BOILING SPRINGS — Gardner-Webb men’s basketball will open its 2020-2021 season on the road in Durham, N.C., traveling to face Duke on Wednesday, November 25. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are coming off a 16-16 campaign and third-place finish in the Big South Conference. This will mark the third meeting between the two programs, with Duke winning each matchup.
The last meeting came in head coach Tim Craft’s first season, with No. 8 Duke taking an 85-66 win on December 16. Forward Jerome Hill broke out for GWU with 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the loss.
Gardner-Webb returns three starters from last season — guard Jaheam Cornwall (13.1 ppg); forward Kareem Reid (6.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and forward Ludovic Dufeal (5.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg). Guard Lance Terry also returns after missing much of the late season with an injury. The ‘Dogs will lean heavily on one of the Big South Conference’s top recruiting classes, led by junior college All-America guard Jacob Falko. The Cecil (Md.) College graduate averaged 23.7 points and finished third in NJCAA Division II National Player of the Year voting last season. He shot 57.0% from the floor for his career.
Wing D’Maurian Wiliams (6-5, Fr.) is expected to have a major impact after leading Putnam Science Academy to another national prep school championship. Gardner-Webb also signed guards Jordan Sears (5-11, Fr.), Jamaine Mann (6-6, Fr.) and Tyrone Simos-Primerano (6-7, Fr.) and post player Christian Alexander (6-8, Jr.).
The Runnin’ Bulldogs will also get a boost from redshirts Anthony Selden (6-6, RFr.), Mick Lynott (6-2, RFr.) and Sammy Itodo (6-8, RFr.). Selden, the younger brother of former Kansas star and NBA guard Wayne Selden, should quickly emerge as one of the Big South’s most athletic players.
“We are thrilled to open the season at Duke and for the opportunity to compete against one of the premier programs in college basketball,” said GWU head coach Tim Craft. “With the season being shortened, our previously contracted game was cancelled. We are very thankful we were able to reschedule it. It has been a very long off-season for everyone. It’s very exciting to be kicking off practice this week.”
Series historyDuke leads the all-time series 2-0. The two played on Dec. 15, 2009 with Duke winning 113-68. The second meeting between the squads was on Dec. 16, 2013 with the Blue Devils claiming a win.