The 9th ranked Duke Blue Devils defeated the Coppin State Eagles 81-71 in their first ever meeting between the two schools. After uncertainty all week long on whether the game would be played this afternoon and proper testing protocols being in place, both teams were able to get rid of rust and put on an entertaining game inside Cameron Indoor.
The first half consisted of back and forth sloppy play by both teams, which led to Coppin State taking an early lead out the gates. Lots of hand checking and blocking fouls put the Eagles in the bonus early. Senior point guard Jordan Goldwire picked up two quick fouls, placing him on the bench and freshmen Jeremy Roach and DJ Steward into quick game action. DJ Steward led the pressure, picking up the ball handler full-court, which helped lead Duke to a 13-0 run.
The Blue Devils opened up the second half just like the first, sloppy and lackadaisical. Dejuan Clayton, senior Eagle, consistently took advantage of the aggressiveness of the Duke’s guards – getting to the line and bringing his team to within 6 at the 8:55 minute mark. Orchestrating the offense from the top of the key, Clayton and Tarke, without hesitation, attacked the pick and roll, frequently putting the slower Joey Baker and Matthew Hurt at the swift Eagles’ advantage.
In the second half, Duke fought for breathing room with the Eagles keeping within striking distance, resembling their head coach Juan Dixon who was a fighter back in his day at Maryland.
The backcourt of Coppin State combined for 44 points, with 13 boards. The Eagles kept it respectable till the end but fell short to the 9th ranked Blue Devils 81-71.
Jalen Johnson broke several records this afternoon.
- Freshman record of 19 rebounds in first game.
- Joined Marvin Bagley as the only other freshman to open up their season with a double-double.
- Jalen indeed filled the stat sheet with a perfect 8-8 from the field with 19 points, 19 rebounds, 5 dimes, and 4 blocks. If you were to see this stat-line you would assume he was without blemish, but Coach K will certainly point out areas to grow. which included 7 turnovers.
D.J. Steward may soon force Coach K to start him. The freshman scored 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists off the BENCH! Letting his defense lead to his offense, Steward picked up the defensive intensity which led Duke to quick transition points.
Cause for Concern:
You could make the case that missing the Cameron Crazies hurt Duke’s intensity. 22 turnovers and 16 points combined from Hurt, Baker, and Goldwire wasn’t pretty.
Coach K was forced to take out Matthew Hurt and Joey Baker during times in the second half. Key word – forced. Juan Dixon had his quads. who didn’t back down to Duke inside Cameron, set up the high ball screen over and over again – placing Hurt on Tarke and Clayton who drove by with ease. No disrespect to these two flashy guards, but Duke is about to face the likes of Michigan State and Illinois within the next 10 days; much better competition.
The woes will have to be fixed ASAP and will be. First game, in real competition, there’s no overreaction here. Just stating the obvious. You are playing at Duke University. No one is backing down. You will get everyone’s best shot night after night. As National Champion Quinn Cook famously stated, “Duke is Never the Underdog.”