The Duke Blue Devils launched their basketball season with an emphatic win, trouncing Dartmouth with ease. The game itself, a Monday night affair at the historic Cameron Indoor Stadium, scarcely held any suspense as the No. 2 ranked team in the country established a comfortable 22-point lead by halftime, ultimately sailing to a 92-54 victory.
As the Blue Devils solidified their predicted lead in the ACC with a strong start, one key player was noticeably absent from the festivities. Mark Mitchell, the team’s starting small forward, was sidelined for his second straight game—a holdover from the previous season—due to a lower-body injury announced just an hour before the game began. Despite the lack of any visible protective equipment and Mitchell moving without apparent discomfort, the team listed him as day-to-day.
AP News stated in their report from Monday, November 6, 2023, that Contrary to the quiet on the court, Mitchell’s injury status sent ripples of surprise through the stands. The revelation came off as quite a shock since college basketball authority Jeff Goodman had not reported any issues for Duke players earlier that day.
Taking Mitchell’s place in the lineup, Ryan Young contributed a modest two points, alongside seven rebounds, three assists, and a block, over 19 minutes of play. But it was the returning duo of Kyle Filipowski and Jeremy Roach who stole the spotlight. Filipowski, a preseason All-American, dazzled with a near-flawless shooting performance, racking up 25 points, while Roach added an efficient 14 points to the tally.
Freshman guard Caleb Foster made an impressive collegiate debut scoring 15 points, and junior guard Jaylen Blakes came off the bench to put up a perfect shooting performance with 10 points, vying for increased playtime.
Even without Mitchell, Duke dispatched Dartmouth with little trouble. However, his presence could be crucial in their upcoming challenge against the No. 12 ranked Arizona, a game set for Friday night that promises to test the depth and resilience of the Blue Devils roster.