Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Coach K on Commissions Release — A Good Starting Point

Earlier today, a Commission on College Basketball made some recommendations.   See article here from ESPN.   

The results have sparked many discussions and debates in a short time after the release.  With one and done being one of many issues, the offering was of major interest to Duke Basketball.

Mike Krzyzewski will be giving his feedback during an NABC call in show.  As he has said in the past, the college basketball world needs a starting point of discussion to implement sweeping changes.

Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzzyzewski and Athletics Director, Kevin White issued a statement moments ago -

Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White:
“To be sure, we want to express our sincere thanks to Dr. Rice and her esteemed colleagues who serve on the College Basketball Commission. Their valuable insight and recommendations provide a starting point, a blueprint so to speak, for the future of college basketball. There is still much work to be done in coordinating the significant effort to make basketball – at all levels of play – the very best it can be. We will fully support those efforts, for they directly impact the best interests of the student-athletes playing the game.”

Duke Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski:

“Certainly, the Commission on College Basketball led by Secretary Rice included some of the very best people in higher education, college athletics, professional sports and beyond. Like everyone, we as coaches are looking at the recommendations announced earlier today. We are participating in an NABC conference call tomorrow and should have more to share as an organization by the end of the week. We have consistently said that we’d like to see substantive change in college athletics, particularly within our sport, and this appears to be a starting point for further discussion among the entities who touch basketball at all levels.”

It’s Marques Bolden’s Time to Shine

One of the players who will play a significant role for next seasons Duke Basketball team is Marques Bolden.  The DeSoto, Texas native has trusted the process since choosing to play for the Blue Devils.  And that trust will likely pay off with a starting role next season where Bolden is the clear-cut best true big man on the roster.

While many players have chosen to test the waters in the NBA Draft, Bolden did not.  Instead, his focus will be to improve his game in the off-season to take advantage of the opportunity at hand.

Bolden has at times been hampered by injuries during his Duke career.  He missed some time this past season mending a sore knee.  Prior to that, Duke announced a lower left leg injury prior to the 2016-17 season and Bolden never seemed to catch back up after having a solid pre season.

When healthy, Bolden has shown flashes of brilliance.  Coming out of high school, it was easy to see the big man's potential.  Bolden has the tools which allows him to float out for  jump shots or work around the rim with power.  In short, he is more than capable of being a force on the court, especially when he is beamed in and motivated.

One thing that most fans do not see is the constant work that goes on with players at Duke.  If one was to get to Cameron Indoor Stadium three hours before tip off, you might see Duke Assistant Coach Nate James working with big men like Bolden.

With all the grooming, trials and tribulations and lessons learned,  this is Marques Bolden's time to shine.  He will be depended upon to be a force in the paint, protect the rim on the defensive end while being expected to bag many rebounds.

At this time, Duke is not especially deep in the post.  You will never see another tandem like Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. in the same season.  And that means, Duke will be majorly dependent on Bolden and his teammates to make up for the departing stats.

Another area Bolden will have to harness is a leadership role.  As a rising junior, he will be expected to teach the new guys the Duke way of doing things.  The normally soft-spoken Bolden will likely show his leadership through his play where he needs to come back in the best possible shape once school begins.

The keys for a great season for Bolden -

  • Come back in tip-top shape in that you will be playing major minutes.
  • Work on not obtaining cheap fouls in that Duke will be thinner in the post and it will be important to be available throughout the entire game.
  • Bring the intensity at a more consistent level rather than in spurts.
  • Lead by example as an upperclassmen.
  • Realize that you will be depended upon for a lot of clean up duty near the rim.

It will be interesting to see how Marques Bolden develops.  It is his time to shine and I personally think he will take full advantage of the opportunity.

Zion Williams Signs LOI with Duke

Zion Williamson (right) joins Tre Jones in next years class.


 Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced an addition to the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class on Friday as Zion Williamson signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Duke University and play for the Blue Devils next season.

The 6-foot-6 Williamson, rated as the nation’s No. 2 prospect by ESPN, joins a trio of highly-regarded Blue Devils that signed in November – R.J. BarrettTre Jones and Cam Reddish. With the Spartanburg, S.C., native Williamson, Duke has the ESPN No. 1 (Barrett), No. 2 (Williamson), No. 3 (Reddish) and No. 10 (Jones) ranked players in the 2018-19 class.

“It’s unbelievable that Zion will be joining our program,” said Krzyzewski. “He and his family are first class. We’re not only bringing Zion in, but his entire family. Zion is a unique player and certainly one of the most gifted athletes that has come into the ACC. He’s heck of a basketball player and a young man, and an outstanding leader.”

Williamson is the 63rd McDonald’s All-American inked by Coach K – the most by any coach. Krzyzewski has signed at least one McDonald’s All-American in 33 consecutive years.

Zion Williamson // 6-6 // 272 // Spartanburg, S.C. // Spartanburg Day School

·       Five-star recruit ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2018 by ESPN

·       Honored as a McDonald’s All-American

·       Represented Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit

·       Rated as the No. 5 overall prospect and the No. 3 small forward in the class by

·       Ranked No. 5 overall and the No. 1 power forward in the 2018 recruiting class by

·       Ranked No. 5 overall and the No. 1 power forward in the 2018 24/7 Sports composite list.

·       Led Spartanburg Day School to three consecutive South Carolina Class AA state championships

·       Averaged 36.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists during his high school career

·       Racked up 37 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks in the 2018 state championship game and 51 points in the 2017 edition

·       Named by USA Today to the 2017 and 2018 American Family Insurance All-USA Boys Basketball First Team

·       Led the USA Red Team to the 2017 adidas Nations Championship

Bagley Wins Duke MVP Award

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III was named the recipient of the 2018 Swett-Baylin Most Valuable Player Award at the Duke men's basketball annual banquet and awards ceremony, held Thursday evening at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Bagley was a consensus first-team All-American, the NABC National Freshman of the Year and both the ACC Player and Rookie of the Year after leading the conference in scoring (21.0) and rebounding (11.1), with Duke freshman records in both.

The Phoenix, Ariz., native also took home the awards for the team's best rebounding average and best field goal percentage (.614).

Bagley is the sixth freshman – and fifth in as many years – to receive at least a share of team MVP honors under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, joining Johnny Dawkins (1983), Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016) and Jayson Tatum (2017).

The Bill Krzyzewski Captains' Award was bestowed upon Grayson Allen. Allen, who completed one of the great Duke Basketball careers in history, also claimed the Dr. Deryl Hart Award as the team’s top scholar-athlete for the second straight year and the Iron Duke Award, presented to the Blue Devil that logged the most minutes in 2017-18 (1,319).

The award for the team’s best defensive player was presented to freshman Wendell Carter, Jr., while freshman Gary Trent, Jr. earned the team’s best free throw percentage award (.876) and freshman Trevon Duval was honored for having the most assists (207).

Sophomore teammates Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier were presented the Pagliuca Family Coach’s Award for the players best exemplifying the commitment and values of Duke Basketball while displaying overall improvement.

Sophomore Justin Robinson was the recipient of the Glenn E. “Ted” Mann Award, given to the reserve who most contributed to team morale throughout the season.

Receiving the Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award were Michael KaramardianZach MarcusZack Spiera, and Shane TurnerMali Shimojo was the recipient of the Harry Rainey Spirit Award, while Kelly Cochran was named the recipient of the Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award.

2017-18 Duke Men's Basketball Award Winners

Swett-Baylin Award (Most Valuable Player): Marvin Bagley III

Dr. Deryl Hart Award (Top Scholar-Athlete): Grayson Allen

Pagliuca Family Coach's Award (Commitment and Values): Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier

Glenn E. “Ted” Mann Award (Contribution to Team Morale): Justin Robinson

Iron Duke Award (Most Minutes Played): Grayson Allen

Bill Krzyzewski Captains' Award: Grayson Allen

Best Field Goal Percentage: Marvin Bagley III

Best Free Throw Percentage: Gary Trent, Jr.

Best Rebound Average: Marvin Bagley III

Most Assists Award: Trevon Duval

Best Defensive Player: Wendell Carter, Jr.

Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award: Michael Karamardian, Zach Marcus, Zack Spiera, Shane Turner

Harry Rainey Spirit Award: Mali Shimojo

Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award: Kelly Cochran

Future Blue Devils 1-2-3 in Final ESPN Rankings

Future Blue Devils ranked 1-2-3 and 17 by ESPN.

Three future Duke Blue Devils are ranked numbers 1-2, and 2 in the final ESPN Rankings of high school basketball players.  RJ Barrett finished as the top rated player in the country, followed by Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish.

It s the first time that a school has ever had the top three rated players coming in at the same time.  A fourth Blue Devil to be, Tre Jones, finished the season ranked 17th.  Next years class is considered the best in the land by all the recruiting services.

Click here for the final ESPN Top 100 Rankings

Duke loses all five of their starters from last seasons Elite 8 team.  The Blue Devils may be adding other players to their roster which returns Marques Bolden, Javin  DeLaurier, Alex O'Connell, Jack White, Antonio Vrankovic , Justin Robinson and Justin Goldwire.

For more on Duke Basketball recruiting join Blue Devil Nation premium during our two for 1 membership special.

Wendell Carter to Enter NBA Draft

Wendell Carter

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman forward Wendell Carter, Jr. has announced that he will enter his name in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Carter is the fourth freshman this season, and the program’s 16th freshman overall, to declare for the NBA Draft. He joins a group that includes Corey Maggette(1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012), Jabari Parker (2014), Tyus Jones (2015), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Justise Winslow (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016), Jayson Tatum (2017), Harry Giles (2017), Frank Jackson (2017), and teammates Marvin Bagley III (2018), Trevon Duval (2018) and Gary Trent, Jr. (2018).

“It was such an honor to coach Wendell,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He and his family were a true joy to have in our program and they’ll always be in our program. He had a sensational freshman year – a double-double guy – and he has so much more potential. He’s going to keep getting better, because he’s talented and he has the best attitude. He really represented himself, his family and Duke in a first-class manner, and whoever gets him is going to be very lucky.”

A second-team All-ACC selection and an NABC All-District pick, Carter finished his freshman season second on the team in rebounding at 9.1 per game. His 335 boards ranked second all-time among Duke freshmen, as did his 76 blocked shots and 16 double-doubles. Carter scored in double-figures in 30 of 37 games and had multiple blocks in 21 games.

“I want to thank Duke University, my coaches and teammates for helping me so much, not only on the court, but off it as well,” said Carter. We’re all brothers, we all have each other’s’ backs. I’m really going to miss being around my friends, but I’m really going to cherish the moments we had together. I’m very excited and very happy to say I was part of something special here at Duke.”

Carter, who was fourth in the ACC in rebounding (9.1) and 22nd in scoring (13.5), got better as the season progressed. After averaging 12.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks over the first 12 games, Carter increased his averages to 14.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks over the final 25 contests. He pulled down 15 rebounds on three different occasions and broke 20 points four times.

Duke has produced at least one first-round NBA Draft pick in each of the last seven years. Coach K has mentored 35 first-round picks, including a draft-record 23 lottery selections. The Blue Devils matched a school record with four draft selections last season, including three first-rounds and two lottery picks.