After a COVID-related postponement of Wednesday’s opener, Duke opens the season against Coppin State Saturday at 2:00
The Blue Devils will start four upperclassmen and a freshman against the Eagles: Senior Jordan Goldwire, Sophomores Wendell Moore Jr. and Matthew Hurt, Junior Joey Baker and Freshman Jalen Johnson.
The Blue Devils will play for the first time since March 7, the longest gap between Duke games since 1982. The game also marks former Maryland Terrapin Juan Dixon’s return to Cameron. Dixon last played there in 2002, at the height of the Maryland-Duke ACC rivalry. He returns as head coach of Coppin State.
A total of six freshmen are expected to make their college debuts today. In addition to Johnson, the Blue Devils feature center Mark Williams, power forward Henry Coleman, wing Jaemyn Brakefield and guards DJ Steward and Jeremy Roach. Grad transfer Patrick Tape is also expected to play.
If the game becomes a blowout, two walk-ons who redshirted last season could also make their Duke debuts—Keenan Worthington and Coach K’s grandson, Michael Savarino.
The Blue Devils will be playing without their traditional home court advantage. Fans and students are not allowed in Cameron Indoor Stadium, due to the pandemic.
Coppin State hits a pair of early threes to take a 10-4 lead, but Duke scores four straight headed into the under 16 trailing 10-8.
Hurt has taken four of Duke's nine shots so far, hitting one. Every starter except Goldwire has a field goal.
DJ Steward enters the game during the time out and quickly scores his first college points. Goldwire tosses an alley oop for Mark Williams' first points.
Duke and Coppin trading buckets and hit the under 12 tied at 17.
With no one allowed in Cameron, you'd think the stats feed would be a priority for people following the game at home. You'd be wrong. They're apparently only updating it at each media time out.
Johnson with a putback for Duke's first lead, 19-17. Johnson 4-of-4 from the field for 9 points and 6 rebounds. He's as good as advertised in the early going.
Steward hits from three to put Duke up 22-19 at the under eight. He has five points and a steal.
Brakefield the only freshman not to see time yet, although Coleman was only in for a minute. Tape also yet to see the floor
After hitting 2 of its first 3 three-pointers, Coppin is 1 of its last 9.
Roach to Hurt for three. Duke has scored 10 straight, up 32-21. A Steward three before the under four and a Hurt basket after puts Duke up 16, on a 15-0 run.
Duke follows with a 6-1 run to close the half. Blue Devils up 45-28 at the break. Johnson leads with 15 points, 11 rebounds. Steward has 10, Hurt 9
Steward replaces Baker to start the second half.
Coppin State starts off on fire, cutting Duke's 17 point lead to 10, 51-41 at the under 16
Duke now up to 18 turnovers on the game as Coppin State has cut it to 58-52 at the under 12. The bigs: Coleman, Williams and Tape, have combined for five minutes of playing time
Johnson picks up his third foul, joining Moore & Hurt with three.
Duke up to 21 turnovers, leading 62-56 at the under 8.
Duke with a bit of a rally to pull ahead by 12 at the under four.
Jalen Johnson has 19 points, 18 rebounds in his debut
Seven point spurt from Coppin State cuts the lead to seven. Duke calls time out then gets a three from Steward and a layup by Moore to get some breathing room.
And Duke holds on for an 81-71 win. Steward leads the Blue Devils with 24 points. Also had nine rebounds. Johnson had 19 points, 19 boards. Johnson led the way with five assists, four blocks.