Okafor shines in Duke scrimmage
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Freshman Jahlil Okafor had 27 points and eight rebounds during a scrimmage for Duke's ''Countdown to Craziness'' event on Saturday night at a packed Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Okafor is part of a touted recruiting class for the Blue Devils that also includes Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow.
''It was a lot of fun,'' Okafor said. ''I'm just excited to be here and can't wait to get back out in front of the fans again. My teammates really encourage me to try to dominate every game, and it helps when the people around you really believe in you.''
Okafor, Jones and Winslow played together for the White team in the first half, contributing to a 34-17 lead that featured 12 points for Okafor and 10 from Matt Jones. The teams were scrambled for the second 12-minute half, and Okafor's White squad won 30-26.
''(Okafor) is a dominant player, and I thought Marshall (Plumlee) actually played pretty well against him,'' Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. ''Jah makes shots. If he works even more and gets some easy stuff he'll continue to grow.''
Winslow finished with 12 points and six rebounds, and Tyus Jones had seven points and six assists. Rasheed Sulaimon had 22 points.
''We just tried to treat it like any other scrimmage, but it's not with the lights and the fans and the crowd,'' Winslow said. ''We just tried to make it as normal as possible, compete and have fun. I know it gave us freshmen a lot of confidence.''
Duke finished 26-9 last season and lost its second-round NCAA tournament game to Mercer. The Blue Devils host Livingstone in an exhibition Nov. 4, and the regular-season opener is Nov. 14 against Presbyterian in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Plumlee won the slam dunk contest after the game.