DeMarcus Nelson has seen No. 1 rankings and Atlantic Coast Conference championships during his career at Duke, experience that has made him probably the Blue Devils' most valuable player on a young squad.
And though he is content to let teammates grab the headlines, the senior showed last night that he still can power the Blue Devils' fast-paced offense.
Nelson scored 23 points and sixth-ranked Duke turned in a sharp offensive performance after an exam break to crush Albany, 111-70, in Durham, N.C., improving to 10-0 for the sixth time in eight seasons.
Reserve Jon Scheyer added 18 points for the Blue Devils, who shot 60 percent and quickly turned the game into a rout. Duke had five players score in double figures and hit 15 of 26 three-pointers.
The Great Danes (5-5), an NCAA tournament participant last season, fell behind by double figures in the first six minutes and trailed by 26 points at halftime.
It was a solid overall effort that gave Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski his 785th career victory to move within a game of tying Lefty Driesell for sixth on the all-time list.
Nelson went 6 for 7 from the field, including 4 for 5 from three-point range, to go with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 26 minutes. The 23 points were one shy of tying a career high for the 6-foot-4 swingman.
"I try not to put too much emphasis on scoring, even though I can score and I will score," Nelson said.
Marquette 80, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne 56 - Dominic James had 17 points and six assists and Wesley Matthews added 15 points as the No. 10 Golden Eagles (8-1) used their speedy, athletic guards to overwhelm the Mastodons (4-6) in Milwaukee.
Gonzaga 77, Northern Colorado 57 - Freshman Austin Daye scored 18 points and Micah Downs added 17 as the No. 18 Bulldogs (9-2) crushed the Zags (5-4) in Spokane, Wash.
Miami 89, Stetson 53 - Brian Asbury scored 18 points and the No. 22 Hurricanes (10-0), energized by their first top-25 ranking in five years, hammered the Hatters (2-8) in Coral Gables, Fla.
Southern Cal 83, Delaware State 54 - The No. 25 Trojans (7-3) shot 68 percent from the field as they walloped the Hornets (3-6) in Los Angeles.
Missouri 94, North Carolina A&T 66 - DeMarre Carroll scored 22 points and the pressure defense by the Tigers (8-3) forced 25 turnovers in the win over the Aggies (5-5) in Columbia, Mo.
Kansas State 87, Florida A&M 60 - Freshman Michael Beasley amassed 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the Wildcats (7-3) made 21 free throws in the first half to overpower the Rattlers (3-7) in Kansas City, Mo.
Illinois 58, Western Carolina 35 - The Illini (6-3) leaned on their big men, getting 13 points from 7-1 Mike Tisdale and 11 more from 6-10 Shaun Pruitt in a whipping of the Catamounts (3-7) in Champaign, Ill.
James Madison 85, Radford 74 - Former St. Joseph's guard Abdulai Jalloh scored 19 of his team-leading 23 points in the second half to carry the Dukes (7-1) by the Highlanders (4-8) in Harrisonburg, Va.
Texas Christian 74, Texas-Arlington 70 - Kevin Langford and Henry Salter both contributed 17 points as the Horned Frogs (6-3) slipped past the Mavericks (8-1) in overtime in Fort Worth.
Purdue 76, Texas Southern 56 -
JaJuan Johnson scored 14 points to help the Boilermakers (7-2) rout the Tigers (1-8) in an opening game of the tournament in West Lafayette, Ind.
Iowa State 80, Bethune-Cookman 57 - Wesley Johnson scored 16 points, Craig Brackins and Cory Johnson each added 13, and the Cyclones (5-4) cruised past the Wildcats (4-5) in a first-round game in Ames, Iowa.
Missouri State 64, Texas-Pan American 53 - Deven Mitchell scored 14 points to steer the Bears (6-3) past the Broncs (6-7) in an opening-round contest in Springfield, Mo.