No. 4 Duke hosts Colorado State in home opener
After opening the season with a monumental win, No. 4 Duke looks to avoid a letdown in Friday's home opener against Colorado State at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.
The Blue Devils are coming off Tuesday's 68-66 victory over No. 3 Kansas at New York's Madison Square Garden. Duke has won 20 consecutive season openers.
Colorado State posted its 12th straight season-opening victory the same night, defeating Denver 74-63.
Duke had freshmen Vernon Carey Jr., Matthew Hurt and Cassius Stanley in the starting lineup against the Jayhawks. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said having returning starter Tre Jones at point guard provides a soothing element for the younger Blue Devils.
"Tre having the ball as much as he does helps," Krzyzewski said. "I think you might have seen maybe some nervousness if (the freshmen) had to do more with the ball instead of just reacting because of the position Tre put them in."
Stanley scored 13 points and Carey and Hurt both notched 11 points. Jones finished with a team-high 15 points as Duke improved to 18-1 when he reaches double figures.
The Blue Devils pointed to defense as making a difference in the opener and that's something they hope carries throughout the season. Kansas was charged with a whopping 28 turnovers.
Duke appears to have decent depth this season. Nine players received double-digit minutes in the opener and eight scored.
"The depth that we have this year is much different then what we have had in years past," Jones said. "We can go much deeper into the bench and not drop off at all and the more we go to the bench, the more guys bring."
The Colorado State game is the beginning of a three-game homestand for the Blue Devils.
The Rams committed 14 turnovers in their victory against Denver.
"You're going to make mistakes, but you've got to grow," said Colorado State coach Niko Medved. "We'll turn all of our attention to Duke and figure out how we can get better. We're going to have to take care of the ball and move on and find a way to meet the challenge on Friday. That's what you sign up for when you do this."
The Rams felt good about aspects of their first game, though more might be needed against Duke.
"Great momentum going into the next game," senior guard Kris Martin said. "We came out with the right mentality, I believe, to be aggressive. I think we have to do a better job of rebounding the ball."
Denver secured nine of its 30 rebounds at the offensive end. Duke is bound to be more imposing from a physical standpoint.
"Obviously Duke, they're going to be big, physical, strong," Colorado State sophomore forward Adam Thistlewood said.
Duke has won both previous meetings with Colorado State, including in the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
--Field Level MediaHome