Gerald Henderson talks of Wake, being ranked #1

Gerald Henderson took time to answer a few questions during yesterday’s media availability -

On how Duke matches up with Wake -

By the numbers, we don’t match up.  But we’ve played big teams, Florida State and Georgia Tech.  We

Henderson and Duke will face a hostile environment tomorrow evening
Henderson and Duke will face a hostile environment tomorrow evening

have to go to our strengths.  We’ll continue to game plan and stick to the same things we’ve been doing.

On the tremendous size of the Wake frontcourt -

Aminu, Johnson, McFarland – they’re all really good players.  But it’s not one player we need to stop because they have a lot of good players. 

On how to come out with a win -

It’ll be a team effort and we hope to have a really good gameplan going for us.  If we play good defense and rebound the basketball, we have a chance to win.  No matter how our offense is going, we’ll have a chance to win if we do those things.

On his getting the ball in position to score in the Duke offense -

Coaches are really inventive when it comes to sets and plays, so we run off of that.  It gives us a lot of options with Kyle and Jon … we just try to get it to players where they are at their best.  It helps me drive and always attack the basket and if I am covered, there is always a guy in the corner.

On how to protect Kyle -

One of our biggest things is to try to play without fouling.  With Kyle, whoever the big is he’s guarding at the time, we’ll just have to play our defense.  Obviously we have help side defense that’s pretty strong and that’s one of the biggest things in our defense in how aggressive we play.

On how Wake plays -

They like to get out on the break.  Everyone knows that from watching them play.  We’ll have to fan out and protect our basket.

On being ranked number one in both polls -

It really doesn’t mean as much as people talk about it.  At this point we feel like we’re one of the best teams in the country, but I guess people with our ranking think we are the best team.  With our season … that won’t help us until we get  to the NCAA tournament.  We just try to win all of the games and all the rankings will take care of itself.

On last season’s defeat in Winston Salem -

They jumped on us early.  For a point we were leading but just fell apart.

Scheyer talks of Duke being atop the polls and preparing for Wake Forest

Jon Scheyer took the time to answer a few questions on Monday.  Scheyer addressed being ranked number one and the upcoming game at Wake Forest.

What is it like to be ranked number one in the nation?

Obviously it’s an honor to be number one at any time in the season.  It’s a lot of great teams out there besides us and any one of them want to be ranked number one at the end of the year.  It’s exciting, but we have a big win coming up.  We enjoyed it for a little bit and now we’ll move on.

As a team you could probably see this ranking coming.  Did Coach K tell you anything?

We talked about it even before we were number one.  We talked about it way back when Pittsburgh lost that we could have possibly been number one then.  The one thing we talked about is if we were one or two our focus has to be on the next game.  That’s something we’ve done a good job with it.  We’ve seen the number one team get knocked off the last two weeks, so we see that you can’t enjoy it.  Wake was just number one and now we’re going to play there.  The rankings will take care of themselves at the end of the year, so we just have to get ready for the game with Wake.

How familiar are you with the Wake and how they play?

They’re really long and athletic so you have to be strong with the ball, every pass you make.  With Wake – you’re not going to overpower them because they have a lot of athletes.  They get out on transition.  They want to make people take forced or quick shots and get out and run.  We just have to make smart plays.

Wake plays a lot of big guys, so there will be situations where you may be guarding Aminu or Johnson on a switch.  Can you talk about that a little bit?

Well obviously, they start a really big line up and come off the bench with big guys.  For Gerald and myself getting switched off we have to be smart the way we play them.

And this week, Duke sits atop the poll at #1

The Duke Blue Devils moved to the top of the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll this afternoon,

Since the year 2000, Duke has more wins than any other college basketball team
Since the year 2000, Duke has more wins than any other college basketball team

garnering all but one first place vote.  Duke has now been number one sixty times since the polls inception in 1999.  UNC is a distant second since that same time frame. 

The Blue Devils will carry that #1 ranking into Winston Salem on Wednesday night to take on last weeks #1 team in Wake Forest.  Duke joins, UNC, Pitt and Wake Forest as teams that have held the position so far this season.

 1. Duke(30) 18-1 774
 2. Connecticut (1) 18-1 733
 3. Pittsburgh 18-1 706
 4. Wake Forest 16-1 666
 5. Oklahoma 19-1 663
 6. North Carolina 17-2 636
 7. Louisville 15-3 547
 8. Marquette 17-2 538
 9. Michigan State 16-3 475
10. Xavier 17-2 458

 

Duke Women run over Georgia Tech for 15th straight win

DURHAM, N.C. – The fourth-ranked Duke women’s basketball team used a stellar defensive effort on Sunday afternoon to down Georgia Tech, 60-34, to win its 15th straight game this season and 29th straight contest against the Yellow Jackets.  The Blue Devils held Georgia Tech to its second-worst single-game output in school history, while holding the Yellow Jackets to only 25.5 percent shooting.
 
Abby Waner scored 14 points, while Chante Black and Jasmine Thomas each added 10 points for the Blue Devils.
 
For a full recap, click on www.GoDuke.com

High School Hoops Edition No. 8

Brandon Knight scored 17 points, on Thursday, as Pine Crest dominated Chaminade-Madonna 68-32. On Tuesday, Knight made six three pointers and exploded for 37 points in a 79-48 victory over Coral Springs Charter. Knight will be facing off against Kenny Boynton for the second time this season on January 31st. The Sun-Sentinel has a game preview posted. Knight scored 35 points as Pine Crest defeated American Heritage earlier this season.

Atlantic Shores defeated StoneBridge 78-43 on Saturday night with Andre Dawkins’ 24 points leading the way. Dawkins scored 21 points on Thursday in a 68-52 win over Benedictine, and 16 points in a 73-36 defeat of Williamsburg Christ on Tuesday evening.

The Washington Post has an article posted on the Gonzaga – DeMatha game. Tyler Thornton scored 14 points as Gonzaga won 86-76. Of note, Gonzaga was 21/21 from the free throw line with Thornton going 4/4. Thornton scored 18 points and was 9/10 from the free throw line, on Friday night, as Gonzaga defeated Good Counsel 73-56.

Josh Smith scored 29 points on 14-of-19 shooting but #2 Kentwood fell to Kentridge 67-58. The game is the second story in this Seattle Times article. The lead story is about #1 Garfield losing to Foss. Garfield features Tony Wroten Jr. who did not play due to a sprained ankle. Earlier in the week, Smith scored 15 points and 39 points in two Kentwood victories. Smith is averaging 25.5 points per game.

Ryan Kelly followed up his career high 47 point performance by leading Ravenscroft to two victories on Thursday and Friday. Kelly scored 20 points and secured eight rebounds in the first victory, while scoring 21 points with eight rebounds in the second game.

Christ School dropped their second game of the season with a 64-60 loss to Princeton High School of Cincinnati on Saturday.  Mason Plumlee scored 12 points.  Plumlee scored 20 points and Tony Kimbro added 13 in a 68-66 win over New American of New York on Friday night. Both games were part of the Laurel County Hoop Fest in Kentucky.

Harrison Barnes scored 19 points as Ames defeated Mason City 86-63 on Saturday night. The game was tight early with Mason City having a five point lead in the second quarter before Ames pulled ahead to lead 44-41 at the half. The Ames Tribune has a game recap posted.

Random thoughts on the Blue Devils 85-44 win over Maryland

It’s hard to find a starting point in talking about how dominant the Blue Devils 85-44 win over Maryland was today.  I mean the Devils defense held Maryland to four points over the last ten

Nolan Smith takes it to the rim versus the Terps
Nolan Smith takes it to the rim versus the Terps

minutes of the first half and limited the visitor to 27% shooting on the day and their lowest point total in forty years.  Here are some random thoughts -

Duke hit their three point shots- The Blue Devils shot better from the three point stripe than they did the field where they finished 12 of 25.  If Duke can continue this kind of production, they’ll be tough to beat come March.  An interesting side not is that all of Scheyer’s (4 of 13) made field goals were three pointers.

Gerald Henderson – “G” is starting to dominate the game as he finds his comfort level.  I mean 17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in 23 minutes of play is ridiculous!

The Duke defense-  I don’t want to jinx these Blue Devils, but could this be the best defensive team Krzyzewski has ever had?  While Maryland was ice cold, Duke still created 17 turnovers, held them to 28.2% from the field and a high school

Coach K has Singler and Duke playing good defense
Coach K has Singler and Duke playing good defense

point total of 44.  A 12-2 advantage on points off turnovers help too.  We may get a more definitive answer after this coming Wednesday’s road game at Wake Forest.

Good Match up- This year’s Maryland team doesn’t have the intimidating front court players as they have in years past.  Duke matches up very well with the Terps, as witnessed by their 56-38 rebound advantage.

Chemistry coming around- If you have read my recent game stories, you’ll see where I pointed out how few assists Duke was getting from the point guard spot.  Well, they woke up today for 85 points on 23 assists is pretty darn good. Duke got 8 assists from their two quarterbacks, Paulus and Smith.

Fun atmosphere in Cameron - It’s been a while since the Cameron Crazies, fans and team had as much fan as they did on Saturday.  Everything went right and walloping a team that has been a thorn over the years was sweet.  The cheers were great and well, it was a lot of fun for Duke fans.

Freshman get minutes- Is anybody tired of the message board talk on Elliot Williams or is it just me?  Okay, there will always be some, but Williams showed flashes of coming along.  He tossed in 9

Sweat Gary, sweat!
Sweat Gary, sweat!

points, many on dunks today and played good defense.  He is gradually getting accustomed to the speed and physical nature of the ACC.  Mile Plumlee had a time getting a shot to drop, in fact he was 0-5, but he did grab 5 rebounds and swatted 3 shots away.  Olek Czyz got some burn as well, playing nine minutes.

Is Duke #1?- While UConn may get some votes, Duke should be tops in the land in both polls come Monday afternoon.  This week will mark the 60th time Duke has been at the top pf the heap in the ESPN/Coaches poll since it’s inauguration.  UNC is a distant second.

5-0, 18-1 -The fast start in the ACC is a blessing in that Duke has Wake and UNC coming up twice each and a road trip to Clemson.  Trust me in that at Virginia Tech, Boston College and Maryland are no walks in the park.  The neighboring team has a much more conducive schedule.

Senior leadership – So, have you noticed the selflessness of Duke seniors David McClure and Greg

McClure nailed this jumper in the Blue Devils romp of Maryland
McClure nailed this jumper in the Blue Devils romp of Maryland

Paulus?  Well take notice for they have five more games to play in Cameron for their career.