Ryan Kelly Sidelined Indefinitely with Right Foot Injury

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Lance King Image

DURHAM, N.C. – Senior forward Ryan Kelly is sidelined indefinitely with a right foot injury head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Wednesday. Kelly suffered the injury late in the first half of Duke’s 68-40 win over Clemson Tuesday, and no timetable has been set for his return this season.

“We feel very badly for Ryan,” said Krzyzewski. “He is playing the best basketball of his career and this is a tough setback for him. We’re hoping for a good recovery and we are optimistic about his return.”

Kelly is averaging 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.7 blocks per game in his senior season and is on pace to set career highs in those four categories as well as three-point percentage (.521, 25-of-48) and field goal percentage (.471, 65-of-138). He has scored in double figures in 13 of Duke’s 15 games. Over the past nine games, Kelly was averaging 14.4 points per game, while shooting 67.7 percent (21-of-31) from three-point range.

Kelly ranks among the winningest players in Duke basketball history, leading the Blue Devils to a 105-13 (.890) record in his 118 games to rank third all-time at Duke in career winning percentage. Duke has amassed a 39-1 record when Kelly scores in double figures during his career and a 9-0 mark when he leads the team in scoring. In his career, Kelly has scored 854 points, grabbed 424 rebounds and hit 92 three-pointers. He is just eight treys shy of becoming the second Duke player at 6-foot-11 or taller to hit 100 career three-pointers (joining Danny Ferry).

Duke, ranked No. 1 in the AP and Coaches Polls, returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 12 with an ACC road contest against No. 20 N.C. State. Game time is set for 12 p.m. with ESPN televising the matchup between top 25 opponents.

BDN Post Game Report – Duke 68 Clemson 40

duke-wf rick c 028The Duke Blue Devils held Clemson to 10 points and 12% shooting in the first half, and that stellar defensive effort keyed their 68-40 cruise past the Tigers on Tuesday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

It was a good win, just not a pretty one

Watching the first half was brutal, as the refs let Duke and Clemson play physical basketball, ending with the two teams going to the locker room with a 25-10 score in Duke's favor.  The Tigers have a way of getting teams to play in those ugly kind of games.  While it was not pretty basketball, how do you complain about holding a team to 10 points in a half and 40 for a full game in ACC play? You don't. The Blue Devils made it tough for Clemson to score all evening long and the inevitable happened, as the Blue Devils pulled away down the stretch for a nice 28 point win, pushing their record to 2-0 in the ACC and 15-0 overall.

Incredible game from Quinn Cook

As many of you know, Quinn Cook was coming off an O-for-everything from the field in the Wake Forest game.  "You obviously think about it but the next time you're at practice you have to move on. Great shooters always move on to the next shot," said Cook when asked about his last performance.

Tonight he responded with a 27 point effort, his career high at Duke, breaking down the defense at will in the second half.  Cook played an all-court game, garnering 5 rebounds and dishing out 5 assists to go with 4 steals. It was his best game in a Duke uniform.  Cook is still learning the PG position at Duke, which is likely quite scary to opposing coaches after tonight's game.  Of course Coach K had to remind everyone that Quinn had 14 assists versus Wake Forest and joked that he could not pass to himself.  Cook was propped on Twitter by former Duke standout Nolan Smith, and added in the post-game that he had heard from others as well, congratulating him on the great game.

Ryan Kelly injured

Ryan Kelly hurt his foot again in the game and sat out the second half for precautionary reasons.  The versatile forward still finished the game with 12 points and was the only Blue Devil besides Cook to score in double figures.  According to Coach Krzyzewski, he will have an MRI and whatever else is necessary tomorrow, and they will release the result shortly after it is known. Kelly is questionable for the N.C. State game on Saturday.

Mason Plumlee just shy of a double-double

Mason Plumlee scored 8 points and grabbed a team high 13 rebounds, falling just short of another double-double, although he still leads the ACC in that category. Mason has led or tied for the team lead in rebounding in every game this season. When Coach Krzyzewski was questioned about Mason's offensive struggles in the last few games, he noted that teams are playing him differently, and that Mason had just matched up with one of the ACC's better players in Devin Booker, calling their play against each other a wash.


  • Cook was the fourth Duke player to score 20 or more points in a game this season.
  • Duke outscored Clemson in the paint by a 34-26 margin. The Blue Devils had 19 points off turnovers to the Tigers 7, and the Duke bench outscored Clemson 11-8. Duke shot 72% from the field in the 2nd half after hitting 29% in the 1st. Duke won the rebounding battle by a 42-31 margin.
  • The 10 points scored by Clemson in the first half was the second lowest total in the Coach K era.  Duke's three seniors -- Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry -- combined for a season-low 28 points.
  • Curry scored his 1000th point in a Duke uniform. Mason Plumlee reached the plateau versus Santa Clara earlier this season.
  • Duke improved to 213-31 playing as the #1 ranked team in the nation.
  • Duke played its 191st straight game as a top 10 team.
  • Duke is now 14-0 for the sixth time in school history.

Next time out

Duke will travel down to road to Raleigh to take on N.C. State on Saturday in a high noon showdown. They are the only ACC teams ranked in the Top 25 at the moment.  The Wolfpack was the pre-season choice by the media to win the league.

Ryan Kelly is a vital key to the Blue Devils success

duke-wf rick c 037DURHAM, N.C. - While Mason Plumlee has been the one player on the team to get most of the hype in the #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils 14-0 start, fellow senior Ryan Kelly is just as important in many ways. One of the keys to this seasons success has been the two seniors ability to play together and to their strengths and for Kelly that means doing whatever it takes to help his team to win.

Kelly is coming off a season high 22 points in the Blue Devils opening ACC win over Wake Forest and he was amazingly proficient in that he played a mere 18 minutes before fouling out. It was the fourth time in his career he had 20 plus points against the Deacons and several of the in state teams which recruited him are now feeling his wrath.

"He's just a terrific player. What makes him such a great player is he can shoot the three and he is very crafty in the post," said Wake Forest Coach Jeff Bzdelik.

One of three senior captains, Kelly has been very instrumental in doing what it takes to win this season. He told Blue Devil Nation earlier this year that he was willing to do whatever it took after garnering a team high rebounds versus Florida Gulf Coast. And for those keeping count Kelly has tied or led the Blue Devils in scoring for two consecutive games and this is key when other players shots may be a bit off on a given day.

With an average of 13.5 ppg, Kelly is on track to become a 1000 point scorer in the Duke uniform which is quite the honor when you consider the talent that comes through Durham under Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Kelly has started every game for Duke this season and that trend will continue provided there are no unfortunate injuries. In those 14 starts this season, Kelly has scored in double figures in all but one game.

If you do not watch the play off ball, you may not appreciate Kellys' skill set. There have been several games where he is near the top of the charts on assists and he leads the team in blocked shots with 25 thus far this season. "I think Ryan has the ability to score 20 points against anybody," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski after the Wake Forest win. He continued by saying, "Ryan is really good. I think when opponents are trying to take Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry out of the game, it opens it up a little more for Ryan.

What Krzyzewski was saying is that Kelly steps up when other on the team struggle with areas of their game. An example was the fact that Quinn Cook dished a phenomenal 14 assists, just shy of the single game record set by Bobby Hurley, but he went oh for everything from the field. Kelly, coming off a team high 18 points in a road win over Davidson picked it up on the scoring end and his made three-point shots were daggers.

"One time he faked two of our guys and wheeled," said Wake Forest Coach Jeff Bzdelik. "He's smart, he's skilled, he stretches you out."

Being a senior, Kelly has been through three years of ACC wars and while he didn't play a great deal as a freshman, he dons a 2010 National Championship ring. Many pre season prognosticators overlooked the fact that Duke returned three seniors who knows what it takes to win and get to a Final Four and that experience from the likes of Ryan Kelly will continue to pay off handsomely for the undefeated Blue Devils as they get into the meat of the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.

In his post game comments, Krzyzewski acknowledged Kelly was in the zone and said he would have kept calling his number. Kelly has earned the confidence of his coach with hard work and smarts when on the court. I think back to a conversation I had with his mom Doreen Kelly after Duke lost a heart breaker to Arizona in the Western Regional where she said, "I have told Ryan to run his own race," and that's what the senior co captain has done. And for Duke fans it's nice to see how hard work and perseverance has payed off.

Duke takes on Clemson tomorrow evening before a high noon, high-profile on the road showdown with N.C. State on Saturday in a game that will be hyped as the best two teams in the ACC going after one another.  But if you think Kelly is looking ahead, think again. "The 13-0 is gone now and we're 1-0 in the ACC," said Kelly after the Blue Devils ACC opening win over Wake Forest.

As a senior Kelly very much reflects the wise thinking of his coach and he knows that a magical season to date where the Blue Devils have defeated all comers will soon be forgotten if they stumble down the stretch.  And as long as Kelly is able, he is going to try to will that to happen.

Kelly, as well as his teammates know nice starts are just grand but what they do from this point forward will be remembered come April.