Devils Crush Seton Hall, 93-40

Watching tape of his opponent's first game of the season had to give Seton Hall head coach Louis Orr hope. After all the Duke team he saw shot extremely poorly from the field, and even worse from the perimeter. On top of that the Blue Devils were out-rebounded by a small team from the Atlantic East Conference. Unfortunately for Coach Orr he ran into the Duke that most pundits expected to see in the opening game.

After watching his team jump out to a 2-1 lead, Orr saw a sleeping giant awake as what would become a Duke juggernaut proceeded to go on a 32-3 run during a 15 minute stretch to put the game away early led by a balanced attack that saw eight Blue Devils get on the score board in the opening half led by J.J. Redick's 16.

Coach K's troops weren't bad defensively either, holding Seton Hall to 13% shooting overall in the opening period before closing out a 43-13 lead by intermission. From there it was academic as the Blue Devils cruised to an easy 93-40 victory to advance to the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip Off in Madison Square Garden.

With his team up 30, Redick would log only a few brief cameo appearances in the second half, but his scoring prowess wouldn't be needed as Krzyzewski gave the nation its first look at Duke's improved depth – including the much heralded freshman class.

That group of five talented youngsters made a big splash in Cameron led by starting point guard Greg Paulus, who scored a career best 12 points and handed out 4 assists to go along with five rebounds. Classmate Josh McRoberts also started and logged six points and three rebounds in just 19 minutes.

However, the Duke coaching staff got big contributions from the other three diaper dandies. The trio of Jamal Boykin, Eric Boateng, and Martynas Pocius, who saw just 40 seconds of action against the Terriers, made their case to get on the floor more frequently led by Pocius' four points and four assists in just 13 minutes of action. Boateng added six points and five rebounds while Boykin chipped in with four and two.

With Redick and the young kids playing well, it was sophomore DeMarcus Nelson who was, perhaps, the man of the night for Duke. After finding himself on the bench to start the contest due to poor finishing against Boston, Nelson came on to disprove the notion that he's not a good finisher. Upon checking in, he immediately provided the highlight of the night -- throwing down a one handed dunk over a flailing Pirate defender off a Sean Dockery alley-oop that threatened to blow the roof off Cameron.

From there the 6-foot-3 California native would put on the best performance of his career, hitting all six field goal attempts along with both free throw attempts to finish with 16 points in 23 minutes.

Reigning National Defensive Player of the Year Shelden Williams got a chance to rest early, and logged only 16 minutes on the night – scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds while blocking one shot.

Duke takes on the winner of Sam Houston State and Drexel in Madison Square Garden next Wednesday.


The Devils Den Top Stories