Duke Women throttle NC Central 117-28

Duke photo
Duke photo

DURHAM, N.C.  Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie challenged her players to focus on details coming out of Christmas break.

They heeded her advice, playing hard every possession.

Joy Cheek scored 16 points to help No. 8 Duke defeat North Carolina Central 117-28 on Monday night in the biggest rout in school history.

Karima Christmas added 15 points for the Blue Devils (10-2), whose 89-point margin of victory was the sixth biggest in women’s Division I basketball over the past 10 years according to STATS.

A school-record nine players scored in double figures for Duke, which posted season-high figures for points, field-goal shooting (58.8 percent), assists (35) and 3-pointers (10).

“I have really never seen a stat sheet like this in my 18 years – or 17 1/2 years – of head coaching, in terms of nine people in double figures,” McCallie said. “That’s kind of unusual, and I think it’s a credit to the team to share the ball like everybody did.”

Alexis Rogers had 13 points for Duke, which scored the first 22 points of the game and closed the first half with another 22-0 run. Jasmine Thomas, Krystal Thomas and Kathleen Scheer added 12 points to help the Blue Devils beat their city rival.

The Blue Devils led 65-9 at halftime, setting a school record for biggest halftime lead and tying the school record for points in a first half.

“We hadn’t played a game in a few days or a week or so, and we just wanted to come out sharp,” Cheek said.

Danielle DeBerry and J’Mia Pollock scored six points apiece to lead the Eagles (1-10), who had more turnovers (45) than field-goal attempts (41).

N.C. Central sputtered without guard Joanna Miller, who served a one-game suspension for violating team rules. Miller had been averaging a team-best 17.7 points and 2.8 assists per game for the Eagles, who are in their third year of reclassification to NCAA Division I.

“I think the kids came out and were a little rattled at the beginning of the game,” N.C. Central coach Joli Robinson said. “But they kind of settled down and did some things we were looking for them to do. It lets us know that we’ve got a long ways to go.”

Duke smothered the Eagles from the start, forcing turnovers on N.C. Central’s first three possessions. The Blue Devils finished with a school-record 31 steals, converting many of those opportunities into easy baskets.

Duke outscored N.C. Central 66-4 in the lane and owned a 60-1 advantage in points off turnovers.

“Everyone was very efficient with the time on the floor and attacking,” McCallie said. “That’s really important to us to build our depth and to get better, and I definitely thought we got better tonight.”

duke-blue-devilsCornell head coach Jim Knowles has resigned to become the defensive coordinator at Duke University.  

In six seasons under Knowles’ leadership, Cornell had a 26-34 record, including a 2-8 record this season.

“It was a very difficult decision.” Knowles said. “I’m passionate about Cornell football. It’s in my blood. I love the players. I love the university, and I was honored to be the head coach.”

Cornell sports information director Jeremy Hartigan said a national search for Knowles’ replacement will begin immediately.

Knowles  had two years left on his contract at Cornell.

His hiring has not officially been announced but it is expected to happen this week.

“It boiled down to finances, job security and the opportunity to work with what I think is a great coach and an unbelievable staff,” Knowles told the Binghampton press.

The Duke defensive coordinator position opened when Mike MacIntyre took the head coaching position at San Jose State on Dec. 17.

Sources close to the situation said Knowles wasted little time in making his decision to coach again with Duke coach David Cutcliffe.

Long Beach State at Duke – Official Game Notes

kyle-150x150Game 11

[7 AP/7 Coaches] Duke (9-1) vs. Long Beach State (6-6)

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009  •  7:00 p.m.  •  FSS

Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314)  •  Durham, N.C.

The Opening Tip

Duke (9-1), ranked seventh in the AP poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, faces Long Beach State (8-2) at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday’s game will air on FSS with Mike Hogewood and Mike Gminski calling the action.

The Last Time Out

Duke posted a 76-41 win over No. 15 Gonzaga on Dec. 19 at Madison Square Garden. With the victory, the Blue Devils improved to 3-0 on the year at MSG.

Junior Nolan Smith matched a career-high with 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field, while senior Jon Scheyer added 20 points, five rebounds, eight assists and two steals in the win.

The Blue Devils limited Gonzaga to 27.8 percent (15-of-54) shooting from the field, including 10.0 percent (1-of-10) from three-point range. Duke forced 18 Bulldog turnovers, while allowing only 15 field goals.

Duke also outrebounded Gonzaga, 45-35, as junior Kyle Singler grabbed a game-high 11 boards. Senior Lance Thomas added nine rebounds in the win. The Blue Devils have now grabbed 40+ rebounds in a game seven times this season.

The Duke-Long Beach State Series

Fifth-ranked Duke posted a 79-78 win over the No. 15 Long Beach State 49ers on Jan. 5, 1979 in Raleigh, N.C. as part of the Holiday Doubleheader. Kenny Dennard scored 28 points to go along with nine rebounds, while Gene Banks recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. MIke Gminski added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Blue Devils.

Numbers Game

l The Blue Devils have won a current NCAA-best 74 consecutive non-conference home games.

l Duke has won 34 straight home games against unranked opponents, dating back to a 68-67 loss to Florida State on Feb. 4, 2007.

l Duke has won 47 straight December home games, dating back to a 62-61 loss to Michigan on Dec. 8, 1996.

l The Blue Devils are 159-26 in the month of December under Coach K. Duke is 51-4 in December since the 1999-2000 season.

l Duke is 3-0 all-time against teams currently in the Big West conference, including a 2-0 mark under Mike Krzyzewski.

l Junior Nolan Smith has scored 10 or more points in all eight games he has played. He is averaging 17.3 points per game, a 8.9 ppg. increase from a year ago for the third-highest scoring jump in the ACC.

l Senior Jon Scheyer leads the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (5.9:1) and ranks 18th in assists per game (5.9). He has led Duke in assists in all 10 games with five turnover-free games on the year.

l Senior Brian Zoubek leads the Blue Devils in rebounding at 7.4 boards per game. He is the only non-starter in the ACC to rank in the top 20 in rebounding. Zoubek is tied for for 12th in the league in rebounding, while also ranking third in offensive rebounds at 3.7 orpg.

l Duke is the only team in the ACC with more than one player ranked in the top 10 in scoring. Jon Scheyer is second at 18.2 ppg., while Nolan Smith (17.3 ppg.) and Kyle Singler (15.7 ppg.) rank fourth and tied for eighth, respectively.

l Jon Scheyer is averaging 23.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game in Duke’s last three contests. He is shooting 51.3 percent from the field, including 52.1 percent from three-point range, and 95.2 percent from the foul line in that span.

l Duke’s guard trio of Andre Dawkins, Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer is shooting a combined 44.9 percent (61-of-136) from three-point range.

l The Blue Devils rank in the top 10 of the NCAA in scoring offense (10th), scoring margin (4th), free throw percentage (9th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (10th).

l The Blue Devils are averaging 94.7 points per game and shooting 52.4 percent from the field in six home contests. Duke is also averaging 19.7 assists per game at home.

Previewing the 49ers

DukeDuke (9-1) hosts Long Beach State (6-6) on Tuesday. While the 49ers record isn’t immediately impressive, they have played a tough schedule with four of their six losses coming against Top 20 competition. Long Beach State has lost at #3 Kentucky, at #2 Texas, and to #19 Clemson and #8 West Virginia in the 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center. They’ve also lost at Notre Dame and at Loyola Marymount.

Long Beach State shouldn’t be taken lightly as they are not a stereotypical 6-6 team, but rather a team who has lost six games with five of the losses against really good teams. The combined record of the teams responsible for those five losses is 66-4 with three of the five teams being undefeated.

Long Beach State is coached by Dan Monson who has a career win-loss record of 194-163. Monson is in his third season at LBSU and was previously the head coach at Minnesota (99-06) and Gonzaga (97-99).

The 49ers have had four different players named the Big West Conference Player of the Week this season: Casper Ware, Larry Anderson, T.J. Robinson, and Stephan Gilling.

T.J. Robinson (6’7″ 210) is averaging a double-double with 16.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Robinson, who has the ability to knockdown the 15 foot jumper, is the 49ers most versatile player. He was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team last season.

Stephan Gilling (6’2″ 207) averages 13 points per game and is making 45.8 percent of his 3-point attempts. His ability to stretch defenses is a valuable asset for the 49ers. Additionally, Gilling is Long Beach State’s premier perimeter defender.

Larry Anderson (6’6″ 215) averages 13 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Last season, Anderson was the Big West Conference Freshman-of-the-Year.

Casper Ware (5’9″ 170) averages 11.8 points and 5.8 assists per game. Ware is a speedy point guard who has the ability to penetrate and create.

Eugene Phelps (6’6″ 200) averages 9.1 points and 7 rebounds per game.

The big question mark for the 49ers is their inside game as they do not start any player taller than 6’7”. In fact, the 49ers have seven players averaging double-digit minutes and none of them are taller than 6’7”. Greg Plater (6’1” 165) and Arturas Lazdauskas (6’7” 215) are players six and seven in Long Beach State’s rotation. Senior Andrew Fleming (7’0” 255) is averaging only 4.3 minutes per game and freshman Mike Vantrimpont (7’0” 225) has only appeared sparingly in four games.

The keys to the game will be:

1. Shaking off the rust. Duke hasn’t played for 10 days since their dominating victory over Gonzaga. Long Beach State has played two games during the same time period. The Blue Devils need to avoid a slow start.

2. Controlling the glass. Duke has a +7.6 rebounding advantage over their opponents this season, while Long Beach State has a -1.6 disadvantage. With Duke’s significant height advantage, the Blue Devils should be able to limit the 49ers second chance opportunities, while simultaneously converting offensive rebounds into points.

3. Taking care of the basketball. Long Beach State has more turnovers (182) than assists (177) on the season. The 49ers cannot afford to waste possessions against the Blue Devils.

This game will be a bigger challenge than casual fans realize. While the 49ers will arrive in Durham with a .500 winning percentage, they also arrive with four returning starters from last season and a coach with a proven track record. In the end, Duke should win this game by a double digit margin, but do not be surprised when the outcome is still in doubt with 10 minutes remaining on the game clock.

High School Hoops 2010 Edition No. 7

Kyrie Irving IIIThis Christmas Day edition of High School Hoops contains follow up reports on Holiday Tournament action with details on how Duke Prospects fared. Additionally, St. Patrick with Kyrie Irving played a couple of games and is now off to California to participate in a tournament, which starts on December 26. [private]

St. Patrick won their first two games: 77 – 56 over Life Center HS and 72 – 41 over Newark Tech. Kyrie Irving scored 31 and 34 points respectively in the victories and, Coach Krzyzewski and Coach Collins were in attendance at the second game. St. Patrick is currently the number one ranked team in New Jersey and in the nation. The next USA Today rankings are scheduled to be released on January 12, 2010.

St. Patrick is off to San Diego, CA to participate in the Max Preps Holiday Invitational December 26 – 30. St. Patrick is in the National Division and their first game is against Ironwood Ridge from Arizona.

Moving on to Central Michigan, there is a bit of bad news on Trey Zeigler. Zeigler hurt his shoulder during the third quarter of a 65 – 50 loss to Saginaw Heritage on Friday night December 18. Zeigler scored 27 points and collected 18 rebounds in the game. This article from The Morning Sun states, “Zeigler had 23 points and 15 rebounds when injured. He did return in the final period but noticeably favored his left shoulder.” No further details on the extent of the injury have been posted, but here is a Tweet from Zeigler.

Now to the Holiday Tournament updates. Christ School won their third consecutive Chick-fil-A Championship with a 60 – 57 victory over Charlotte Christian. Marshall Plumlee played 16 minutes, scored four points, and grabbed eight rebounds. In the semi-finals, the Greenies defeated Dreher (SC) 85 – 55. Plumlee played 16 minutes, scored five points, and had three rebounds.

At the City of Palms Classic, Austin Rivers unanimously won Most Valuable Player honors, but Winter Park came up short losing in the Championship Game. The final score was 62 – 54 as Paterson (NJ) Catholic won the Championship. In the semi-finals, Rivers erupted for 45 points as Winter Park defeated Newark (NJ) St. Benedict’s 75 – 60.

In Honolulu, at the Iolani Classic, Montrose Christian finished in third place while Gonzaga finished fifth. In the semi-finals, Montrose fell to Neumann-Goretti (PA) 72 – 65. Future Wake Forest Demon Deacon Tony Chennault scored 29 points. Josh Hairston recorded a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. In the third place game, Hairston scored 15 points and led Montrose to a 48 – 45 win over Columbia (GA).

Tyler Thornton scored 11 points as Gonzaga defeated Kinston 84 – 64 in the fifth place game. Future Tar Heel Reggie Bullock scored 16 points for Kinston. The previous day, Thornton scored 16 points as Gonzaga defeated Lutheran (CA) 68 – 66.

Oak Hill Academy and Roscoe Smith are off to Portland, OR to participate in the Les Schwab Invitational. Their first game is against Sunset HS from Beaverton.

Blue Devil Nation wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Our next edition of High School Hoops 2010 will be out next weekend so be sure to check back in order to keep abreast of all the action. [/private]

BDN Premium – Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Update

Austin Rivers set to make a play - BDN Photo
Austin Rivers set to make a move - BDN Photo

As many of you are aware, the Duke Men’s Basketball staff has been very active on the road of late, but they will now take a break to spend time with their families.  Just about all of the Blue Devils players are at home with their families for the Holiday season.  We will be covering a few kids live after Christmas and I will have more on that later.  Let’s just say that BDN will be back in the groove in a major way in the coming year and our coverage will be better than ever.

Many of you have asked if there is anything new going on and the answer is [private] not much.  We’ll start with Austin Rivers who you can see on ESPNU tonight against one of the best teams in the country.  Rivers dropped 45 points and, as we told you months ago now, he will concentrate on his high school season.  Rivers continues to say he is a Florida Gator, and that is technically true.  However, Rivers is quick to tell you that Duke is recruiting him and that he likes the fact that Coach K has taken an interest in him.  Rivers will take a visit to Duke this season after the new year if all works out.  I continue to feel very good about Duke’s chances of landing Rivers – far too many reasons to list, but it’s not over until it’s over.  The Rivers family will watch and see how UF and Duke fare this season and see how Austin fits in.  It’s no secret that Rivers has stayed in close touch with Kyrie and Andre among others.  Krzyzewski loves what Rivers brings to the table and he has been front and center for Rivers games since the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida.  Krzyzewski and Collins attended Rivers’ game last week. The staff will follow him closely, staying in touch as often as the NCAA rules allow.  This one will go to Spring or after the season.

As many of you know, one of my pet peeves is the unsubstantiated rumors that make message boards go crazy.  It’s one of the reasons I spend little time on my own board these days.  The latest one says that Duke has stopped recruiting Roscoe Smith, which is false.  I have been telling you for a good while that Duke has been trying to arrange an on-campus visit and that remains true today.  UConn is the chief competition and probably the leader at this time.  It’s been hard for Duke to proceed, for they need to make sure Smith can qualify.  There is no secret that it is easier to qualify for UConn than Duke.  My understanding is that Krzyzewski likes Smith’s potential and he did catch one of his games over the break.  So, there is a wait and see approach with concerns to Smith and the picture should become clear in the next month or two.  Nobody would have put Smith and Duke together early last summer, but Nate James hit the road running and developed a good relationship with the prospect.

Rocky Mount’s Tashawn Mabry and his family sat behind the Duke bench for a game recently and Duke is in the evaluation or get to know stage with Mabry.  I was scheduled to check him out during the Glaxo Tournament, but Rocky Mount could not work out the logistics to be there.  Mabry was one of the most underrated players in the country but his star is rising this season.

One thing to keep in mind is that Duke will be careful who they offer and they will not just throw one out there for anyone who they don’t think can contribute.  I must admit that project players like Boateng or Czyz rarely work out, for the learning curve is behind other kids.  Duke has, however, had success with role player types going all the way back to Brian Davis and Marty Clark for but two examples.

Brace yourself for a ride with two prospects.  Quincy Miller attended the Duke Elite Camp and he, indeed, likes the Devils as does a key member of his family.  Miller is a good interview in person and he has a great personality, but the recruiting game seems to get fun for these kids as they go along and anything they say until they are a rising senior should be taken with a grain of salt.  The longer this one goes on, the more familiar it will seem, meaning a little stress.  Still, Duke is right there for Miller at this time and there is a strong foundation with concerns to relations with the coaching staff.  I will be catching one of Miller’s games soon and we will eventually talk with him.

Then there is JP Tokoto who loved the Duke Elite Camp but he grew up a UNC fan.  Tokoto sent signals that he may commit early, but that changed in a matter of days and he is now scheduled to visit UNC for the Duke game.  The Heels are coming on strong and will offer him as a junior.  Whether Duke decides to look elsewhere or pull back remains to be seen.  But they will surely send some feelers out there to gauge his interest.  If he is like PJ Hairston and the debacle Harrison Barnes, maybe Duke should broaden their options.  It’s hard to imagine Duke wanting to go down to the wire again while other talented kids might be a better option.  Tokoto’s stepfather likes Duke, but he also likes UNC.  This one promises to be, as I mentioned, stressful over time.

Duke has been keeping tabs on Trey Ziegler for a long time now and they are still checking him out, seeing him play recently.  There haven’t been enough developments to take this much further at this time.

Duke will continue to watch Marshall Plumlee and Christ School as the new year comes in as well.

As for Brad Beal, he just had his mind set on Florida and he was simply unable to make visits due to family reasons. As things started looking good with Rivers, Duke pulled back on the reins with the talented Beal.

Let’s talk about Olek Czyz for a minute.  The transfer is on good terms and he has already talked with Nevada but is looking elsewhere.  Czyz was rated in the top twenty players in his class by Clark Francis in perhaps one of the clearest cases of gurus rating players too high after a single AAU event.  Czyz, always a dunking machine, simply never got the rest of his game together.  He worked hard over the summer, but when given a chance he would miss assignments, causing a chink in the armor when he was on the court.  Duke will not miss Czyz and to make a lot out of the transfers of late is overreacting a bit.  Many never consider that kids may struggle in the classroom as well as the hardwood.  In short, Czyz leaves in good standing and simply wants to go to a school where he can start.  We wish him luck.

The staff is happy with this year’s team and feel like they are in a good place for this time of the season.  Duke is now ranked seventh in both polls and their team defense has been a pleasant surprise.  Look for Duke to continue to play the bigs that produce while on the court.  Expect more development with Mason in the new year and Kelly has positioned himself with hard work to contribute more.  Duke is looking for consistency down low.

If Jon Scheyer continues his play he will push for not only All ACC honors but ACC POY and maybe even All American.  The staff is not worried about him wearing down, saying he is young and in the best shape of his life.

Some good news is that at this time the Duke feels Kyle Singler will return for his senior season.  Singler is enjoying the college life and it may be in his best interest to return in what could be a magical senior campaign.

Back to future Dukies, the staff is pleased with the development of Josh Hairston who is going against tougher comp this season.  The same holds true for Tyler Thornton.  We’ll check in with both of these guys after Christmas and or the holidays.

Nate James checked out 7-1  Aziz Ndiaye JUCO from Southern Idaho.  Word is that this kid is a beast.  He also took in Carrick Felix, a 6-6 swing who is swift afoot.

When there is some real news or changes I will let you know without you having to ask daily if anything is different.  We’ll talk to the kids and bring you our famous interviews, but until there are legitimate developments BDN decided not to bug these kids until after the holidays.  After all, they are all playing in tournaments galore and no matter what site you visit, they are saying nothing you haven’t heard here a long time ago.  Sometimes, things are just a little slow and we have been facing that after Barnes’ recruitment.  So hang in there and you will see what separates us from the rest as time goes on.   You have to keep in mind that Duke is in the midst of the season and sometimes it’s good to enjoy the current team instead of always worrying about the future.  Okay, I will admit that only works for a awhile ;)  Happy Holidays to the Blue Devil Nation! [/private]