A pair of Duke point guards will be making their triumphant returns to Cameron Indoor Stadium for tonight's ACC game between Boston College and Duke.
Derryck Thornton, who spent a year with the Blue Devils as a replacement for Tyus Jones in 2015-16, is back as a graduate transfer with the Eagles. Thornton reclassified to graduate high school a year early after Jones was a surprise one-and-done following the 2015 national title.
Reportedly, members of Thornton's inner circle weren't happy with the way he was used at Duke, and he left for greener pastures. After two years with USC, he left as a graduate transfer and returned to the East Coast and the ACC.
Thornton and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski were both complimentary at preseason ACC media days while discussing the upcoming "revenge game," but both competitors will definitely want to show that they're better off since the breakup.
The other high profile return is current Duke point guard Tre Jones, younger brother of Thornton's predecessor at Duke, Tyus. Jones has missed the last two games with what's been called a "minor" ankle sprain. He was expected to practice fully with contact this week, and he was on the floor doing pregame shooting with the rest of the team before the New Year's Eve game.
B.C. forward Nik Popovic is looking like a game time decision. He's missed four straight with a back problem.
Duke's starters: Cassius Stanley, Vernon Carey Jr., Alex O'Connell, Matthew Hurt ... and Tre Jones
Derryck Thornton has gotten past Jones into the lane on each of BC's first two possessions. We flagged that as a potential problem heading into the game. As you may have seen in our interview with our friends at BC Maven
BC is selling out early to clog the middle against Vernon Carey. Blue Devils are getting some wide open looks at threes.
At the under 16, Duke leads 8-6. All six of BC's points have come in the lane, on drives. Duke is 2-of-6 from three and has only shot three two-pointers. Blue Devils also rebounding BC in the early going.
Pretty sure Duke ran the same play to seal off an alley to the hoop that Stanley got last game. Baker was the beneficiary this time.
Derryck Thornton limps to the bench for BC. Looks like a right ankle. He's in a bit of pain as they evaluate him.
Thornton headed to the locker room. Walking (limping) under his own power, which is a ... better sign than if he couldn't, I guess.
Thornton is back on the bench, walking much better, and headed to the scorer's table. I assume they re-taped him in the lobby where there was more space.
At the under 12, Duke has created some room, leading 14-8. BC is losing the battle of the boards, 11-6, struggling to hit shots (including some good looks at the rim).
Weird sequence right before the media time out. Jim Christian patted his arm and called for BC to run "elbow". Jack White then patted his own arm and called out "elbow" to his teammates. Not sure if they've stolen BC's signs or what. I didn't hear anyone banging on a trash can
Vernon Carey is getting a welcome to ACC play. He's had bodies on him all night. Much more physical than he's seen from other defenses so far this season.
BC calls time out with 8:59 left in the half. Duke up 17-8
DeLaurier got stripped from behind on a breakaway, then dunked on at the other end. In his frustration, he forgot to stay back to take the inbounds pass from Tre Jones.
Jones struggled to pick up the ball, kicking it along the baseline as he "tried" to get it, until DeLaurier remembered and ran back. Slick little veteran move.
At the under eight (which came at 6:38, Duke is up 23-12.
Joey Baker slapped the floor, and not in a Duke way ... in a mad at the ref and lucky not to get a T way. Coach K took him out immediately and may have asked him if he hurt his hand as he walked past.
At the under four (at 2:52), Duke is in control at 30-14. BC shooting 28 percent and 0-for-6 from three.
BC hits a three with 15 seconds left in the half to pull ahead of Matthew Hurt, 19-17. Duke calls time out to set up a final play. (The rest of Duke has 23)
And Hurt hits a three at the buzzer to take back the lead! At halftime it's Duke 45, Hurt 20, BC 17.
Hurt is 8-of-11 from the field, 4-of-6 from 3. Moore has 6 points, four rebounds. Jones has six assists.
BC is shooting just 28.6 percent at the half. Duke shot 52.9 percent.
Derryck Thornton has four points at the half, which is more (or as many) as he scored in four of his final six games at Duke
Key first half stats comparison
6-0 Duke run capped by Carey and AOC dunks put Duke up 30, 53-23. BC gets a time out. 16:45 left to play.
Jay Heath's fourth foul sends us to the under 16, with Duke still up 53-23
Two Duke turnovers and a BC three, and Coach K calls a time out. Duke up 59-31 with 13:10 left.
Duke's 5-for-5 platoon substitution necessitated the timeout after they allowed a BC run, but things have settled down a bit afterward. Coach K is ready to do another 5-for-5 to bring in the starters, after the under 12. Duke up 62-33.
At the under 8, it's 69-37 Duke. Hurt has 25. Carey has 9 and 9. Jones has 5 points, 5 boards, 10 assists.
BC calls time out at 4:27, I think just to get subs in, but it's expanded to a full. Duke up 76-40.
that’ll do it. Duke wraps up an 88-49 win