allen, who has played through a painful toe injury, was devastating in Vegas. He shot 12-16 and scored 34, including two absolutely astounding dunks.

But when you look at this game, when you get past the spectacular, we’d suggest looking at a couple of things in particular.

First, assists.

Amile Jefferson had five, Matt Jones had three, Luke Kennard had four, Tatum had three and Jackson had two.

Now consider one assist in particular.

Kennard was ahead of the field on a break. Rather than taking the points himself, he just flipped it back to Tatum, who got the dunk.

That spoke volumes about this team’s unselfishness and that’s significant because there are a lot of guys who could really be gunners but who subordinate themselves to the team.

That’s what’s so significant about this win.

Duke shot very well, finishing at45.4% from deep and 58.7% overall.

Vegas had 21 turnovers, shot just 29.6% and 33.3% from three point range.

Duke outscored UNLV 52-19 in the second half.

Consider this too: Allen and Kennard combined for 50. They outscored Vegas on their own. They combined for 18-28 - 64.2%.

So now that Duke is returning to health the outlines are becoming clearer. When you add a fully up to speed Tatum to those two, Duke’s offense is going to be incredible.

And that’s just the core.

Jefferson has no trouble scoring. Neither does Jackson. Bolden will get his. And Harry Giles looms.

This team, in short, has the potential to be superb. And the fact that everyone seems to be unfselfish and is focused on couldn’t ask for better news than that.

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