When Darius Lewis was asked if folks from home in Lexington, Ky., might be surprised at how much he has changed when they see him tonight, his eyes said it all.
“Oh, definitely,” Duquesne’s 6-foot-11 senior center confirmed in no uncertain terms Thursday afternoon before practice.
The Dukes will enter No. 2-ranked Kentucky’s hallowed Rupp Arena tonight like most any other team — expecting a raucous atmosphere, walking into a buzzsaw of five-star recruits who will be paid handsomely for their services less than a year from now — but for Lewis, it will literally be a “home” game.
A native of Lexington, where basketball is king and the Wildcats rule, Lewis will have about 15 friends and family members on hand tonight when Duquesne and Kentucky tip off at 9 p.m., just down the road from the Elkhorn Park neighborhood where he grew up. Many more will be watching on ESPNU, and he’ll know plenty of others in the crowd of 23,500.