#7 Duke Blue Devils (0-0) vs. Jacksonville Dolphins (0-0)
Game #1 • Home Game #1 • Monday, Nov. 7 • 7 p.m. ET
Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) • Durham, N.C.
TV: ACC Network
Radio: Blue Devils Sports Network from LEARFIELD
Duke men’s basketball welcomes Jacksonville to Cameron Indoor Stadium. This season marks the first for head coach Jon Scheyer, a 2010 Duke graduate and four year letter winner for the Blue Devils who spent the previous nine years on the staff under Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski. Duke is 90-27 all-time in season-opening games and has won 21 consecutive lid lifters. The Blue Devils and Dolphins are meeting for the first time.
Junior guard Jeremy Roach, a preseason first-team All-ACC pick and a member of the watch list for the Cousy Award, returns after helping lead Duke to the Final Four, a ACC regular-season title and a 32-7 mark last season. Roach averaged 8.6 points last season, but upped that to 11.8 points and 3.0 assists in Duke’s five-game run to the Final Four as he was named to the West Region All-Tournament Team. Roach is the Blue Devils’ lone captain for 2022-23. In total, Duke has 11 newcomers on the roster — seven freshmen — all recruited and signed by Scheyer which comprise the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, and four graduate transfers. In Duke’s only public exhibition game, graduate Jacob Grandison led four in double figures with 17 points, while freshman Mark Mitchell scored 15 with six rebounds and graduate Ryan Young added 12 points in an 82-45 win over Fayetteville State on Wednesday night. In preparation for the 2022-23 season, the Blue Devils also played a closed scrimmage at preseason-No. 3 Houston on Oct. 28.
Duke has signed a top-three recruiting class per ESPN in every season since Scheyer joined the staff, including the No. 1 class five times in nine seasons (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2022). Among Scheyer’s personnel moves in June were the hiring of Jai Lucas as an assistant coach and the promotion of Amile Jefferson to assistant coach. Scheyer also added Mike Schrage as special assistant to the head coach and Rachel Baker as general manager.
About the Opponent
Jacksonville was 21-10 last season and 11-5 in the ASUN, falling in the ASUN championship game to Bellarmine, which visits Cameron Indoor on Nov. 21. The Dolphins were picked second in the ASUN preseason poll this year.
Redshirt senior guard Kevion Nolan was unanimously voted to the All-Conference team. Nolan was a first-team All-ASUN pick last season after leading the team in scoring (13.9) and assists (4.0). Kevion Nolan battled injuries during much of his early moments in a Dolphin uniform, limited to just nine games in his first season after sitting out as a transfer in 2019-20. After a knee injury in the 2021-22 season opener sidelined him again, he worked even harder to come back. A Preseason All-ASUN pick in 21-22, he scored 25, inlcuding the quarter-court, buzzerbeating three to beat FGCU in the ASUN opener, posted his first career double-double at North Alabama and scored in double-figures in 16 games, topping 20 points six times, and registering five or more assists 10 times en route to being recognized by the league’s coaches as a First Team All-ASUN performer. Now, he is back for his final year at JU, and was a unanimous Preseason All-ASUN selection this year as he looks to power the Dolphins back to the NCAA Tournament.
The Dolphins return 80 percent of last season’s scoring and 70 percent of the team’s rebounding. Jacksonville men’s basketball boasts one of the largest frontlines in program history, harkening back to the days of Artis Gilmore and Pembrook Burrows as twin 7-footers in the early 1970s. Mike Marsh and Oumar Koureissi present two different looks at 6-foot-11, with Marsh anchoring an inside-outside presence with size and mid-range game and Koureissi capable of putting the ball on the floor and shooting from the outside. Additionally, 6-foot-10 Illinois/Florida transfer Omar Payne acts as a traditional rim-protector, while athletic 6-foot-8 Osayi Osifo provides energy, defense and a deceptive mid-range game. In all, the Dolphins expect to lean heavilly on the size inside to matchup in early season non-conference games and to show an advantage in ASUN Conference play.
Second-year head coach Jordan Mincy won the 2022 Joe B. Hall Award as the top first-year head coach in the country in leading the Dolphins to their best season in more than a decade. Mincy was an assistant coach at Florida from 2015-21 under head coach Mike White — who is the son of former Duke Athletics Director Kevin White. The Gators played Duke twice times in that span.
Duke Blue Devils
G JeremyRoach 6’2, 180lbs Jr.
G TyreseProctor 6’5 175lbs Fr.
F MarkMitchell 6’8, 220lbs Fr.
F Ryan Young 6’10, 235lbs Gr.
C KyleFilipowski 7’0, 230lbs Fr.
G Kevion Nolan 6’2, 180lbs RSr.
G Jordan Davis 6’3, 195lbs GS
G Gyasi Powell 6’3, 190lbs RSoph.
F Osayi Osifo 6’8, 230lbs RSr.
F Mike Marsh 6’11, 240lbs RJ
HEAD COACH JON SCHEYER
On how he feels leading up to his first official game as Duke’s head coach:
“It’ll feel a little different, I’m sure. I think anything in life that you’re passionate about, whether it’s the first time doing it or the 20th time or, hopefully you continue, hundreds of times, but I can remember any game I played as a player, same thing as an assistant coach even, there’s some butterflies you get before games and that means you’re doing something you’re passionate about. So for me, I’m sure I’ll feel some things and our guys will. I’ve been taught since I’ve been young, any moment like this, you’re playing in a national championship, whatever it may be, you don’t go into it dipping your toes in the water. You go into it diving in and going for it. That’s what’s most important to me with our group as we go forward.”
On Duke playing a scrimmage and an exhibition instead of two exhibition games:
“I think both experiences really helped us. You know, the scrimmage gives you a taste of what it’s going to be like at the highest level, we tried to play a big-time opponent the two years we’ve done it and that’s worked out great. And then playing the exhibition game, playing Fayetteville State was great, you know, playing a team in front of a crowd in Cameron. Get a real feel, get a real experience of what it’s going to be like. The pregame talk, and ‘what’s my routine?’, and ‘do I want to get shots in the morning? Do I want to get shots in the morning? Do I want to get shots before?’. All those kinks, you get to work out. And both experiences really helped us, especially with our group. We don’t have the returning players that know ‘here’s how we warmed up last year’, so we had to go through that twice, which really helped.”
On whether he’ll rely on analytics or feel when making lineup decisions:
“For me, at the end of the day, any decision I make is with feel. Analytics and statistics or numbers, all that is part of the equation that helps me get to an informed decision. But it can’t be without feel. Now if you have feel without context or feel without information, then I probably wouldn’t trust that. But obviously, the preparation we do, the preparation that I put in and knowing our team, that’s where I trust that at the end of the day. I know you’re not going to make every decision 100%. We do a great job and I’ve tried to really set a tone for our other coaches to push me. To get me to a place I couldn’t have gone by myself, whether it be putting in this action, or strategy for the team, or X’s and O’s. But for me at the end of the day, it’ll always be what I feel.”
JUNIOR GUARD JEREMY ROACH
On how his game fits together with fellow guard Tyrese Proctor:
“Really, I mean, we can swap in and out. Whenever I want him to bring it up, he’ll bring it up and if I want to bring it up, I’ll bring it up. I think we worked so good together, him coming off the ball screen, he’s looking at other guys, he’s looking at the roller. His vision, that’s personally what I think separates him from a lot of guys. His vision, his passing, and he can shoot it too. Playing with him is a great thing.”
On his role as team captain to set the tone on defense:
“It’s definitely my job, I mean as a point guard, you have to set the tone with everything you do. Whether it’s talking, getting guys involved. Like you said, on defense, just being a leader, you’ve got responsibilities that you have to do every day.”
On whether he thinks Coach Scheyer has any nerves before his first game as head coach:
“He’s definitely got some jitters, it’s his first game as the head coach. But I think he has the utmost confidence in us, that we’ve been preparing all summer, all fall for this moment. I think we’re ready for it, for sure. I don’t think we’re ready, I know we’re ready.”