Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Lance King for BDN

Reflective Sulaimon Ready For Duke Season

Lance King for BDN
Lance King for BDN

During the off-season, Duke junior Rasheed Sulaimon took time to reflect on his career to date.  In doing so, he came back prepared to do what it takes to be remembered.  In the following interview, “Sheed” mentions of listening carefully to former Duke great Shane Battier.  The legendary Battier hammered home one thing which stuck with Sulaimon, that being do something to be remembered.  The rising junior also speaks to this years talented team.  Sulaimon shares what many will soon know.  That being, that there is little drop off at certain positions which will allow Duke players to go all out when in the game.  With said depth, look for Sulaimon to be more active than ever when earning his burn.  Sulaimon also mentions that as always, there are some special videos planned for this weekends Countdown to Craziness, but he would not let the cat out of the bag, saying fans will just have to wait and see.  Check out what Sulaimon had to say here –

amile

Amile Jefferson set to lead Duke

amileThe Duke Blue Devils held their first scrimmage with referees yesterday and it was no surprise that Amile Jefferson was the most vocal of the players.  Jefferson, who was recently named a team captain, is set to help lead a talented cast of newcomers.  The Philly native will do so in part by teaching them the Duke way of communication that head man Mike Krzyzewski demands of his team.  Never short on words and always the solid interview, Jefferson addressed the media after yesterdays practice.  Here is what he had to say –

SONY DSC

Jeff Capel Talks Duke Basketball

SONY DSCDuke Assistant Coach, Jeff Capel,  returned from his duties with USA Basketball.  Capel  spoke to his recent experiences in helping Team USA bring back the Gold Medal in the FIBA Championships this past week.  He also addressed this years talented Duke team just before they hit the court for the first practices of the season –

On what he leaned while helping out with USA Basketball …

For me personally, I felt like I was at a coaching clinic every day.  It was really see to see coach (Mike Krzyzewski) in that environment.  I had never seen him with the NBA guys and seeing how they responded to him and the respect they had for him was great.  Coach Boeheim (Jim) is a genius.  He doesn’t say much but when he does it’s right on point.  He has tremendous insights into the game.  You get to see what NBA guys do and it was an incredible learning experience.

On his thoughts are glimpsing the current Duke team upon his return …

When we got back, the very first thing that jumped out was how much better our guys have gotten.  That was encouraging because I knew they had been working.  Our guys (staff) have done a great job and when we were around them a little bit more you see the closeness.  And the new guys aren’t really looked at like freshman.  That is a testament to the upper class working with them as well.  We have a group that works hard and really likes one another.

His thoughts on the talented freshman class …

College basketball is a lot different now in that college basketball is really young.  If you look at the teams projected to be really good, the majority of them are young.  It is a big adjustment from high school to college with the speed of the game and the demands and the biggest area of adjustment is on the defensive end.  In high school kids are not always asked to play defense, so that is the biggest area of adjustment.  Three of the four freshman have had a chance to play for USA Basketball and their maturity level is better than when say, I came in as a freshman.  They are very close and have a feel for each other (Jones, Okafor, Winslow) and they embraced Grayson Allen immediately.  All four of those guys have become really close.

On the guard situation and Quinn Cook …

We feel like we have a team of six really good guards and all of them are capable of playing.  How they practice and how they play will determine who plays.  Quinn Cook has had a great summer.  He’s gotten stronger, he’s in great shape.  One of the things Quinn and I have talked about is when you go on the court in Cameron, your play there is how you will be remembered.  You have to be willing to do anything.  Out program has always been older guys teaching younger guys, so there will be a role.  There was a concern with the Jones family and something we had to talk about.  The relationship (Jones and Cook) has been great.  We told them to trust us.  You guys can play together and we want to win.  We tell them to listen to us.  Listen to us and not the outside voices and to just run your own race.  The biggest thing for Quinn is try to come consistently good.  Last year he was good, but he got knocked back a little bit, but he’s embraced everything we’ve talked with him about this spring.  Quinn should be one of our best shooters and at times he will be off the ball.  When Tyus and Quinn are in together, if Quinn gets a rebound, he should push it.  Guys roles can change with concern to what is going on.

His thoughts on Jahlil Okafor …

Not many guys are put together like Okafor.  Size, skill set, all those things make him unique,  He has a lot to work on but we’re excited to work with him/  He has a chance to be dominant and we need him to be dominant and we’re going to push him to be dominant.  Jai is such a great kid, a beautiful and great kid, but he’s different on the court.

Tyus Jones - Decision

Tyus Jones Glad To Be At Duke

Tyus Jones - DecisionDuke freshman Tyus Jones is about to embark on his first collegiate basketball season.  The top rated point guard in his class a season ago  brings a unique skill set to the table.  Jones has been a winner at every level during his career to date and is considered a true point guard by those who have followed his exploits.  In short, Jones knows how to win.  Jones took the time to answer a couple of questions for Blue Devil Nation –