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New Cal Guard DeJuan Clayton Recalls Facing Duke: `Amazing. I Wish I Could Do It Again’ – Sports Illustrated

By the time 25-year-old grad transfer DeJuan Clayton completes his one-and-only season at Cal this year he will have played nearly 150 college basketball games.

None is likely to create a more lasting memory than the one he played on Nov. 28, 2020.

On that night, in an empty but hardly quiet Cameron Indoor Stadium, Clayton and his Coppin State teammates battled powerhouse Duke on even terms for most of of the game.

The Blue Devils escaped with an 81-71 victory, but Clayton and the Eagles acquitted themselves against legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team.

“It was amazing,” Clayton recalls in the video at the top of this story. “I wish I could do it again, to be honest.”

As the teams passed by each other in the handshake line afterward, Clayton said Krzyzewski offered him a few words.

“Coach K told me I was a great player, told me I had great feel for the game. Told me to keep working,” he said. “(Felt) great, coming from one of the best coaches ever. Definitely a confidence boost for me.”

Clayton, a 6-foot-2 point guard who arrived at Cal a month ago, has had bigger scoring games — he put up a career-high 32 points against Delaware State later that season.

But these were the Blue Devils of Duke, not the Blue Hens of Delaware State, and Clayton scored 22 points in a competitive game.

Coppin State had leads of 7-2, 10-4 and 12-8. Duke didn’t go in front for the first time until 19-17. The Eagles outscored the Blue Devils 43-36 in the second half.

“They were up on us in the first half but we gained composure in the second half and it was a close game,” Clayton said. “I believe we had a chance to win at one point.”

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With 8:03 left, Clayton made two free throws and Coppin trimmed the margin to 62-56.

“I was thinking we were going to win this game,” he said.

DeJuan Clayton and Coppin State faced Duke in an empty Cameron Indoor.

Photo by Reagan Lunn, Duke Athletics

Coppin’s season-opening game was played in front of no fans at Cameron Indoor, the result of COVID-19 protocols. But Duke piped in music and crowd noise, and Clayton recalled, “It felt like a real game.”

Coppin State coach Juan Dixon, who won a national championship with Maryland in 2002 before playing seven NBA seasons, wasn’t celebrating a moral victory afterward. But he liked a lot of what he saw.

“We just wanted to give our guards the freedom to go out there and make plays,” Dixon said in his post-game remarks. “If our guys can play against this top-10 team like this, we feel as though we can compete with any team in the country.”

Against what turned out to be a fairly ordinary Duke team, Coppin scored 28 points …….

Source: https://www.si.com/college/cal/basketball/dejuan-clayton-facing-duke

By the time 25-year-old grad transfer DeJuan Clayton completes his one-and-only season at Cal this year he will have played nearly 150 college basketball games.

None is likely to create a more lasting memory than the one he played on Nov. 28, 2020.

On that night, in an empty but hardly quiet Cameron Indoor Stadium, Clayton and his Coppin State teammates battled powerhouse Duke on even terms for most of of the game.

The Blue Devils escaped with an 81-71 victory, but Clayton and the Eagles acquitted themselves against legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team.

“It was amazing,” Clayton recalls in the video at the top of this story. “I wish I could do it again, t…….

By the time 25-year-old grad transfer DeJuan Clayton completes his one-and-only season at Cal this year he will have played nearly 150 college basketball games.

None is likely to create a more lasting memory than the one he played on Nov. 28, 2020.

On that night, in an empty but hardly quiet Cameron Indoor Stadium, Clayton and his Coppin State teammates battled powerhouse Duke on even terms for most of of the game.

The Blue Devils escaped with an 81-71 victory, but Clayton and the Eagles acquitted themselves against legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team.

“It was amazing,” Clayton recalls in the video at the top of this story. “I wish I could do it again, t…….

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