Top-ranked Duke looks like it’s ready to turn things up to 100 at the PK80. The Blue Devils look to build on a 29-point rout of Furman in the opening round of the Phil Knight Invitational as they travel to Portland, Ore., for a date with Portland State.
After rolling to four consecutive home victories - each coming by at least 17 points - Duke leaves the comfortable confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium with its sights on winning the event held in honor of Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. Marvin Bagley III poured in 11 of his 24 points in a 2 1/2-minute stretch of the first half to lead the Blue Devils in their 92-63 triumph over Furman; he said afterward: “It was just a time in the game when I was hitting, my teammates kept finding me. They kept coming back to me, they believed in me enough to keep going and keep pushing, and I just executed on the plays we were running.” Duke likely won’t be tested by Portland State, despite the Vikings also coming in unbeaten. Bryce Canda and Michael Mayhew had 17 points each as Portland State edged Utah State 83-79 last time out.
TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT PORTLAND STATE (4-0): Canda has been the Vikings’ best all-around player through the first four games of the season, leading the way in scoring (17.5 points per game), rebounding (8.0) and steals (3.3) while adding a team-high 11 3-pointers. But Canda is shooting an inconceivable 35.7 percent from the free-throw line after connecting on 79.2 of his attempts as a freshman. Foul shooting has been a team-wide problem to date, with Portland State shooting just 57.7 percent from the line - ranking the Vikings 336th out of 351 teams in Division I.
ABOUT DUKE (5-0): Bagley is looking every bit the part of a top prospect, having scored 24 points or more in three of his first five games in a Blue Devils jersey; he joins Jabari Parker and Johnny Dawkins as the only Duke freshmen with three 20-point efforts in their first five outings. Fellow first-year player Trevon Duval has been nearly as impressive, entering Thursday ranked third in the nation in assists (38) while boasting a 5.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. Yet, like Portland State, Duke could use some work on its free-throw shooting, entering the non-campus portion of the PK80 ranked 323rd at 61.7 percent.
1. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has 199 career victories with Duke as the top-ranked team in the nation.
2. The Blue Devils will face either Butler or Texas in the second round of this event.
3. Duke’s 44.3 percent offensive rebound rate against FBS teams ranks second in the country.
PREDICTION: Duke 89, Portland State 63