Duke at Clemson Official Game Notes

LK-15_Duke_v_Georgia_TechGame 19 l ESPN College Gameday
Duke (15-3, 3-2 ACC)
vs. Clemson (15-4, 3-2 ACC)
Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 l 9:00 p.m. l ESPN
Littlejohn Coliseum l Clemson, S.C.

The Opening Tip
Duke (15-3, 3-2 ACC), ranked seventh in the AP poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, faces Clemson (15-4, 3-2 ACC) at Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 9:00 p.m. The Tigers enter the game ranked 17th in the AP poll and 16th in the Coaches’ Poll. The game will air on ESPN with Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Erin Andrews calling the action.

The Last Time Out
Duke fell to N.C. State, 88-74, on Wednesday for its third straight road loss of the season.

Kyle Singler (22), Jon Scheyer (21) and Nolan Smith (18) combined for 61 of the Blue Devils’ 74 points on the night.

The Wolfpack shot 58.2 percent from the field in the game, including 64.0 percent in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Duke posted a commanding 40-28 rebounding advantage in losing for the first time this season when outrebounding the opposition. Senior Lance Thomas grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds, while Brian Zoubek added nine boards, including five of Duke’s 17 offensive rebounds.

The Last Time vs. Clemson
Duke posted a 74-53 win over Clemson on Jan. 3, 2010 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith each had 22 points in the win as the Blue Devil defense limited the Tigers to 12 first-half points on 5-of-30 (16.7 percent) shooting. Duke held Clemson to 32.7 percent shooting for the game and forced 17 turnovers.

Numbers Game

  • Duke and Syracuse are the only teams in the country to rank in the top 10 in both the AP Poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll as well as the CollegeRPI.com Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and Strength of Schedule (SOS). The Blue Devils, seventh in the AP Poll and sixth in the Coaches’ Poll, rank first in the RPI with the sixth-best SOS.
  • The Blue Devils have been ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll for 50 consecutive weeks. Duke has been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last 47 polls.
  • Duke has had 23 individual 20-point scoring games this season, including eight each by Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer. The Blue Devils have had multiple 20-point scorers in the same game eight times on the year.
  • The Blue Devils are 3-1 against ranked opponents with wins over No. 13 Connecticut, No. 15 Gonzaga and No. 21 Clemson. Duke has a +15.3 points per game scoring margin against ranked opponents on the year.
  • Duke has lost four straight true road games dating back to last season. The Blue Devils have not lost five in a row on the road since the 2002-03 season.
  • Jon Scheyer is the only player in the ACC to rank in the top 5 in six statistical categories; scoring (second, 19.1 ppg.), assists (fourth, 5.8 apg.), free throw percentage (first, .895), three-point field goals (first, 2.7 3pg.), assist-to-turnover ratio (first, 4.04:1) and minutes (second, 35.8 mpg.).
  • Nolan Smith is shooting 48.0 percent (106-of-221) from the field, including 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from three-point range, to rank ninth in the ACC in field goal percentage. He is the only guard to rank in the top 10 of the league in that category.
  • Senior Jon Scheyer leads the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.04:1). He has had one turnover or less in 10 of Duke’s 18 games, with six contests without a turnover.
  • Junior Nolan Smith is averaging 20.1 points per game, while shooting 55.2 percent (58-of-105) from the field and 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from three-point range, in the last eight games. He has topped the 20-point mark in six of those games.
  • Duke has a +10.7 rebound margin over the last three games. The Blue Devils are averaging 42.7 rebounds per game, including 18.3 offensive boards per game in that span.

Big Three Pace Blue Devil Offense
Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith combine to average 53.5 points per game or 63.6 percent of Duke’s scoring.

Scheyer is second in the ACC in scoring at 19.1 ppg., while Smith (18.3 ppg.) and Singler (16.1 ppg.) rank third and eighth, respectively.

Texas Southern, Nevada, UC Davis and North Dakota State are the only other schools with three players ranked among the top 10 scorers in their respective leagues.

The trio of Scheyer, Smith and Singler is the highest scoring group in the NCAA this season and the fourth-highest at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski.

Duke Raising Awareness for Haiti Relief
Duke Athletics has joined a national fundraising effort titled “Save Haiti Saturday” to aid in the nation’s earthquake recovery efforts. Beginning with Duke’s men’s basketball contest at Clemson on Saturday night (ESPN, 9:00 PM ET), the 15 Duke teams currently in competition will display “Save Haiti Saturday” patches in the upcoming weeks to maintain high awareness for the relief effort in Haiti.

Three Duke graduates, including former Duke men’s basketball manager and current Miami Heat Vice President of Basketball Operations Nick Arison (Duke ‘03), along with Jenna Green (Duke ‘08) and Doug Rosenberg (Duke ‘07) spearheaded the “Save Haiti Saturday” initiative.

“Save Haiti Saturday” is primarily an awareness campaign that benefits Project Medishare for Haiti, Inc. That organization collaborates with Partners in Health (PIH), one of the organizations through which Duke is coordinating its Haitian fundraising relief efforts. Duke alumnus, Dr. Paul Farmer, founded PIH and currently serves as the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti.

For more information about or donate to “Save Haiti Saturday,” access the website at:  www.savehaitisaturday.com.

Lewis to play in Pro Football Hall Fame Texas vs The Nation Challenge

tl77DURHAM, N.C. – Former Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis will participate in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Texas vs. The Nation Challenge set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 6 at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas.

Lewis will play for the Texas squad, coached by Howard Schnellenberger, who guided Miami to the 1983 national championship.  Former Dallas Cowboys standout Bill Bates will coach the Nation unit.

A native of Opa-Locka, Fla., Lewis closed out an outstanding career with 48 school records including career marks for total offensive yards (9,987), passing yards (10,065), pass completions (877), pass attempts (1,510), touchdown passes (67), 300-yard passing games (11) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (1.68:1). In 2009, he completed 274-of-449 (.610) pass attempts for 3,330 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. One of just two quarterbacks in ACC history to throw for over 10,000 yards in a career, Lewis paced the league in passing yards per game (277.5), and his 3,330 passing yards rank as the second-highest single-season total in Duke history. Lewis, who earned second team All-ACC honors in 2008, is Duke’s first two-time all-conference quarterback since Ben Bennett captured first squad honors in both 1982 and 1983.

Other former ACC players scheduled to play in the game include Brent Bowden (P, Virginia Tech), Derrick Epps (TE, Miami), Toney Baker (RB, N.C. State), Cory Jackson (FB, Maryland), Kyle Jolly (OT, North Carolina), Will Barker (OG, Virginia), E.J. Wilson (DE, North Carolina) and Travis Ivey (DT, Maryland).

Duke falls on the road to NCSU 88-74

Lance King Photo
Lance King Photo

Raleigh, N.C. – Duke [15-3, 3-2] proved it as not above the rest of the ACC as they struggled on the road against a fired up North Carolina State team and in the process got thumped 88-74.

In a game that feature 59 free throws due to tight calls, the Wolfpack drained 58.2% from the field to Duke’s 38.6% and that pretty much proved to be the difference.

The Packs Tracy Smith led the way for the victors with 23 points and Dennis Horner added 20.  Unlike Duke, the Pack’s leaders got help from the rest of the team on offense.

How inefficient was Duke past the big three of Scheyer, Singler and Smith?  Well, of the Blue Devils 74 points, only 13 came from the rest of the team.

The aforementioned three will need some help if Duke is to get past their road woes and Kryzyzewski was not happy with his teams energy.

“They brought more energy than we did.  They looked like a team that played a game at noon on Saturday and we looked like a team that went through a war on Sunday night.

It was quite simply the Blue Devils worst defensive effort of the season and Kryzyzeski was quick to point that out as well.

With the Wolfpack shooting lights out for most of the way, Duke never really got it’s three point shooting untracked.

The Blue Devils looked as if their feet were in sand on some plays and that is the sign of a tired team.

Coming into the game after the way Duke’s front line played in the last to games, who would have thought they would be outscored in the paint by a 36-28 margin, yet oddly Duke led the battle of the boards 40-28.

But of the Wolfpacks 28 boards, 22 of them ere on the defensive end where they limited Duke to one shot for most of the second half.

That also means the Wolfpack was shooting the ball well as evidenced by another statistical anomaly where Duke outscored them 19-2 on second chance points.

Duke managed just 8 assists on the evening and had 14 turnovers.

The Blue Devils will now regroup and travel to Death Valley to face Clemson who ran them out of the gym last year.

We’ll have more on the game in the BDN Locker Room Report in the A.M.

BDN chats with future Duke Blue Devil Kyrie Irving

Irving drives in Cameron during the TOC AAU event - BDN Photo
Irving drives in Cameron during the TOC AAU event - BDN Photo

Springfield, Mass - The Blue Devil Nation’s Andrew Slater was on hand to cover the HoopHall Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts this past Monday where Kyrie Irving and company were participating.  Irving, of course, is Duke’s point guard of the future and Blue Devil fans anxiously await his arrival in late July when he will be on campus.

Irving missed a free throw which would have put the game into overtime, but his second half play helped St. Patrick’s stay in the contest.  Irving tallied 30 points for the game and having watched him play on several occasions, I can tell you that he more often than not wins games with his performances.
Despite the tough loss, a naturally upset Irving still took time to answer some questions and he did so with his usual dignity and grace.  Make no mistake, that Kyrie Irving’s star continues to soar and that he will instantly become a star in Durham in the coming year.
Can you talk about tonight’s game and your overall performance?

The first half was kind of difficult for us, especially for me. It was a big game, you know, national television and..

Cory Joseph had a great first half.

Yeah, but it was a great effort on our part. We had a great second half, but we couldn’t come through.

Can you talk about the end of the game situation?  You went coast-to-coast.  What were you looking for on that possession?

Oh, I was looking to get to the basket as soon as possible. Yeah, I just wanted to get a bucket because our team needed a bucket. They were up by two and I had a chance to close it out, but I just couldn’t come through.

What is it like to play in this tournament?   The Hall of Fame nearby, big crowds, quality teams, and ESPNU televising it?

It’s [private] a great experience to be able to come to Massachusetts. This is where my father went to college. He went to Boston University. I mean playing in Springfield. This is history here. There were great players that came through here and made the NBA. I’m glad I got to experience it with my teammates.

What was it like to make to match-up with Cory Joseph?

It was a great experience. We’re some of the top point guards in the country, if not the top two along with Brandon Knight. It was great to go against him and face the competition and bring me to another level. The first time I ever faced him was at the NBA camp and we developed a little bit of friendship, but it was great going against him.

What’s the best part of his game?

His quickness and his ability to get up and down the floor. I didn’t know he was that quick until today.

In the second half, you really took it to him, but in the first half did his speed make it difficult for you to operate?

Yeah, he definitely did. There were a lot of missteps, um, I mean mismatches, you know, we were going to put our little point guard, Kevin Boyle, Jr., on him, but that didn’t work. Then they put me on him and then just kept switching.

Yeah, I’ve just got one question. It’s about New Jersey basketball. You guys must be proud that there are three teams that are so talented in such a tight area. Is the level rising or has it always been this way? Is this more than usual?

Yeah, I definitely think most of the people being seniors. It definitely raises the level.

Can you talk about how you came to your decision and was there an exact moment when it became clear to you that you’d be a Blue Devil?

It was just basically Coach K and the whole entire coaching staff. They did a great job recruiting me. Even though they came sort of late into the game, I thought it was a great decision on my part. Especially going on my official visit, I fell in love with going there. It was great.

Was there that one moment or epiphany?

That moment where I stepped on the campus. I felt like a student. You know that’s what made me make my decision.

What, if anything, has Coach Krzyzewski asked you to work on or concentrate on this season?

Just work on my physical and..

The added muscle in your arms in noticeable.

Oh, yeah. Just being a little more vocal and a leader on the floor.

Who was recruiting you to Duke?

It was Coach K the whole entire time. It was also Coach Collins. Those were the main two, but it was always Coach K.

Is it daunting at all to go to a program like Duke and all of that history?

It is. Duke is known for, well, maybe not known for that but like people say, when they’ve had great point guards from New Jersey, they’ve won championships.

Do you talk to the other Jersey point guards?

Oh, yeah, I’ve talked to Jason Williams several times, but I haven’t talked to Bobby Hurley.

What are you doing to prepare for next year?

Just getting in the weight room and trying to be a better leader. This year is big for me, you know, it’s historic. If I would’ve made that shot, I think we would’ve won the national championship so I’m kind of hurt, you know. We’ll just take it from here.

Point guard at Duke is really a marquee position. It’s sort of like being quarterback at USC. Was that part of the attraction?

Um, yeah, I’d say it gets me excited, especially the opportunity to play for one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball. So, yeah, it feels great.

I’ve read that “hungry and humble” is kind of your motto. Can you talk about how you use that on the court?

Just being the most aggressive one out there, but knowing that I can always do more.

Do you think you’ve taken your game to yet another level this season, from as relatively recently as the summer?

Oh, yeah, I’ve definitely improved certain aspects of my game. Definitely my consistency and being a floor general out there.

In the fourth quarter, you really made some tough shots and you really sort of drove it to the rim.  You took over even more and Michael his ankle was hurting pretty bad. Did you think you needed to do that or did the game come to you?

I think it was both. In the fourth quarter, definitely a little bit is when you start going and I had a difficult first half, but I think I definitely stepped up in the second half.

Talk about this interview on the BDN Premium Message Board .  [/private]

Duke at N.C. State Official Game Notes

Courtesy: Duke Photography  Miles Plumlee posted career highs with 19 points and 14 rebounds in Sunday’s win over Wake Forest.
Courtesy: Duke Photography
Miles Plumlee posted career highs with 19 points and 14 rebounds in Sunday’s win over Wake Forest.

Game 18
Duke (15-2, 3-1 ACC)
vs. N.C. State (12-6, 1-3 ACC)
Wed., Jan. 20, 2010 l 9:00 p.m. l Raycom
RBC Center l Raleigh, N.C.

The Opening Tip

Duke (15-2, 3-1 ACC), ranked seventh in the AP poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, faces unranked N.C. State (12-6, 1-3 ACC) at the RBC Center on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday’s game will air on Raycom with Tim Brando and Dan Bonner calling the action.

The Last Time Out

Junior Kyle Singler scored 21 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds as Duke posted a 90-70 win over Wake Forest on Sunday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The double-double was Singler’s third of the year and the 16th in his career. Nolan Smith notched 20 points on Sunday for his team-high eighth 20+ point game of the season.

The Blue Devils received outstanding play on the interior from the Plumlee brothers as Miles and Mason combined for 30 points, on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and 10-of-12 shooting from the free throw line, and 21 rebounds. Miles posted career-highs with 19 points and 14 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. He also recorded his third double-double of the season in the contest.

Duke grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and posted a 48-41 rebounding advantage over Wake Forest on Sunday. The Blue Devils scored 25 second chance points and had 46 points in the paint for the game.

The Blue Devils, the ACC leaders in free throw percentage, closed the game out by going 14-of-16 (.875) from the free throw line in the second half.

Numbers Game

  • Duke and Syracuse are the only teams in the country to rank in the top 10 in both the AP Poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll as well as the CollegeRPI.com Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and Strength of Schedule (SOS). The Blue Devils, seventh in the AP Poll and sixth in the Coaches’ Poll, rank first in the RPI with the sixth-best SOS.
  • The Blue Devils have been ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll for 50 consecutive weeks. Duke has been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last 47 polls.
  • Duke has won 23 of its last 25 games in the month of January. The Blue Devils are 202-56 under Coach K in January games.
  • Duke has had 21 individual 20-point scoring games this season, including eight by Nolan Smith. The Blue Devils have had multiple 20-point scorers in the same game seven times on the year.
  • Junior Nolan Smith is averaging 20.1 points per game, while shooting 55.2 percent (58-of-105) from the field and 60.7 percent (17-of-28) from three-point range, in the last eight games. He has topped the 20-point mark in six of those games.
  • Miles and Mason Plumlee are averaging 18.6 points and 13.0 rebounds per game combined over the last six contests. The duo is shooting 58.3 percent (42-of-72) from the field during that span.
  • Jon Scheyer is the only player in the ACC to rank in the top 5 in six statistical categories; scoring (second, 18.9 ppg.), assists (third, 6.1 apg.), free throw percentage (first, .905), three-point field goals (first, 2.7 3pg.), assist-to-turnover ratio (first, 4.12:1) and minutes (second, 35.6 mpg.).
  • Nolan Smith is shooting 47.8 percent (99-of-207) from the field, including 50.0 percent (27-of-54) from three-point range, to rank ninth in the ACC in field goal percentage. He is the only guard to rank in the top 10 of the league in that category.
  • Duke has lost three straight true road games dating back to last season. The Blue Devils have not lost four in a row on the road since the 2002-03 season.
  • The Blue Devils are averaging 46.5 points in the paint over their last two games. On the year, Duke is averaging 35.8 points in the paint per game.
  • Kyle Singler has three double-doubles this season and 16 in his career. He has double-doubles in each of the last two games.