The Duke basketball team opened the 2010-11 season with a big win over Princeton, 97-60.
The player Duke fans came to see, freshman Kyrie Irving, finished the basketball game with 17 points and nine assists. Irving had fans on their feet at the start of the game when he leaped up and blocked a Princeton shot on the very first possession of the game.
Irving also nabbed a steal on the second possession and raced down the court for the first basket of the Duke basketball season.
“For my first collegiate game, it was a great experience, especially to experience it with these guys on this team,” Irving said.
The last two point guards to start for Duke basketball were Jason Williams (1999) and Bobby Hurley (1989) and Irving outplayed both of those stars.
“He played a terrific game,” Nolan Smith said. “You wouldn’t know he’s a freshman. He played like a veteran. He communicates with us like he’s a veteran. You just expect him to only get better.”
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“I thought he played really well, especially with the assists and turnovers, nine and one, but I thought his defense, he had the kid [Douglas] Davis and [Dan] Mavraides, their two leading scorers, I thought he did a good job of not giving them open looks,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I thought he did a really good job.”
However, the stars of the 2009-10 Duke basketball team are back and it looks like they never missed a beat. Shooting guard Nolan Smith scored 22 points while forward Kyle Singler added 16 points to help lead Duke to the victory.
“They’re the primary leaders but I am the point guard on the team, so I do have to orchestrate,” Irving said. “Kyle and Nolan were hitting shots.”
Duke forced 27 turnovers in the game while outscoring Princeton 55-32 in the second half shooting 20-of-30 (.667) from the floor and 8-of-11 (.727) from three.
“We definitely played the defense we wanted to play,” Smith said. “Against a team like that, with guys that can really shoot 3s, we played the defense we wanted to play tonight.”
Duke basketball’s next game is Tuesday against Miami (OH).