DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Grayson Allen had 15 points and seven assists in his return from a one-game suspension for tripping an opponent, and No. 8 Duke routed Georgia Tech 110-57 on Wednesday night in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game before leaving the team to have back surgery.
Jayson Tatum scored 19 points to lead the Blue Devils (13-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had seven double-figure scorers in arguably their most complete performance of the season.
Still, it was largely overshadowed by a pair of subplots: Allen’s quick return from what was an indefinite suspension for tripping an Elon player Dec. 21, and Krzyzewski’s upcoming leave of absence that’s expected to last a few weeks.
Luke Kennard finished with 16 points, Frank Jackson added 15 and Harry Giles had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Duke.
Justin Moore had 13 points to lead the Yellow Jackets (9-5, 1-1).
Krzyzewski will have surgery Friday to remove a fragment of a herniated disk from his lower back, and at times his discomfort seemed apparent: The soon-to-be 70-year-old appeared to hobble on his left leg, at times leaning back on the bench with that leg extended and clutching it.
The Blue Devils expect him back in roughly four weeks and they will put associate head coach Jeff Capel in charge until he returns.
They gave Coach K quite the sendoff, in the process finally looking like the nation’s preseason No. 1 team.
Duke took control with an early 29-7 run, needed about 10½ minutes to build a 20-point lead and scored a season-best 61 points in the first half — only two fewer than rival North Carolina scored on the Yellow Jackets in an entire game.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets, who were coming off a 75-63 upset of then-No. 9 North Carolina on Saturday, couldn’t make it two in a row against the Tobacco Road powerhouses. They allowed 11 3s in the first half after previously not allowing more than that in any entire game.
Duke: Joining Allen in the starting lineup was Giles, who made his first start. So, now that the Blue Devils have a relatively full roster of players, the focus shifts to how they’ll respond to being without their Hall of Fame coach for a while.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets’ brutal schedule continues with a home game against No. 9 Louisville on Saturday.
Duke: Capel’s first game of the season in charge of the Blue Devils comes Saturday when Boston College visits. After that: Road games at No. 12 Florida State and No. 9 Louisville — Allen was caught tripping players from both teams in Durham last season.