Balanced Attack Leads Duke Past Columbia

Freshman center Brian Zoubek scored a game high 18 points as No. 11 Duke opened the 2006-2007 season with a 43 point victory over Columbia in the first round of the CBE Classic.

Zoubek, who started his first collegiate game alongside fellow freshman Jon Scheyer, connected on 4-of-7 field goal attempts, while knocking down 10-of-13 from the free throw line. He added six rebounds and one blocked shot while playing just 14 minutes.

The seven footer wasn't the only member of Duke's highly touted freshman class to have a successful debut as classmate Jon Scheyer also started the game and hit for 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting (all from the perimeter). Off the bench came Lance Thomas and Gerald Henderson who tallied 12 and four points respectively.

The four newcomers are likely to see more and more action as the season progresses after impressing Krzyzewski on Sunday.

"All four are good players," said the Duke head coach. "Jon [Scheyer] because of Greg [Paulus] being out has been able to play the point, too, so he becomes a little more versatile. Lance [Thomas] is athletic and can cover a three, four or five. Brian [Zoubek] is unique. Gerald [Henderson] is a unique athlete and he missed most of the preseason with numerous injuries. When he gets into really good shape, he'll just keep getting better."

After the Lions took an early 3-0 lead, Duke would respond as Scheyer knocked down his first collegiate three pointer followed by a DeMarcus Nelson steal and lay-up to make it 5-3. From there the Blue Devils would not trail again.

Duke continued to use a balanced attack for most of the night with 10 players logging 12 or more minutes - a notable departure from recent years when the Blue Devils have utilized a much shorter bench.

"I don't know if we'll be able to do that every game," said Kryzewski of the depth he showed. "Knowing that we don't have to pace ourselves is very important. We have guys with multiple skill sets."

In addition to Scheyer and Zoubek, junior DeMarcus Nelson also broke into double figures with 11 points while playing a team high 26 minutes. Fellow captain Josh McRoberts added 8 points and 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks in 24 minutes. Meanwhile the third captain, junior Greg Paulus, made his return from a foot injury with 2 points and 7 assists in 19 minutes of actions.

With the victory, the Blue Devils advance to meet Georgia Southern on Monday at 7 p.m. (ESPN2) while the Lions will face UC Davis in a consolation game.

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