DURHAM, N.C. -- Mike Krzyzewski carried a hard-nosed,
combative attitude to the court for the first game of his 25th
season at Duke.
Who cares if the opponent was Tennessee-Martin? Coach K doesn't
know any other way.
"Every game is important for me, and quite frankly, every play
is important to me," he said. "If you lose that, you don't have a
chance to be as good as you can be."
Sheldon Williams added 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Shavlik
Randolph scored 11 for the Blue Devils (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 11 AP), who broke away
in a fairly tight game at the half.
"I thought we played hard, we played well defensively and we
rebounded well," Krzyzewski said. "We didn't shoot as well, we
didn't finish. Obviously, when that happens, the other team has a
stake in that."
He turned down a $40 million offer from the Los Angeles Lakers
in the offseason and came back to a team he hardly recognized.
Chris Duhon finished his career, Luol Deng decided to go pro after
just one season and top recruit Shaun Livingston bypassed Durham
altogether, heading straight to the NBA.
With only eight recruited players -- including freshmen David
McClure and DeMarcus Nelson -- Duke was picked to finish fourth in
the Atlantic Coast Conference behind Wake Forest, North Carolina
and Georgia Tech. It's the first time in five years that the Blue
Devils weren't favored.
They played down to those expectations for most of the first
half, leading 39-25 after shooting only 32 percent -- including
4-of-16 on 3-pointers. The Skyhawks could have been even closer if
they hadn't missed six free throws.
"I didn't think we were playing poorly in the first half, we
were shooting poorly," Krzyzewski said.
The Blue Devils restored order with a 34-6 run to start the
second half, and several players contributed. McClure got a dunk
off a nice feed from Williams, then blocked a shot on the other
end. That led to a dunk for Nelson, and then Lee Melchionni drove
for a three-point play.
That prompted Redick to jump in Melchionni's arms in
celebration, much to the delight of the "Cameron Crazies."
"He said, 'You're hurting me,'" Redick said with a laugh. "I
didn't realize how hard I hit him."
Oh, and Ewing and Redick each had two 3s during the run.
"In the second half, we just came out with confidence," Ewing
said. "We just put everything together on offense and defense."
Tennessee-Martin, out of the Ohio Valley Conference, returned
all five starters from a season ago but clearly was nervous in its
first trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Forward Chris Carter took
three shots before he hit the rim -- his first bounced off the
scoreboard, his second was an air ball -- and most of his teammates
joined in his misery.
"I was kind of hoping we weren't going to turn the ball over
quite as much as we did," Tennessee-Martin coach Bret Campbell
said. "We let things get away in the second half and let them get
on that spurt, and we could have controlled that."
Only Jared Newson appeared at home on the court. He finished
with 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting, the only player in double
figures for the Skyhawks. They had 23 turnovers and shot 34
"Jared Newson's a very talented player," Campbell said. "I
still don't think he played up to his ability."
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