A unified and buzzing "Ohhhhhhhhhhh" followed the Wildcats junior, along with waving arms and hands, like a raging storm cloud until he finally reached his seat.
Then, as he sat down, the collective shout of "See ya!" serenaded his exit.
There's just nothing like the atmosphere at Duke's storied Cameron Indoor Stadium, and for a team such as Davidson that's trying to return to a higher level of success, there's just nothing like playing the Blue Devils.
Davidson lost last week's game 82-69 to Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils, but had a solid showing in a nationally televised game. The Wildcats led for much of the first 20 minutes, and Tom Droney's two free throws with 0.8 seconds left in the first half gave the Wildcats a 35-34 edge at the break. Davidson was aggressive early and showed no signs of intimidation. Jake Cohen had 10 first-half points, and he and Mann each drew charges from just outside the foul circle. As the first half horn sounded, Krzyzewski wore a fiery glare off the court.
"Our guys made a terrific effort," said Davidson coach Bob McKillop. "They fought from the opening tap to the end. They showed signs of brilliance."
But there were also times Davidson was tested by the ultra-talented Blue Devils and the frenzy that is Cameron Indoor, especially in Duke's first home game since Krzyzewski became the NCAA Division I all-time wins leader. Communication was the biggest challenge. At one juncture, Davidson had to burn a timeout because it had just four players on the court. And some uncharacteristic turnovers occurred in the second half, McKillop said, simply because the ball handler couldn't hear his teammates warning him of an approaching defender. Those miscues and the supportive momentum generated by the "Cameron Crazies" helped fuel Duke's 25-4 second-half run that began with 14 unanswered points and ultimately made the difference in the outcome.
McKillop called the night "a tremendous learning lesson."
"This roster has never played in Cameron," said McKillop, who last coached a Davidson team at Duke during the 2008-09 season. "We could not simulate it. We could not simulate the level of intensity, the noise level, the proximity of the sidelines, and we paid a price for that."
From here on, the Wildcats are unlikely to experience anything comparable to the atmosphere of Cameron on the road, and will play few teams as talented as Duke. They showed a competitive maturity that indicates the team has the potential — especially with its deep, 10-player rotation — to make a run this year.
"They were playing excellent basketball, brought a lot of energy," said Duke's Miles Plumlee, who had a thunderous dunk during the key run. "They were better than we anticipated. We had to match that."
Asked to project what kind of team Davidson will be as the year progresses, the coach fresh off his 904th win didn't mince words.
"They'll be pretty good," said Krzyzewski. "A lot of teams would have lost to them tonight."
Then Krzyzewski raised his eyebrows, cracked a half smile and repeated his words for emphasis.
"A lot," he said, pausing. "A lot."
That's high praise for a Davidson team with a lot of high hopes.