Duke emerges as the Champions of the Coaches Versus Cancer classic by defeating a tough and gritty Stanford team coached by Johnny Dawkins. Duke would win the game by 11 but seemingly controlled the game from the tip. Stanford would make various runs but never got the lead closer than 8 in the second half. One time recruit Chasson Randle scored 22 in the losing effort for the Cardinal.
Duke was anything but crisp early in this game but the shooting of senior guard Quinn Cook who scored 18 points for the game. Cook also had 5 assists to only 1 turnover in the game and was Dukes most valuable player and was named so for the tournament.
Tyus Jones did not have a memorable game but did manage to dish a couple of assists and also had 3 steals for the Devils. Part of the learning process for this freshmen class will include games where they will have to find other ways to contribute when shots aren’t falling.
Justice Winslow proved once again why he may be the x-factor for Duke this season, Winslow pulled down 9 rebounds over a Stanford team who had a significant size advantage. Justice also scored 14 points and 4 assists, a block and a steal. The only knock on Winslow’s game against Stanford was his 4 of 10 showing from the free throw line which could have been attributable to fatigue from playing back to back nights.
Duke got 10 points and 12 rebounds from freshman Jahlil Okafor who had his second game in a row playing against quality big men. Okafor ended the game playing much better than it began getting to the free throw line and snatching up rebounds and helping to seal the victory for Duke. Okafor went 4-10 with 3 turnovers but these big game experiences will serve him well going forward.
Sophomore Matt Jones made his presence felt in this game with 10 points off the bench. Jones would shoot 2 or 3 from beyond the arc hitting timely shots when Duke offense was at a lull.
There are still areas that Duke will need work in, being only the 5th game of the season that is perfectly acceptable. Duke’s perimeter defense wasn’t as good as one would hope but Chasson Randle is a great shooter and has a mid-range game that Duke is known for having trouble with. What Duke did do well was play gritty and tough, each rebound was tough going in this game. Winslow, Okafor and Jefferson were key in recycling possessions for Duke keying up extra shots.