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A Pair Of Freshman Lead Duke To Big 113-44 Win In First Game

The college basketball season tipped off on Friday and 23 games were played across the country. 23 of the top 25 teams in the nation were all part of the tip off madness around the nation, with only #19 Oklahoma and #24 Michigan having the day off. While #1 Kentucky had an impressive 20-point win over Grand Canyon, #2 Arizona earned a 23-point win over Mount St. Mary’s, and Wisconsin notched a 31-point win over Northern Kentucky, the most impressive victory on the night may have come from #4 Duke.
The Blue Devils opened their season at home on Friday night with a monster 113-44 win over Presbyterian at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke was led by freshman sensation Jahilil Okafor, who had 19 points in his debut. Three other Duke starters scored in double-digits, including Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones, and Quinn Cook. Grayson Allen and Rasheed Sulalmon also came off the bench with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
The surge in efficiency by both Okafor and Allen are much welcomed to Durham this season. Both players are highly touted freshman, and they are hoping to help Duke make a run at a National Championship in April. They are also looking to replace the likes of Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, both of whom made the jump to the NBA after last season.
Granted, Presbyterian is not nearly as talented as many of the teams in the ACC, but the huge win is a great way to get the ball rolling this year. Last year the Blue Devils ended the season with back-to-back losses, first in the ACC Championship and then again in the Round Of 64 in the national tournament.
The 113 points that the Blue Devils scored was the most since they scored 114 against Penn State in 2009. The win also was the most lopsided in Duke history since they beat Harvard in 1989 by 76 points.
Duke has one of the best freshman classes in the nation. And when you add the fact that they are playing for one of the greatest coaches in the country in Mike Kryzewski, one has to assume that the Blue Devils will be in the conversation come March. Be sure to check in with sportspicks.com throughout the NCAA basketball season for inside picks and information.
The season has just begun, but it’s not too late to take a look at how some of the top teams in the nation are projected to do this season. Kentucky currently is at 9/5 odds to win the National Championship, while Arizona is second with 13/2 and Wisconsin is third at 9/1. Behind them is Duke at 12/1, and Florida rounds out the top five at 17/1.
Duke will now play Fairfield in the second round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on Saturday in Durham. If Friday’s result is any indication of the statement that Duke is trying to make early, it could be another explosive game for Okafor, Allen, and the rest of the Blue Devils.