DURHAM, N.C., Sporting Alert – No. 1 Duke returns to the court on Saturday for the second game in the 2016-17 college basketball season against Grand Canyon, live on the ACC Network.
The Blue Devils rout Marist 94-49 in their season opener on Friday night and will make the quick in non-league turnaround against the visiting Antelopes at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke proved it has a big pool of talents to select from, as despite playing without three talented freshmen who missed out because of injuries, the ACC and national powerhouses managed to put up close to 100 points and held Marist to just 23-percent shooting.
The injuries to center Marques Bolden and forwards Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum made it seemed as though Duke are “a little bit undermanned,” according to head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“We’re a little bit undermanned now, and nobody feels sorry for us because they think we have an excessive number of men,” said Krzyzewski.
“But we just have to keep getting better.”
Freshman Frank Jackson finished with 18 points, four steals and four assists and Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard added 16 points each for Duke in Friday night’s win over the Red Foxes.
“It speaks for the talent that we have and the confidence that we do have in the guys on the bench,” Allen told reporters.
“Whoever we put out there can be a good group.”
Grand Canyon, which will be playing its first game of the 2016-17 college basketball season, heads to Durham, hoping to offer a much stiffer challenge to the Blue Devils.
The Lopes will open their season against a team ranked No. 1 in the AP Top-25 for the second time in three years after losing 85-45 in the 2014-15 campaign opener at No. 1 Kentucky.
“I think it will be a really good experience, not only for the kids but for myself,” admits head coach Dan Majerle earlier this week.
“I’ve played in some of the greatest arenas in the world as a player. I always enjoyed playing on the road against a hostile crowd.
“I’m anxious to see how our guys react to that. As I said, it will only make us a better team and stronger from playing in an environment like that.”