Preseason No. 1 Duke gets its final exhibition tune-up on Saturday, as the Blue Devils take on the Bulldogs of Bowie State University.
The game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, which can be watched online, on your phone or on another streaming device via WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app. You may be asked to sign in to a cable provider, but if you don’t have cable or don’t have your sign-in information, you can still watch by signing up for a free trial of one of the following streaming services:
Important note: Once you’ve signed up for one of the above services, you’ll still watch the game on WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app. You’ll just use your DirecTV Now or Sling TV credentials to sign in when asked to verify your cable provider.
Duke is the No. 1 team in the country, but there are still plenty of questions to be answered about this squad. The talent is obviously there, but as is always the case with a team that will likely start four true freshmen and have seven on the roster, it’s never a guarantee that things will be smooth, especially early in the year. As we saw last year, when the Blue Devils began the season as No. 1 but ultimately bowed out in the Round of 32 despite having a pair of 2017 lottery picks and four Top-31 selections, talent is far from everything.
No matter what happens, though, this will be a must-watch team all year for both college basketball aficionados and NBA scouts. It all starts with Marvin Bagley, the No. 1 overall recruit and a strong candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in a potentially crowded draft class next June. He tallied 16 points and six rebounds in just 23 minutes in Duke’s exhibition against Northwest Missouri State last week, and his blend of size and skill will be fun to watch.
“The main thing you’re worried about is how he gets along with the guys, and Marvin’s terrific,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He’s got a great motor and he’s as hard a worker as we have. He’s unlike any player we have, so he fits in great—on and off the court, it’s worked out.”
Point guard Trevon Duval, shooting guard Gary Trent and forward Wendell Carter round out Duke’s quartet of 5-star recruits. But while the freshmen will receive most of the attention from NBA teams, the most important player figures to be senior Grayson Allen, a preseason All-American who disappointed last year as he battled ankle issues but will be needed for his scoring, shooting and leadership.
A matchup against Bowie State isn’t likely to provide a great snapshot of what to expect this season, but this Duke team will be a must-watch squad all year–no matter who they’re facing.