Another season for the Duke Blue Devils started off on the right note on Friday night, as Mike Krzyzewski's club took care of Georgia State with a 74-55 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils are a mix of returning veterans and new faces in Durham, and the early cupcake matchup provided the opportunity for eight guys to see significant minutes. At the end of the evening, however, it was the reliable and productive Mason Plumlee in the paint who overwhelmed the Panthers.
Plumlee was thought to be a surefire first-round and likely lottery pick last year, but he's back for the Blue Devils and should clean up in the ACC. He started his 2012-13 season with a 19-point, 13-rebound performance. Plumee is a definite All-American candidate, and he was also incredibly effective on the defensive end, registering four blocks.
Supporting Plumlee was the veteran guard duo of Seth Curry and Tyler Thornton. Coach K will need Curry to fill it up on the outside this season, and he drilled three of seven from behind the arc and scored 15 points. Thornton has not been a go-to guy for Duke on the offensive end, but he added a quiet 13 points. The steady point guard will be called upon to lock down opposing point guards and manage the offense, but additional point production would be a huge boost. Quinn Cook, who played against Thornton growing up in the DC area, scored eight points off the bench.
Two newcomers, Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson also joined the smooth opening night on the offensive end. Sulaimon hit two three-pointers while Jefferson scored a quick five points late.