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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / December 12.
  • Marques Bolden has breakout game as No. 1 Duke advances to Maui Invitational final

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Once upon a time, Marques Bolden was a projected one-and-done at Duke in a class that included Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum.

    While those guys are all gone to the NBA, the 6-foot-11 Bolden is still at Duke with a new crew of one-and-dones featuring R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish.

    The lone junior starter along with four freshmen, Bolden had his best game of the young season for No. 1 Duke on Tuesday, going for 11 points, 9 rebounds and 7 blocks as Duke beat No. 8 Auburn, 78-72, to advance to the Maui Invitational final against No. 3 Gonzaga, which beat Arizona, 91-74, in the second semifinal. Duke can become the second team to beat three Top 10 teams before the end of November, joining the 2012-13 Blue Devils, per ESPN.

    Bolden’s blocks was the most by a Duke player since Shelden Williams in 2006, per ESPN.

    “Really just trying to teach the young guys things that I wish I knew when I came in,” Bolden told ESPN of his role as a the wily sophomore. “Obviously they’re really talented and really smart, so I just try to teach them everything I wish I knew.”

    Bolden’s highlight play came when he blocked a shot on the defensive end and then raced to the offensive glass for an alley oop dunk.

    “Energy [was the key],” Bolden said. “We knew Auburn was going to come out and throw the first punch and we were just trying to beat them to it.”

    As for his defense that featured seven blocks, Bolden said he was “Really helping my teammates. We protect each other when I talk and that’s what I did today.”

    Barrett went for 18 points and 9 rebounds in the win, Reddish had 18 points and 5 rebounds and Williamson tallied 13 points and 9 boards and went without a dunk for the first time this season.

    Photo: Duke

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.