Duke rolled over Central Arkansas 105-54 Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor and as it has in the Blue Devils two previous wins, everything started on the defensive end. Duke held the Bears to 21.7% shooting from the floor in the first half and 35.3% on the game.
“We’re just trying to have a calling card, especially on the defensive end,” freshman Vernon Carey said after the contest. “If we take care of things on defense, it will take care of everything else. That was one of our main focuses in the summer – we started with defense. That’s just what [Coach Mike Krzyzewski] has been focusing on, and it’s paying off in the games.”
Krzyzewski went with a different starting lineup featuring Jones, Stanley, O’Connell, and Jack White starting in place of Matthew Hurt – a trend coach we may see more as the season continues.
“Questions about starting lineup with this team are not the same as if you asked them last year or the year before or the year before. We’re just looking at different combinations. I thought having a veteran in with Vernon could get him off better. Then Matt came in and he played really well. We’re looking at a lot of different things. The things that stay consistent are defense. Whenever they come in the game it really doesn’t matter. They’re playing the same defense.”
There was a scare in the 1st half when sophomore guard Tre Jones went down after colliding with a Central Arkansas player, but after the contest Coach K said he was fine.
“They butt heads and he got hit on the temple. He was pretty good at halftime, but we decided to obviously not play him. He looks pretty good now. I don’t think there will be a problem. He’s laughing and joking. I asked him if he knew my name and he said ‘Michael’, which was kind of bold on his part.”
Duke returns to Cameron to take on Georgia State Friday.
- Duke registered a season-high 14 steals in the game and now has 37 steals through three games – its most steals through the first three games of a season since 37 to start the 2006-07 campaign.
- The Blue Devils extended their non-conference home winning streak to 149 consecutive games – the nation’s longest active streak.
- Freshman Cassius Stanley entered the game as the second-leading shooter in the ACC at .765 and finished the game 5-for-5 to improve his shooting on the season to .819 (18/22).
- Duke had six players reach double figures for the first time since last season’s 113-49 win over Stetson at Cameron Indoor (Dec. 1, 2018).