DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Shavlik Randolph celebrated his 19th birthday a bit early Saturday night.
The 6-foot-10 freshman scored 23 points and had seven rebounds
as No. 6 Duke beat Army 101-53, improving to 21-2 in openers under
coach Mike Krzyzewski.Randolph, whose birthday is Sunday, shot 7-for-12 from the field, 8-for-13 from the free-throw line and had a blocked shot in 18 minutes."I don't think there is a better way to spend my birthday, having the Cameron Crazies sing 'Happy Birthday' to me," Randolph said. Dahntay Jones and freshman J.J. Redick each had 14 points, and
Daniel Ewing added 10. The Blue Devils had the advantage at every position, and turned
the game into a display of their superior size and athleticism.
Duke overwhelmed the Black Knights with their fullcourt pressure,
turning 27 turnovers into 29 points. The Blue Devils also hit 13 3-point field goals and took a 48-37
edge on the glass. At one point midway through the first half, Duke scored 15
points in less than 2 minutes, hitting four consecutive 3s. Army never challenged. With 18:37 to go in the game, the Black
Knights had 20 points and 20 turnovers. Joey Payton led Army with 10 points. "It's a good experience," first-year coach Jim Crews said.
"They'll be able to tell their grandchildren, so that's good." The Blue Devils lost juniors Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy and
Carlos Boozer to the NBA draft last June, but Krzyzewski brought in
a six-man freshman class that is rated among the nation's best and
will have to mature quickly. "I wouldn't call it pressure," Randolph said. "We feel lucky
that we're going to have the opportunity to do that. We're looking
forward to stepping up." Freshman Shelden Williams, who started at center alongside
Randolph, went 8-for-14 at the line and had six rebounds. The other freshmen -- Sean Dockery, Michael Thompson and Lee
Melchionni -- combined for 12 points. "Everybody got their feet wet as far as playing," Krzyzewski
said. "I think no matter how excited you are, the younger guys are
still a bit nervous playing their first game." Randolph and Redick didn't show any early jitters. Randolph
scored Duke's first five points while also blocking a shot and
forcing a 5-second call in the first four minutes. Redick hit
3-pointer on consecutive possessions almost immediately after
entering the game. At one point, Duke had five freshmen on the court midway through
the second half. "I think they're confident," said junior Chris Duhon, who had
six points and eight assists. "They know they can play, and they
have great work ethics. They want to be the best at all times." Leading 26-13 midway through the half, Duke scored 10 unanswered
points -- keyed by 3s from Randolph and Ewing -- and held Army
without a field goal for more than five minutes. The Blue Devils closed the half on an 11-0 run to go ahead
54-20. The Blue Devils shot 10-for-24 from behind the 3-point arc in
the opening 20 minutes. Army shot 7-for-27 while committing 18
turnovers in the half. Randolph had 16 points in the first half.