DURHAM, N.C., Sporting Alert – Luke Kennard scored 30 points and led three other Duke players into double figures and the Blue Devils beat Virginia State 90-59 in Friday night’s first of two exhibition games.
Kennard, who is expected to play a big part for Duke in its championships hunt this season, shot 8-of-17 from the field and added six rebounds, two steals and two assists.
He scored 17 of his total points in the first half.
“It was a collective effort together tonight,” the sophomore said after the game.
“In the first half, we really didn’t play the way that we’ve been practicing. Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] mentioned that.
“We practiced a lot harder and that wasn’t us. That’s not who we want to be. That’s not who we’re going to be. But we did a great job sharing the ball.
“We had a couple of guys that had to go out with a couple of injuries early, and we had guys that stepped up. The second half was much better I thought altogether, and that’s what we need. We need guys to step up and give us energy off the bench.”
Kennard led all players in time spent on the court Friday night, after playing for 36 minutes.
Coach Krzyzewski isn’t planning to give his talented sophomore such a heavy workload regularly.
“I do expect him to step up,” the experienced coach said. “I’m not planning on playing anyone that extended minutes, because then fouls, tired, things like that.
“There was no way to have a rotation of any sort tonight, just the convoluted. It’s a crazy game as far as that goes because there is really no plan that you can have.
“He did a really good job tonight. I mean, really good job.”
Freshman guard Frank Jackson contributed 17 points on 6-of-10 scoring, including four 3-pointers. He also dished out four assists and had two steals in the win for the Blue Devils.
Fellow freshman, Marques Bolden collected a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 boards, while adding five blocks on the defensive end of the floor.
Grayson Allen also scored 13 points in 22 minutes in Cameron Indoor Stadium for Duke, which led 42-27 at halftime.
Walter Williams led Virginia State with 11 points, five rebounds and two steals in the exhibition defeat.