Duke set to take on the Tigers

Amile and RodneyThe Duke Blue Devils will be the last ACC team to play this evening as they take on Clemson. This game will come down to many intangibles and with that said, let's take a look at them.

The revenge factor

Duke travelled to Clemson earlier in the season and lost 72-59 and let's face it the Blue Devils haven't lost to the Tiger that often. One would think this would bring about a bit of a revenge factor if you will. Losing twice to the Tigers in one season, despite the fact they are a decent club would be devastating to a Duke team hoping to keep up a tradition of excellence.

Hungry Tigers

What could easily off set a possible Duke revenge effort is a hungry team. Clemson will likely need to beat Duke to gain an NCAA birth and this will make for some serious effort. Clemson currently stands at 20 wins.

The lay off

Duke has not fared well after long lay offs and with a 9:45 or so start this could be a factor. Duke struggled to defeat Maryland in Cameron after and early season lay off and we all know what happened at Wake Forest.

This means Duke needs to get off to a quick start

One of the things I will be watching is how the Blue Devils start the game. Will said lay off have the team rusty? A slow start could also give Clemson team confidence and teams can do amazing things when they have momentum riding with them.

Block out, Devils

In the first game, Duke let up a lot of easy basket not blocking out and Clemson is athletic and springy on the boards. They advanced past Georgia Tech with follow up and hustle buckets and Duke will need to match that energy.  Clemson knocked down their free throws in a big way against Tech and keeping them off the boards will eliminate several opportunities to go to the line.

Duke in ACC Tournament Notes

Duke at ACC Tournament Quarterfinal

March 14, 2014 • 9 p.m.

Greensboro, N.C. • Greensboro Coliseum (23,300)

ESPN • ACC Network

Blue Devil IMG Sports Network • ESPN Radio

The Opening Tip

• Duke earned the No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament and will play in the quarterfinal Friday, March 14, at 9 p.m. Duke will face one of sixth-seeded Clemson, 11th-seeded Georgia Tech or 14th-seeded Boston College. The game will air on ESPN, the ACC Network and the Blue Devil IMG Sports Network.

• Duke enters the tournament ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press poll and No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Duke has been ranked in the top 10 in 14 of the 19 polls this season. Duke is 79-22 all-time when playing as the No. 7 team in the AP poll.

• Duke is 18-2 when playing in the state of North Carolina this season. Duke went 17-0 at home in Cameron Indoor Stadium and lost at North Carolina (66-74) and Wake Forest (72-82).

• The Blue Devils have played one game at Greensboro Coliseum, defeating Elon, 86-48, on Dec. 31, 2013.

The Last Time Out

• Jabari Parker turned in one of the all-time great performances in the history of the Duke-North Carolina rivalry, scoring 30 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils past the Tar Heels, 93-81. Parker hit 10-of-17 field goals and 8-of-9 shots from the free throw line.

• Parker’s 30 points were the most by a Duke freshman in the Duke-North Carolina series, while his 30-10 performance was only the eighth under head coach Mike Krzyzewski (five players).

• Rodney Hood added 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting for Duke as he and Parker combined for a season-high 54 points in the win.

• Duke outrebounded North Carolina 34-20 and pulled down 16 offensive boards.

• The win wrapped up an undefeated home season for the Blue Devils, who finished 17-0 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke has gone undefeated at home in back-to-back seasons and 18 times overall.

By The Numbers

• Duke went 17-0 in Cameron Indoor Stadium this season, marking the second straight undefeated season at home for the Blue Devils. Duke has won 33 consecutive games at home, tied for the longest active streak in the country. Duke has gone undefeated at home 18 times.

• Duke owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.50:1, which would rank as the second-highest ratio since Duke began tracking turnovers in the 1970-71 season. The Blue Devils logged a school-record 1.51:1 assist-to-turnover ratio last season, bettering the previous school record of 1.32 set in 2000-01.

• Freshman Jabari Parker was named to the USBWA, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated All-America first teams, becoming the first Duke freshman to earn All-America first team honors. Parker is only the second Duke freshman to earn All-America status, joining Austin Rivers, who received the honor from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in 2011-12.

• Parker was named ACC Freshman of the Year after leading the ACC during the regular season in rebounds (9.0 rpg.) and double-doubles (14), ranking second in scoring (19.2 ppg.) and 20-point games (16) and third in field goal percentage (.487 – 209-of-429). Parker is only the fourth freshman in conference history to lead the league in rebounds.

• Parker is one of just six freshmen since 1997 to average at least 19 points and nine rebounds a game. The others were Kevin Durant (Texas - 2007), Michael Beasley (Kansas State - 2008), Kris Humphries (Minnesota - 2004), Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse - 2003) and Troy Murphy (Notre Dame - 1998).

• Rodney Hood has hit a three-pointer in 28 consecutive games and in 30 of Duke’s 31 games this season. The 6-8, 215-pound forward has hit a team-high 65 treys this season while shooting .425 (65-of-153) from behind the arc, second in the league behind only teammate Andre Dawkins (.433 – 61-of-141).

• Andre Dawkins scored his 1,000th career point this past Saturday against North Carolina, becoming the 63rd player to join Duke’s 1,000-point club. Dawkins is averaging a career-best 8.4 points per game this season.

• Tyler Thornton has a team-leading 3.90 assist-to-turnover ratio on the season while averaging 2.4 assists per game. He has just three games with more than one turnover this season, including 16 games with zero turnovers.

Recapping the Myles Turner Visit to Duke

1Young Myles Turner has become a household name as some of the nations top schools vie for his services during the stretch run of his recruitment.

Turner, of course, visited Duke this past weekend and according to his Father, David, who is handling his recruitment talked with Blue Devil Nation and filled me in on their future plans.

What he heard from Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski was that he [private] was a player first, with no set position. Turner was able to see the Duke campus, but David Turner said they would have liked to have seen a little more of the campus but quickly followed that saying there was a lot going on.

The Turners are a tight knit group and a decision will be made with few outside influences. Mr. Turner described his family as fun loving people when questioned about his talented seven foot son.

That could be seen when Myles came over to the Duke student section to sit with the Cameron Crazies as he wore a large smile as he cheered right along with them for the Blue Devils.

When asked what they were looking for in a school, Mr. Turner said continued development. He said he was well aware that his son came out of nowhere and soared up the rankings and that his chief concern was continued development for a son he considers to have a high ceiling.

Some of you are probably already wondering if that means he's an automatic one and done type and the answer is that is not necessarily so. In fact, David Turner said his son would get a degree if he had anything to do with it.

It was evident that the young big man enjoyed his trip to Cameron but it is still a bit hard to get a read and perhaps still early on their time table.

According to Mr. Turner, Myles will first play in the upcoming McDonald's All American game and then the Jordan Brand Classic, an event he was just selected to play in earlier in the day.

Their next visit will not be a long trip in that it will be to Texas where they'll be greeted by Rick Barnes which comes before the All Star games and that will be his last.

After the All Star games his family will sit down and discuss what is best for his future and a decision will be made at that time.

Turner continues to work out with his trainer and stay in shape despite the season coming to an end and his goal is to continue to get better.

Who are the true players for his services? "it's Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and SMU in no particular order," per David Turner.

"Myles is very competitive yet humble. Very competitive," sated Davis when asked to describe his son.

He continued, "This is a young man who was not heralded from the fourth grade on, so he wants to make sure he is making the right decision in the process. He simply wants to see everything is available to him."

There are always a ton of rumors and speculation out there is recruiting and one of those is that Myles would stay closer to home and that Texas, who has the last visit is a favorite.

While I did not address rumors with his Father, I did ask if distance was a factor and it's not according to David Turner in that he works for an airlines and he can go anywhere.

"Distance is not a factor, said David. "Especially when you can be coached by Coach K, Bill Self or say Larry Brown."

If there is a favorite moving forward, David Turner did nothing to tip his sons hand but the one thing Duke fans want to know is if their team is in the running and from everything I gathered, they certainly are and their Duke trip was impressive.

Turner is the top remaining prospect on the board and a player that can shift the balance of power.

"Myles is not afraid to compete with anyone," said his Father when asked if they would look into what players were at a school before making a decision.

"Coach K said Myles was a player and we liked that he was not considered just a post player."

We'll have to wait and see how this one will play out but we should all know shortly after the All Star games where he will ultimately go and Kentucky is making a late run, but for now, Duke seems like a viable option. [/private]

Parker, Hood Named to All ACC Teams

The Duke Blue Devils had two members selected to the All ACC teams just announced.  Jabari Parker was a unanimous choice for 1st team while Rodney Hood was tabbed 2nd team.

First team
Jabari Parker, Fr.. Duke (77) 231
T.J. Warren, So., NC State (77), 231
Marcus Paige, So., North Carolina (69) 223
C.J. Fair, Sr., Syracuse (47) 200
K.J. McDaniels, Jr. Clemson (46) 199

Second Team
Malcolm Brogdon, So., Virginia (35) 170
Lamar Patterson, Sr. Pitt (10) 158
Tyler Ennis, Fr., Syracuse (13) 156
Rodney Hood, Jr., Duke (4) 148
James Michael McAdoo, Jr., North Carolina (2) 103

Third Team
Olivier Hanlan, So., Boston College (3) 101
Joe Harris, Sr., Virginia (1) 79
Rion Brown, Sr., Miami 52
Dez Wells, Jr., Maryland 45
Daniel Miller, Sr., Georgia Tech 34

Honorable Mention
(10 points or more)
Eric Atkins, Sr., Notre Dame 30
Talib Zanna, Sr., Pitt 28
Aaron Thomas, So., Florida State 27
Akil Mitchell, Sr., Virginia 17
Jerami Grant,So. Syracuse 15
Ryan Anderson, Jr., Boston College 10

Allen, Jones, Okafor and Winslow named Jordan Brand All Stars

g2Tyus Jones 08272012Jahlil Okafor USABB


Future Duke Basketball players Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Grayson Allen have all been named to play for the East All Star team in the upcoming Jordan Brand Classic  game.  The game billed as Next vs Next will be held in the Barclays Center on April 18th of 2014 and tickets are available through Barclay Center Outlets.  You may remember that current Duke freshman was named one of the outstanding players in last years event.  Jones is a sensational true point guard who makes his teammates better, while his friend and sidekick Jahlil Okafor is a true center and beast in the post.  Allen is a freaky athletic wing who has the kind of hops which has often caught many an looker off guard.  The Blue Devils are still involved with Myles Turner, the top remaining prospect on the board in his class and he will play for the East team.  Also, Justise Winslow was se Continue reading

Duke Recuiting Update – Big Time Prospects in for Duke win over UNC

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCDuke had several key visitors on campus for their rivalry game and win over North Carolina this past weekend and it's time to take an initial look at the possible results with some nuggets on how the visits went.

Firstly, Myles Turner, Luke Kennard and Chase Jeter are listed as some of the nations top prospects and all of them were on their official visit to Duke.

Turner is the top remaining prospect from the Class of 2014, is a center/power forward who stands a lean but muscular 6-11. He's believed to have high interest in Kansas and Texas as well.

Luke Kennard is an outstanding dual athlete and shooting guard from Franklin, Ohio and Chase Jeter is a sleek forward from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both are in the loaded Class of 2015.

Also in attendance was local Kinston product and lean forward Brandon Ingram from the 2015 class and one of the heavyweights in 2016, Harry Giles, a post talent from High Point.

So, how did their visits go? Well, here we go -

The Kennard and Jeter families came [private] in on Friday and attended the Duke practice. As usual, the coaches would on occasion go over to talk with them during breaks.

Later that afternoon, the staff spent more time with the parents while the players would hang out and attend the pep rally and campus festivities.

The word is that after practice, Chase Jeter wanted to remain in Cameron to shoot around, meaning he was starting to really enjoy his trip.

The Kennard's were shown the Duke style of doing things as well and Duke Assistant Coach Jon Scheyer seems to have bonded with the Dad.

On game day, all of the aforementioned prospects joined Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow who of course, are Duke bound. While I am on these two I noted two things in my minds eye.

Firstly, Okafor has trimmed down a lot since this past AAU season as some his reshapes his body as he matures. Winslow, seems more muscular and his sturdy frame is beyond a freshman body right now. These two are definitely going to be ready to go form day one if the look test means anything.

Anyhow, back to game day and how the recruits responded. In a word, the visits went "great." In fact, I now consider Duke the leader for Luke Kennard and Chase Jeter and that's a good thing.

Kennard has long been rumored to be a Kentucky lean due to lineage in his family, but Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski has made some major in roads here. This is a hard nosed kid who has that little edge when on the court and there is absolutely no reason to believe Duke is not right there if not the favorite from my vantage.

Jeter, who literally had to be chased out of the gym, enjoyed his visit immensely if facial expressions and actions mean anything. Both player had prominent cheers tossed their way from the Crazies who site directly behind me.

Before I go on, let me talk a bit about those Crazies. They are the line or tent monitors and the ones who start the cheers. And they are well versed in looking over my, er, shoulder, to see who to call out.

Another thing to mention before I proceed, is that there were a lot of celebrities in the crowd and this worked well in my opinion in helping set the tone and atmosphere of the game.

Dallas Cowboy's Head Coach Jason Garrett and their quarterback, Tony Romo attended the Duke practice on Friday and they were at the game as well. Both sat directly beside the prospects and mingled with them often and said kids seem to have really enjoy their presence.

Also in attendance was NFL commish Roger Goodella along with Barry Switzer and many others, including Duke celebs and every ESPN type you can imagine be it Dicky Vitale, Jay Bilas or Jay Williams.

And then there was the Cameron atmosphere and the old girl did not let Duke fans down when trying to make an impression. You see when some come to visit Duke, they freak out at the size, thinking it is small. But once that cozy place feels with rabid fans, it's a sight to see and a sound to hear.

Anyhow, back to the prospects. The Crazies will often cheer a prospects name followed by sit with us. They even make room before this happens to help sway their target.

They started with Kennard and Jeter and the two wore wide smiles as they came over and settled in directly behind me. There they cheered just like the Crazies did at times and it is worth noting that they all were clearly rooting for Duke while the game was going on, much more so than what I'd deem normal and my seat is straight away from the bench.

Once, Jeter even held up a colorful anti UNC sign of the kind that on many occasions gets taken away during breaks which I found funny.

Kennard was a little more reserved than Jeter, but that's the way he is on the court as well, a cool customer. Kennard would crack a smile often though and they enjoyed themselves immensely with the students.

A bit later, Myles Turner joined the fray and it was clear that he too was having a big time. The trio continued to cheer and only left when an usher urged them to with about two minutes left in the game.

Many have asked my read on Turner and it's tough to come up with one at this time in that I haven't had a lit of feedback yet. But there is no doubt he was having fun here as well and he was outgoing and seemingly appreciative of his visit. But Duke is still in it and with a player of his ilk, that is never a bad thing.

Many of the prospects would later go campus hopping where they checked out the bon fires and parties. They also got to spend time with students and talking education but it is spring break at Duke, so not quite the normal scene.

By all accounts I have received, they had a good time but stuck close to the team. The Crazies also tried their best to get Harry Giles to come over, but he smiled them off. Giles who is still recovering from an injury is a man child and I love his game. His early relationship with Krzyzewski is priceless but he'll have some teams coming hard at him.

As for Brandon Ingram, we'll have to see how things shake out. He recently visited UNC but he's been emphatic in conversations past with me that he is a Duke fan. Duke Assistant Nate James is the lead here and Duke will keep an eye on him. Ingram is soooo slender, but he has some upside, but he could be a redshirt candidate if Duke gets more serious in the future just to allow his body to catch up to his talent.

Duke also continues to recruit Diamond Stone as a top priority and big men are almost the soul focus past Kennard in his class at this time. That, of course, will change come AAU season when the coaches get out and evaluate more.

A sleeper name to watch is Alonzo Mourning's son who is in this coming years class. Duke has showed some interest in him as has Florida and Georgetown. And we all know Coach K loves and is great with kids who have NBA lineage in their blood.  Trey Mourning has had some recent contact from Duke.

In a side note, the surgery I had on my hands was successful and I can type at length again and that means we'll have other updates coming.

Lastly, what a great win for momentum last night and Cameron, was again great. It was a really good night for Duke in many respects. [/private]