Credit: Duke Athletics

College Basketball is here, and the first game we took in was Duke vs. UNC-Pembroke in an exhibition game.' Duke came out strong, especially from behind the arc as Tyrese Proctor came out hot with 12 quick points with four threes.' And the Blue Devils started to get more players in on the action, really showcasing a balanced attack from multiple players.' Freshman Jared McCain got going, scoring 13 first-half points while Filipowski and Roach each chipped in with 11 points.' The Blue Devils were aggressive and attacked, getting to the line early and often, which helped them get out to a 59-24 halftime lead.' For UNCP, it was freshman Dallas Gardner who played well off the bench with nine first-half points and getting to the line.

Much of the same continued in the second half, as Duke increased their lead and ultimately got more players involved. Sean Stewart led all scorers in the second half, while Caleb Foster and others really got time to shine.' Duke finished the game shooting 53 percent from the floor and was exceptional from the free throw line, going 36-for-43.' Pembroke was led by Gardner with 21 points and shot 44 percent overall.

Final: Duke 109 ' UNC Pembroke 64

Stats:
Duke: Kyle Filipowski 17pts, 6rebs, 3asts/ Tyrese Proctor 15pts, 5rebs/ Jared McCain 15pts/ Jeremy Roach 13pts/ Sean Stewart 12pts, 6rebs

UNCP: Dallas Gardner 21pts, 8rebs/ Nygell Verdier 9pts/ Elijah Cobb 8pts

Takeaways:

Duke:
– Tyrese Proctor: Proctor has been on so many boards and watch lists this year, especially as a breakout player and he showed why. He continues to excel with his play and shot-making ability, hitting three after three in the first half.' Really do believe Proctor will be one of the go-to players for the Blue Devils, and continue to see his stock rise.
– Jared McCain: How about the freshman coming out strong' Really loved the energy that he played with on both sides of the ball. He was active on the defensive end and put his body on the line, but also made things happen offensively, finishing strong through defenders and off the dribble as well as knocking down shots.
– Kyle Filipowski: A player in the running for ACC Player of the Year, Filipowski looked strong and ready to start the season. He was efficient, strong down in the paint, showed good footwork and feel, and continues to be a player who can step out and operate.
– Key X-Factors: I do believe that this team is very talented, but what may ultimately push this team to a championship will be the X-factors. Mark Mitchell is one with his length, his experience and motor, and his presence in a variety of ways.' Other players like Caleb Foster, Jaylen Blakes, Sean Stewart, and others make this team tough to defeat if they can step in and be effective. Foster was really impressive with his pace, his feel, and his ability to get paint touches consistently as well as be a playmaker.

UNC-Pembroke:
– Dallas Gardner: How about the freshman for UNCP, coming into Cameron and making his presence felt.' UNCP has several guards that can fill it up and be effective, but Gardner was really impressed with his ability to create, make plays and get downhill, and was able to score through contact.' He didn't seem phased at all on the big stage. Finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds in impressive fashion. If he can be any type of factor like he was today, along with the guard play returning, UNCP has some impressive guard play.
– Nygell Verdier: Another Phenom Alum that had some good moments, Verdier made plays in a variety of ways, moving around, making and creating plays for himself, showing his ability to pop out, and be used in multiple ways.