Duke Rides Shutdown First Half to 84-46 Win over Eastern Michigan

A brilliant first half. A hard-playing team that made just about every Duke fan proud. Oh, and, by the way, Zion put on a dunk show. Yeah, this was a pretty fun game. Duke smacked Eastern Michigan 84-46 as Zion Williamson led the way with 21 points and 9 rebounds. RJ Barrett came a close second with 20. Javin DeLaurier had one of his best games in a while, scoring 10 points alongside his 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and block. In addition, a usually foul-prone Javin only had one foul in this entire game, which came in the second half. Jack White also performed well, matching his co-captain with 10 points.

Yeah, I lied a little bit when I said Zion put on a dunk show. They all put on an in-the-paint clinic. Dunking, layups, tip-ins: S/o to Zion, Javin, and Jack for controlling the paint! Duke scored most of their points down low. I did not lie, though, when I said Zion dunked. He’s so much more than a dunker, don’t get me wrong, but it’s EPIC when he does. However, he has non-dunk highlights, too: I sometimes wonder if this guy took dance lessons or something. He’s 285 pounds of muscle, yet he has the feet of a ballerina. How it’s humanly possible I don’t know, but you can see it below:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find tape of an amazing lay-in from the second half, but Duke Basketball Report has highlight reels of RJ and Zion, so check those out!

Cam Reddish was limited in playing time because of a sore groin, but Coach K said he’s fine and it was just a precaution. He would’ve played had it been closer. Freshman Joey Baker was the only guy on the team not suited up, which basically solidifies the notion that he will redshirt this year.

Bleed blue. Duke prepares for San Diego State in Maui this Monday. That’ll be 5pm ET. Go Duke!

Next Up: Eastern Michigan

Feb 9, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; The Cameron Crazies get pumped up before the start of the Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-335514 ORIG FILE ID: 20170209_twg_ad5_012.jpg

Duke’s recent rise to #1 in the AP Poll and the first week of play that has everyone talking will have to be put aside now: today we get one final touch-up in Cameron before heading off to Maui. Kentucky may not have put up much of a fight, but Army did and we learned not to count anybody out, as the Cadets kept the lead around 10 for most of the game. Eastern Michigan, RJ Barrett says, will be a “completely different game”. These games are getting us ready for ACC play with totally different defenses: Kentucky played man-to-man, and that, well, didn’t go so well. Army added a little touch that made the lanes harder to get to, and we had to score 15 threes. Eastern Michigan will play a 2-3 zone. Eastern Michigan’s head coach was previously an assistant at Syracuse, so this has a chance to emulate what Duke will see against Syracuse on January 14th. Obviously, most of the guys on Eastern Michigan have probably not seen any one guy like the players Duke has, not to mention all of them on one team. However, there’s no saying that this will be easy.

Duke will also get another test against a big man with experience and size. Redshirt junior Boubacar Toure is 6-11 and 241, so hopefully Marques can pull out some of his own strength to control the paint. 6-2 guard Paul Jackson is averaging 18 PPG as the highest average scorer as of now. The Eagles are 3-0 but will go on to face top-25 (as of November 14) teams such as (25) Buffalo, (21) TCU, and a major matchup with a very, very talented (2) Kansas team. Eastern Michigan is currently allowing about 68 points per game on the defensive end. As expected this early, Duke’s defense hasn’t been superb but it’s not like we were expecting them to be lockdown right off the bat. 

Bleed. Blue. duke vs. Eastern Michigan at 7:00PM on ACCN. Go Duke!