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November 3, 2005Duke's exhibition opener Thursday night was everything an exhibition opener is supposed to be for a number one ranked team.
Every player saw action and the Devils dominated in every facet of the game against the Concordia (Canada) Stingers in a 123-66 victory.
The sellout crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium watched Duke stifle Concordia on the defensive end of the floor. Duke used its patented pressure to force 30 turnovers and hold Concordia to less than 40 percent shooting from the field.
Sean Dockery spearheaded the defensive effort with four steals in just 18 minutes of play. Eight other Blue Devils joined Dockery in the steals column.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski used a variety of lineups in the victory. He started the same five that made up the white team in the blue-white scrimmage two weekends ago.
Dockery, J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams, DeMarcus Nelson, and Josh McRoberts began the contest for Duke, but the Devils showed several different looks throughout the contest.
Dockery and freshman Greg Paulus logged some minutes together as Coach K said they would. There were also several times when the lineup had a very young look with as many as four freshmen on the floor at the same time.
In exhibition play, Duke is utilizing the international three point line, but that didn't stop the Devils from connecting on 11 deep balls in the contest.
Five of those belonged to senior Lee Melchionni, who poured in 21 points in 21 minutes of floor time. Redick hit three shots from behind the stripe on his way to a 21-point effort.
Duke pounded the offensive glass all night, pulling down a whopping 34 offensive rebounds against a much smaller Concordia team. Williams had 10 of those offensive boards as Duke scored many times off of an extra shot.
Of the freshmen, McRoberts provided the most highlights, as he scored 11 points including a couple of highlight reel dunks in both the half court and on a fast break.
If there was one stat for Duke fans not to like in the victory, it would be at the foul line, where the Devils connected on just 64.9 percent of their attempts.
The three biggest culprits in that category were freshmen Eric Boateng (2-6) and McRoberts (1-4), along with Nelson (0-2).
It's nit picking though to criticize the opening act to the Blue Devils' 2005-06 season. Duke came to play and got the job done in dominating fashion.
Patrick Perrotte paced the Stingers with 17 points.