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November 1, 2007

Blue Devils cruise past Shaw

Duke placed 10 players in double figures Thursday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium, as the Blue Devils cruised past an overmatched Shaw Bears squad, 134-55, in exhibition play.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski's up-tempo game plan proved to be a success and clearly took advantage of the Devils strengths as a team. From the very start of the game, Duke was placing heavy pressure on the Bears both offensively and defensively, placing the contest out of reach before the game clock ever reached the 10 minute mark of the opening half.

The Blue Devils forced 34 Shaw turnovers in the game and held them to 32.3 percent shooting in the game. The defense was especially locked in during the first half when Duke held them to just 5-of-26 shooting (19.2 percent) on its way to a 68-17 lead at the break.

Freshman Kyle Singler took just 11 seconds to put his name in the scoring column, as he sunk one of two free throws to start the game. The opening miss from the foul line was one of just two missed shots, in any form, on the night for Singler, as he connected on 10-11 shots to lead the team with 23 points.

Several of Singler's points came in a crowd pleasing manner as he ignited the Cameron Crazies on more than one occasion, sparking the Duke students to chant "Kyle Singler".

Though the talented freshman led the way offensively, the Blue Devils other two newcomers, Taylor King and Nolan Smith were just as impressive. King showed Duke fans there is more to his game than a jump shot, as the 6-foot-6, 230 pound forward ran the floor extremely well and played a complete game on both sides of the ball. King, who connected on only 2-of-7 three pointers, found other ways to score on his way to 10 points. King also provided Duke with a lift on the glass, as he grabbed nine rebounds, leaving him just one board shy of a double double.

Smith, on the other hand, showed his value as he slashed to the basket over and over again, earning his way to the free throw line for 10 shots. Though he only made five of those attempts, Smith still managed to score 11 points on the day and more impressively, dish out seven assists with zero turnovers.

Smith and Singler perhaps gave Duke fans a glimpse into the future as the two connected in transition on back-to-back plays for huge baskets that brought everyone in attendance to their feet.

Though the freshmen clearly were attempting to steal the show, there was plenty of excitement provided by a handful of the others. Gerald Henderson showed Shaw and the fans why so many believe he will have a breakout season, as he used his athleticism to haul in 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The sophomore also had five rebounds from his guard position.

Lance Thomas also gave Coach K and his staff something to smile about by going 6-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line, good for 15 points. Even more pleasing to the coaching staff is the fact that Thomas crashed the offensive boards with a fury, grabbing five on the night and seven total rebounds. Additionally, DeMarcus Nelson chipped in on the boards as he grabbed eight from his guard position. He also scored 17 points and connected on all six of his foul shots.

Also scoring in double figures was Jon Scheyer, Martynas Pocius, Greg Paulus and Brian Zoubek.

Duke shot 57 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from three and 77.8 percent from the free throw line.

The Blue Devils will take the court again on Saturday when they host Barton College for its second scrimmage. Game time will be five o'clock.


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