In Mike Krzyzewski's final game before his back surgery that is expected to keep him off the sideline for at least a month, the Blue Devils rolled to a lopsided 110-57 victory against Georgia Tech on Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
It was the largest margin of victory for Duke against Georgia Tech in the history of their series.
Here are some takeaways:
1. This will be the last time we see Coach K on the sideline for a while.
, and as mentioned will likely be out for around a month in recovery. In the interim, .
Watching him against Georgia Tech, he appeared to be soaking it all up. He was mostly smiles all game -- and with good reason. His team throttled Georgia Tech from start to finish with no hiccups.
But from his actions, it looked like this one meant a little extra to him.
He even gave Harry Giles a heartfelt hug as he took him to the bench during the game. Hey, maybe he always hugs Harry Giles as he escorts him to the pine. But it seemed like he was really taking in the moment more so than he normally would.
2. Grayson Allen makes his return.
Everyone was wondering when Grayson Allen would return, and that question was answered as he was back in the starting lineup Wednesday. And he played fine. Fifteen points and seven assists in 27 minutes. You have to think this was a little bit about Coach K leaving the sideline for at least a month as he goes in for back surgery, as adding that decision as to when to bring Allen back to interim coach Jeff Capel's plate would have been added pressure.
We'll have to see how Capel monitors this situation in Coach K's absence.
Let's hope Allen makes it easy and stops tripping people.
3. Duke's offense was on another level.
You really could not have scripted a better start -- or a better finish -- than what the Blue Devils did against Georgia Tech.
Last weekend in its ACC opener, Duke lost at Virginia Tech. One major factor was a lack of scoring. Without Grayson Allen, they shot 28 for 67, including 5 for 16 from beyond the arc.
Tonight was a different story.
Duke drained 11 treys in the first half against Georgia Tech, and finished 16 for 31 from deep and 55 percent from the floor.
It's going to be next to impossible to beat them if they play like that on offense.
4. Harry Giles' first start was his best game to date.
Lost in the Grayson Allen return and the final game for Coach K before surgery was the fact that Harry Giles made his first start of the season for Duke.
Giles was the No. 1 rated prospect in the recruiting Class of 2016, and Duke has been slowly easing him into a larger role as he bounced back from injury.
He still appears to be working out some kinks. I'm not entirely sure he's ready to take on the starting role. But with K's upcoming surgery, now was a good time to make the move.
He breezed his way to his first career double-double and made some explosive plays like this one to add to Duke's lead:
The kinks in his game will work themselves out, though. On one particular play, Giles made a nice move his back to the basket, then clanked it off the glass and missed the rim altogether.
It was a great play. One that showed the fluidity in his game that makes him such an incredible prospect. But he has some things to work on. It's a process. But recording a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds and playing a season-high 17 minutes is a sign of good progress being made for the true freshman.