For Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, it wasn’t the greatest of evenings. But for his precocious star, Jahlil Okafor, Monday was a very good day, indeed.
On his 19th birthday, Okafor had 25 points and 20 rebounds in a 75-62 win over Elon. The rebounding total set a freshman record at Duke, while Okafor became the first Blue Devil to notch a 20-20 line since Elton Brand in 1998. He also accounted for three blocks and two steals.
Then there was this nifty stat:
Smith performed that feat for Maryland in the 1993-94 season, so it’s taken more than 20 years — during which the ACC has seen
of talented freshmen — for it to be equaled. Little wonder that Okafor is being widely touted as the
in next year’s NBA draft.
“We didn’t know whether to double (Okafor) right away, double on the dribble, play one-on-one,” Elon Coach Matt Matheny told the Associated Press. “He’s a very, very difficult matchup.”
Meanwhile, Krzyzewski didn’t seem very pleased by the effort he saw from Okafor’s teammates. Playing their first game in 12 days, the No. 2 Blue Devils committed 17 turnovers, and they shot 3 of 16 from three-point range and 14 of 27 from the free throw line.
“It’s like sweeping dirt under the rug,” Krzyzewski said about Okafor’s huge night overshadowing the rest of the game. “The dirt’s still there. Now he’s a big rug. But you’re still sweeping dirt under there.”