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Future ACC Slate Announced for Duke Basketball

NC State v DukeWe will be three seasons into the new ACC 18 game schedule this coming year and today the league announced two years of future schedules.

Before we go further here is the slate for the coming season –

Duke 2014-15
Home/Road: North Carolina, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Notre Dame
Home: Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Boston College
Road: Florida State, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville

Louisville joins the league this year and Duke will travel to play the Cards with no return date, much like a season ago when Pitt entered the league.

The Blue Devils will also visit Virginia without a return date to balance out their single home game in the series this year. And they also travel to Florida State for a single game.

The three aforementioned games is a tough draw in that Louisville and Virginia are expected to be upper division teams while the Noles return a solid nucleus while adding help from the junior college ranks, making them one of the more sure picks for the upper division in my view.

As always, Duke takes on it’s most storied rival against North Carolina and once again we have dual games with Syracuse, which is not only one of the leagues best new match ups, but the nations.

The Blue Devils will also play Notre Dame home and home for the first time this season and Wake is the other school they have a home and home schedule with.

Also announced was the 2015-16 slate which is as follows –

Duke 2015-16

Home/Road: North Carolina , Wake Forest , NC State, Louisville

Home: Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Notre Dame

Road: Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Boston College

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Landing Sean Obi, a Big Deal for Duke

obiAfter watching his team unexpectedly lose to Mercer in the NCAA Tournament, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski wasted little time in hitting the recruiting trail with a fervor. Not only did Duke struggle in the paint defensively in the NCAA’s, they did so to some degree all season long.

Obviously, Duke addressed those issues and they did so quickly as their staff hit the trail running. Not even a coaching change, where they lost a long time Krzyzewski assistant in Steve Wojciechowski could halt their focus.

As had been mentioned, Duke would not only look at the current rising high school basketball players, but they’d look for a transfer provided he was a fit for the school and with that said, enter Sean Obi.

Not many Duke fans knew who Obi was and unless you followed Rice in Conference USA, you may not have realized that the 6-9 behemoth was named the leagues freshman of the year which is obviously, quite an honor.

Obi was everything Duke wanted. He was adept in the class room, a load in the paint and he showed potential and the ability to battle on the boards in both high school and at Rice.

During this past season, Obi, a native of Nigeria, averaged 11.4 points and led Conference USA in rebounding at 9.3 per game, so there is no doubt he can play.

Obi visited the campus over this past weekend and he obviously enjoyed himself which was evident on his social media accounts. Obi wasted little time showing his pleasure with his journey after the visit and later tweeted out that he would be attending Duke.

With the addition of Obi, Duke gets a proven post player who can come in and complete in practice against prized freshman Jahlil Okafor. Going up against one another in practice will benefit both of these young men, so we have dual winners in many ways, or perhaps, I should say three winners in that Duke immediately benefits from his addition as well.

Obi will also be able to team with Marshall Plumlee moving forward and many expect the third of the Plumlee clan to break out in his final two seasons.  Obi, will of course, have to sit out the coming season, but will have three years of eligibility left.

Like many of the Duke prospects, Obi impressed off the court as well and that made him both a rare, and highly desirable transfer for Duke. And when Krzyzewski goes this route, there has been proven success, like Roshown McCloud and recently Rodney Hood,

While Obi had many suitors and other visits planned, he fell for Duke and did so quickly. That helps the program in many ways for they are wrapping up this seasons incoming class quickly with USA Basketball duties beckoning for Krzyzewski in mid July.

In fact, he also will compliment one of the last two main targets in the Class of 2015, that being Chase Jeter, a player considered to really like the Blue Devils. Jeter is expected to make a decision soon, but Blue Devil Nation learned it could go a little longer into the summer or near July before he makes a pick.

With that said, here is a great video from when Obi was in high school which tells the tale of his past better than any article can. So take a look at it and know that this new marriage seems to be quite the fit for both Obi and Duke University.  Talk about this article in on of our social media outlets or as a member of  Blue Devil Nation. Get to know Sean Obi

 

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Duke Standout Freshman, Jabari Paker will enter the NBA Draft

JabariDURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Jabari Parker will enter the 2014 NBA Draft head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Thursday. Parker, a consensus first team All-America selection, joins Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011) and Austin Rivers (2012) as Blue Devil freshmen to enter the NBA Draft after just one year of college basketball. The four previous freshmen early entrees were each selected among the first 13 players in their respective drafts, including Irving, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

“Jabari could not have been better. He is the epitome of what you would want a basketball player to be – outstanding everyday on the practice court and in the classroom and a very humble young man,” said Krzyzewski. “He had a fantastic freshman year and is so deserving of the opportunity to play in the NBA and follow his dream. It was an honor for us to have him in our program and he will always be a part of our family here at Duke. We will be on the Jabari Parker team the rest of our lives and we know Jabari and his family will be on the Duke team for the rest of their lives.”

Parker led Duke to a 26-9 record, a 13-5 mark in conference play and a trip to the ACC Championship game last season. The 6-8, 235-pound forward from Chicago, Ill., averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 assists per game while setting or tying Duke freshman records for points (670), points per game, rebounds (306), double-doubles (14), free throws made (160), free throws attempted (214), dunks (61), double-figure scoring games (33), 20-point games (18) and double-doubles (14).

He received first team All-America honors from Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the Wooden Award. Additionally, Parker was also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award. The 2014 ACC Rookie of the Year, Parker is the 16th consensus first team All-America selection under Coach K and Duke’s first since Nolan Smith in 2010-11.

“Coming out of high school, I knew that Duke was going to be a great fit for me and it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life,” said Parker. “I cannot thank Coach K enough for all his love and guidance. I had the opportunity to pick his brain throughout the year and it really paid off. I have learned how to be a man on and off the court and to be strong mentally going into practices and games. I appreciate him for challenging me to be better each and every day.”

Parker also became the first Duke freshman (12th freshman in ACC history) to lead the team in scoring and rebounds. He closed out the year ranked fourth among ACC freshman all-time in scoring and 10th in rebound average. Parker and Joe Smith (Maryland) are the only two players to rank in the top 10 of both categories.

His top performance came on the biggest stage when he scored a career-high 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds in a March 8 win over North Carolina. The 30-point game was the fifth in school history by a freshman and the first since Kyrie Irving had 31 against Michigan State on Dec. 1, 2010. Parker’s 30-point effort was the most by a Duke freshman in the 238-game series history with North Carolina, breaking the previous freshman record of 29 points set by Austin Rivers on Feb. 8, 2012.

“Coach Capel and Jon [Scheyer] also really helped guide me throughout the year by serving as a father figure and/or big brother in helping me with things off the court,” Parker added. “That was really important for me without my family here. The entire coaching staff as well as the support staff is amazing and is a huge part in what make Duke such a special place. I could not have asked for a better environment to grow and develop this past year.”

Parker becomes the third Duke player in the last four years to enter the NBA Draft early and the 13th Blue Devil early entree candidate overall.

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Duke offers Henry Ellenson

ajrayno_1326135603_WallyEllensonThe Duke Blue Devils staff recently visited Henry Ellenson, a 6-9, 245 pound prospect from Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  The Blue Devils have long showed interest in Ellenson, a true post player who will play his AAU ball for Minnesota Pump N’ Run this summer.  The Duke staff has been heavy on the recruiting trail during the past few weeks and they will soon visit Brandon Ingram, another prospect from North Carolina in the near future.

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Duke drops in on Chase Jeter

1Coach K, along with two assistants, visited key 2015 recruit Chase Jeter on Thursday in Las Vegas. was a [private] short visit with the 6’10” Bishop Gorman HS forward, too short to even watch him work out, but nevertheless was a bonding opportunity between Chase and the staff.  The Duke coaches know that they are close with Jeter, so this was far from a pressurized environment, despite the hopes of a commitment post-Luke Kennard committing earlier in the week per sources.  While Arizona in particular is still in the running, along with UCLA and Oregon, Duke has only solidified its leadership position with Jeter over the last month or so.  Jeter is still sticking to his previously-stated plan (see our previous interview) to commit in late April or early May, and with how comfortable he and his family are feeling with Duke, its staff, and the other players — and the bonding Chase did with Luke Kennard over the UNC weekend — it would be a big surprise at this point if Jeter does not become a Blue Devil.[/private]

Andre Dawkins to compete in 3-Point Shooting Contest

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke guard Andre Dawkins will participate in the State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships at 9 p.m. ET April 3 at Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Intersport announced today. The 26th annual event, which will air live on ESPN, features 24 of college basketball’s top dunkers and long-range shooters.

Individual elements of the contest include: Quicken Loans Men’s 3-Point Championship, Buick Women’s 3-Point Championship, Echo Battle of the Champions and Denny’s Slam Dunk Championship.

Dawkins will compete in the Quicken Loans Men’s 3-Point Championship after helping Duke to a 26-9 record this season. The Chesapeake, Va., native averaged 7.9 points per game, while shooting 42.1 percent (64-for-152) from three-point range. He finished his career ranked eighth on the Blue Devils’ all-time list with 231 triples and became the 63rd player at Duke to top 1,000 career points. Dawkins wrapped up his career ranked fifth in school history with a .410 (231-for-563) three-point field goal percentage.

One player already named to the Denny’s Slam Dunk Championship roster is Eastern Kentucky University forward Marcus Lewis, who won the State Farm Dark Horse Dunker competition. A five-week, bracket-style, elimination competition, 16 under-the-radar dunkers competed in this social media contest. Fans determined the winner by voting during each round at www.facebook.com/CollegeSlam.

Outstanding State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships alumni include: Gary Payton (Oregon State), Steve Nash (Santa Clara), Bobby Hurley (Duke), Allan Houston (Tennessee), Michael Finley (Wisconsin), Wesley Matthews (Marquette), Kyle Korver (Creighton), Damon Stoudamire (Arizona) and Jason Terry (Arizona).