After a closer-than-expected six-point win in its first exhibition game, Duke came out on Wednesday with something to prove.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back, drubbing Fort Valley State 126-57.
Duke scored just 69 points against Northwest Missouri State on Saturday. By halftime on Wednesday, the Blue Devils had 67.
Duke players wore plain tops and shorts in pregame warmups, presumably because coach Mike Krzyzewski had decided that they hadn’t yet earned the right to wear shooting shirts with the Duke logo.
Whatever happened behind closed doors, the Blue Devils came out motivated from the start. Point guard Tre Jones threw a half-court alley oop to Matthew Hurt on the opening tip, giving Duke a lead five seconds in which it never relinquished.
Duke started Jones alongside backup point guard Jordan Goldwire, and the pair triggered a press that rendered Fort Valley State helpless in the early going. The Blue Devils finished with 24 steals and forced 36 FVSU turnovers.
The Blue Devils, 2-for-16 from three on Saturday, found their outside stroke, hitting 13-of-28 from deep. Joey Baker, seldom used as a freshman last season, led the way, hitting 6-of-8 from outside and scoring a game-high 22. Hurt had 19, and seven Blue Devils scored in double figures.
Duke also wanted to finish inside. Freshman center Vernon Carey and forward Wendell Moore each had just four points in the exhibition opener. On Wednesday, Duke had a 68-34 edge on points in the paint. Carey scored 11 with eight rebounds and Moore 15 with five boards.
Duke will take Thursday off, then leave for New York on Sunday after practice. The Blue Devils open the season against Kansas in the Champions Classic.