The Duke men’s basketball team opened their 2023-2024 campaign with a 92-54 win over Dartmouth Monday and while the blowout victory wasn’t a surprise one gesture was…
With 16:45 remaining in the 2nd half and the Blue Devils holding a commanding 50-28 lead, Ryan Young snagged an offensive rebound off a missed three-point attempt by freshman Jared McCain and found ACC Preseason Player of the Year Kyle Filipowski flashing to the basket. Filipowski emphatically dunked the ball, looked directly into the baseline camera and blew a kiss.
“It was a little blow a kiss to the fans for the start of a new college hoops season,” Kyle said when I asked him about it after the game. “Just wanted to have some fun.”
Who is this guy? There’s no question Filipowski can hoop, but Monday night Flip was the most jovial I’ve ever seen him on the court. He was blowing kisses, flexing in front of the camera – “2-Hip-Flip” is different. Maybe it’s because this is the first time the sophomore, who had double hip surgery during the offseason, has played without pain in over two years.
“Man, they felt incredible,” Filipowski said when asked how his hips felt. “I wasn’t thinking about them once the whole game until I sat out the final stretch. I’m like man, I didn’t have an pain or thoughts about my hips holding me back. It was just poetry for me.”
Flip finished the game with 25 points on 10-12 shooting from the floor, with most of his points coming off of layups and dunks. It was the perfect way for the player who will be the offensive engine for this Duke team to start the season.
“I think it’s definitely a sign of the more in-tune player I am this year. I’ve been working a lot in the offseason and preseason, and I just feel like this is my year to really rise to the occasion with the potential I have.”
- Five different players finished in double-figures, led by Kyle Filipowski’s 25 points. Caleb Foster added 15, Jeremy
Roach tallied 14 and Jaylen Blakes finished with 10.
- Filipowski’s 25 points were the most by a Duke player in a season-opener since RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson
scored 31 and 28, respectively, against Kentucky in the 2018-19 season.
- Filipowski shot 10-of-12 (.833) from the field, marking the fourth-best field-goal percentage on 10 or more attempts by a Blue Devil in a season-opener.
- Caleb Foster scored 15 points in his Duke debut, going 6-of-10 (.600) from the field while adding three rebounds.
- Jeremy Roach ended the night 7-of-11 (.636) from the field en route to 14 total points.
- Tyrese Proctor paced the team in assists, dishing eight dimes while committing only one turnover and adding eight points.
Next Up: No. 2 Duke welcomes No. 12 Arizona to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. The game, broadcast on ESPN2, marks the first of two games in a home-and-home series between the two teams.