Jahlil Okafor looked right at home by leading all scorers with 27 points in the team’s annual intra-squad scrimmage.DURHAM, N.C. -- For the sixth consecutive year, Countdown to Craziness provided fans in Cameron Indoor Stadium a glimpse of the upcoming season’s Duke men’s basketball team. The 2014 version did not disappoint, as freshman center
Countdown to Craziness kicked off with on-court activities that included performances by the Duke cheerleading squad, dance teams, vocal ensembles and myriad other student routines.
Following the pre-scrimmage pageantry, the Blue Devils took the floor for two 12-minute periods, with Okafor making his Duke debut in spectacular fashion. The Chicago, Ill., native shot 12-of-16 from the floor to score 27 points on the evening.
“My teammates have really encouraged me to try and dominate every game, so it makes it fairly easy when the people around you really believe in you,” Okafor said.
Junior Rasheed Sulaimon posted an impressive outing as well, scoring 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.
In the first 12-minute period, Okafor helped guide the White Team to a 34-17 win over the Blue Team, scoring 12 points and collecting two rebounds. Sophomore Matt Jones added 10 points of his own, hitting 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and 4-of-5 from the floor. Freshman guard Tyus Jones also displayed his ability to facilitate in the first period, contributing five assists.
The second 12-minute period once again allowed Okafor to showcase his offensive repertoire, which included mid-range jumpers and a soft touch near the rim. Okafor also collected six rebounds, four on the offensive end, as the White Team once again earned the win, 30-26. Sulaimon led all scorers in the second period, putting up 16 points on 5-of 8 shooting.
The dunk contest served as the culmination of the evening’s Countdown to Craziness festivities, with junior Marshall Plumlee being crowned the 2014 Duke Contest Champion.
“Countdown to Craziness is great because we love our fans,” Plumlee said. “We have a great fan base with the Crazies. It’s a chance to give back to them and give them something to get excited about. Hopefully with everyone getting to see us scrimmage and see the talent out there, they are even more excited for the season. We can really go into the season and hit the ground running.”
Plumlee advanced to the final of the event after donning a Brian Zoubek jersey and amassing 77 points on his first two attempts, which included a between-the-legs dunk. Plumlee met Grayson Allen in the final after Allen opened with a 360-degree, one-handed dunk that brought the crowd to its feet. Allen moved to the final of the dunk contest with a first-round score of 79 points.
In the final, Plumlee slammed his first attempt with authority, earning 36 points in the process. Allen was unable to convert on his three attempts, making Plumlee the victor.
Duke opens exhibition play Tuesday, Nov. 4, welcoming Livingstone to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. with the event streaming live on BDN+.