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Devils Dominate Elon, 97-68

As the freshmen and sophomore Javin DeLaurier impress

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NCAA Basketball: Elon University at Duke
Nov 10, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Marvin Bagley III (35) shoots over Elon Phoenix forward Tyler Seibring (41) during the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke won 97-68
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

So much for freshmen jitters.

Starting senior Grayson Allen and a quartet of freshmen, Duke used an early 17-0 run, spanning almost six minutes to break open their 2017-’18 season opener against Elon and continued to pour it on.

The final was Duke 97 Elon 68, a decisive beatdown of a team that returned all five starters from last season’s 18-14 team.

Allen opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, which Elon’s Tyler Seibring answered 54 seconds into the game.

The Phoenix wouldn’t score again for a long time.

Allen hit a short jumper, then another bomb and it was 8-3.

“A man by the name of Grayson Allen,” Gary Trent, Jr. said to explain the hot start. “He came out hot, on his P’s and Q’s, everything we expect from him. He got off strong and got us off to a great start.”

Trent added a couple from beyond the arc and Duke scored twice off the offensive boards and it was 20-3 before the second media timeout.

The visitors finally started to find the range from outside but never really cut into the Duke lead.

The closest they got after that initial surge was 24-14, which Duke answered with an 8-0 run.

It wasn’t perfect by any means. Wendell Carter, Jr. picked up two quick fouls, sat a bit, then picked up his third, playing only five minutes in the opening half.

And the foul shooting was abysmal.

And Duke was missing Marques Bolden, out with strep throat.

Mike Krzyzewski said that forced Duke into some unusual combinations.

But Duke also showed their versatility and adaptability. Javin DeLaurier came in for Carter and made a positive difference. DeLaurier, who needs rebounds the way a fish needs water, grabbed seven in the opening half.

Then there was Marvin Bagley III, the touted freshman. He started slow but when he turned it on, he turned it on.

“When he gets the ball low, something good is going to happen,” Mike Krzyzewski said. Bagley had 10 points and eight rebounds at the half, including a spectacular dunk on a Trevon-Duval pass right before intermission.

It was 45-25 at halftime. Elon shot 29 percent from the first half, 40 percent from the foul line and grabbed all of two offensive rebounds.

A young team might have come out sluggish in the second half with a big lead but not tonight. The Blue Devils started the second half with a 9-0 run, Trent, Bagley and Duval accounting for all the points.

The lead never again dipped lower than 23 despite a liberal substitution policy by Krzyzewski, no doubt mindful of Saturday’s short-turnaround, a game against a Utah Valley team that pushed Kentucky tonight.

Following the game, one magic word popped up in the Duke locker room.

“We play together really well,” Allen said. “We’re connected both offensively and defensively. It’s really fun when you know someone has your back.”

“We get out and run and we don’t know who scored the ball, just that Duke scored the ball,” DeLaurier added. “It’s really fun that way.”

“When we get a rebound, we run, get open and Trevon will find us. It’s a beautiful way to play. It’s fun.”

Bagley didn’t use the f word but he’s on the same page.

“[Running’s] a part of our game. We have a lot of guys who can get up and down the court and we need to use that. That’s the right way. Nobody is being selfish. Anything that is open. Make the right basketball play.”

Teams with this many new players don’t often have chemistry this good and who knows what will happen when adversity knocks. But Krzyzewski says this team “is looking for each other, both offensively and defensively. When they say something, they just don’t say something. They command. I’m trying hard not to overcoach them.”


The win was Krzyzewski’s 999th at Duke, a fact that Allen says he’s never mentioned to the team.

Bagley led everyone with 25 points and added 10 rebounds. DeLaurier grabbed 11 boards in 19 minutes.

Duke outrebounded Elon 48-30, grabbing 33 of 40 available defensive rebounds, turning many of them into fast-breaks.

Allen scored 22 points, 19 in the first half, shooting only once after intermission.

Trent added 17 points, while Duval had eight assists, without a turnover. Carter had eight points and six rebounds in 16 minutes.

Krzyzewski said Bolden has a severe strep throat, would not play tomorrow and was doubtful for Michigan State next week.

Allen and Trent combined for 10 for 14 from beyond the arc, the rest of the team, 2-11, Alex O’Connell with the makes. O’Connell’s eight points led Duke’s bench in scoring.

Duke was a 3-11 from the foul line and didn’t hit from the charity stripe for over 26 minutes.


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