No. 7 Duke dominates Jacksonville to open Scheyer’s term

DURHAM, NC (AP) — Jeremy Roach scored 16 first-half points to help seventh-ranked Duke open Jon Scheyer’s coaching tenure with a 71-44 victory over Jacksonville on Monday night.

Freshman Mark Mitchell had a team-high 18 points for the Blue Devils, who used a 25-4 halftime streak to open the game. The Blue Devils took a 28-24 lead with a 16-point margin at halftime behind Roach – the team’s only returning starter from last year’s Final Four – then pushed that margin to 25 points midway through the second half.

It was a quality start to a season of massive change for the Blue Devils, starting with Scheyer taking over for retired Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski. In fact, it marked the first coaching debut for the Blue Devils since Krzyzewski won his debut against Stetson on November 29, 1980 – part of a college basketball record 1,202 career wins that has notably led Duke to five NCAA championships.

Scheyer, 35, was the top scorer for Coach K’s fourth title in 2010 and then spent nine seasons on the bench for Duke. He was named as Krzyzewski’s successor in June 2021.

Scheyer did a post-game TV interview, then gave a high-five to the front row of “Cameron Crazies” as he headed down the tunnel next.

Additionally, Duke has 11 new players, including the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class and two power conference transfers. The Blue Devils lacked top freshmen Derek Lively II and Dariq Whitehead for this one as they recover from preseason injuries.

Mike Marsh scored 15 points to lead the Dolphins, who shot just 34 percent and missed 18 of 19 3-pointers before making two unnecessary 3s late. Jacksonville also couldn’t stop Duke from the glass, with the Blue Devils taking a 44-25 rebounding advantage with 18 second-chance points.


Jacksonville: The Dolphins won 21 games last year in their first season under Jordan Mincy, a former Kent State player who previously worked as an assistant in Florida. This year’s team is chosen to finish second behind Liberty in the Atlantic Sun, led by preseason all-conference pick Kevion Nolan. But the 6-2 Nolan never felt comfortable seeing multiple defenders, finishing with five points on 1-for-9 shooting.

Duke: Scheyer has made no secret of how much the Blue Devils will rely on Roach this year as a seasoned voice in a room full of newcomers. The 6-foot-2 guard came out aggressively, starting with an up and down motion near the foul line followed by a 3-pointer in the opening 4+ minutes. He also closed the half with a 3 outright on an offensive rebound, pushing Duke to a 42-26 lead at the break. He shot 6-of-7 and 4-of-5 3 in the first half as Duke took control.


Jacksonville: The Dolphins host Johnson University of Florida, which is affiliated with the National Christian College Athletic Association, on Friday.

Duke: The Blue Devils host USC Upstate on Friday night.


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