Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Three Blue Devils are Finalist for Team USA

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- USA Basketball has announced its roster of 17 finalists for the 2019 USA World Cup Team, which includes former Duke men’s basketball players Marvin Bagley IIIMason Plumlee and Jayson Tatum.

The announcement by USA Basketball came after four days of training and Friday night's USA Blue-USA White intrasquad exhibition game in Las Vegas. The 17 finalists include 13 athletes from the USA National Team roster and four players from the USA Select Team.

With his Duke coach and past USA National Team mentor Mike Krzyzewski looking on, Tatum led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four rebounds and a game-high plus-20 in leading the USA Blue to a 97-78 win Friday night in Las Vegas.

Plumlee added five boards, a steal and an assist in nine minutes for the Blue, while Bagley scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds for the USA White.

The USA National Team coaching staff features USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Serving as USA assistant coaches are Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright.

Following a short break, the USA finalists will reassemble in Los Angeles to train Aug. 13-15 and play an exhibition contest versus FIBA's No. 2 world-ranked team, Spain, at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Aug. 16 (7 p.m. PDT).

Finalists include Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings); Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics); De'Aaron Fox  (Sacramento Kings); Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets); Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors);  Khris Middleton  (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); 2014 World Cup gold medalist Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets); Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); P.J. Tucker (Houston Rockets); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers);  Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).

"We're bringing a couple of young players from the Select Team so we're going to be patient with the rest of the squad because we have plenty of time, we have two weeks to decide who will be the final 12," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Men's National Team managing director.

The 32-team 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition is set for Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China. Results from the World Cup will qualify seven nations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Duke Offers Jonathan Kuminga

There is no lack of offers of late from the Duke Blue Devils which have extended and an invitation to stellar prospect Jonathan Kuminga.

The 6-8 hybrid forward plays for Our Savior New American School High School in New York and is the top-ranked player in his class of 2021.

He has some Duke ties in that former Blue Devil player Andy Borman is his coach.  Kuminga had impressed everyone on the summer circuit with his play and he holds offers from Kentucky and St.John's as well.

The general belief is that it is very early in his recruitment.


Duke Offers Paolo Banchero

Duke has offered Paolo Banchero after head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff to in his play at the Nike Peach Jam.

He is a Seattle, WA native in the 2021 class who has been on the Duke radar after stellar summer play.  Krzyzewski took in several of his games this weekend.

Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer was also impressed with Banchero after watching him at the NBAPA Top 100 Camp.

The five-star big man holds offers from Arizona, Kentucky, Memphis and Washington.

Duke Offers DJ Steward

After his impressive performances at the Nike Peach Jam, Duke has offered DJ Steward.  Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski extended an offer after watching him with assistants, Jon Scheyer, and Nate James during the last two days of the event.

Steward is a 6-3 combo guard with a natural knack for scoring.    The fast-rising young star scored 31 points, dished out 5 assists while pulling down 12 rebounds while the Duke staff watched his game against a stacked AOC team and an offer came within hours after the performance.

The Chicago native is making a name for himself by playing high-level basketball, showing grit and determination to make himself better.

To give you an idea of his ascent up the rankings, Steward originally was ranked as the 103rd best player and is now tabbed as high as 27.  By weeks end, he will be in the teens in adjusted rankings per reliable sources.

Steward was on the Duke radar prior to the Peach Jam where the Blue Devils staff sent word they would watch him.  Needless to say, he impressed the longtime Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski enough to move fast to get into the expanding picture.

Duke will now try to set up a visit in the future for Steward and he will hear from Krzyzewski as he is likely to take his time and go on his allotted five official visits.

Only time will tell whether Duke gets one of those visits, but the feeling her is they should as the relationship develops.  It is worth noting he has played for Whitney Young High School which is the alma mater of former Blue Devil and current New Orlean Pelican center Jahlil Okafor.

Duke Releases Non Conference Schedule

Tre Jones

Duke has released their 2019-20 non conference basketball schedule.  Two heavyweight games with Kansas in the Champions Classic and pre season top rated Michigan State highlight the schedule.  The Blue Devils will also play two more games in Madison Square Garden when they take on California with Georgetown or Texas as their next opponent.

Oct. 26 -- Northwest Missouri State (exhibition)

Oct. 30 -- Fort Valley State (exhibition)

Nov. 5 -- Kansas*

Nov. 8 -- Colorado State

Nov. 12 -- Central Arkansas

Nov. 15 -- Georgia State

Nov. 21 -- California+

Nov. 22 -- Georgetown or Texas+

Nov. 26 -- Stephen F. Austin

Nov. 29 -- Winthrop

Dec. 3 -- at Michigan State

Dec. 19 -- Wofford

Dec. 28 -- Brown

* -- Champions Classic, Madison Square Garden, New York

+ -- Empire Classic, Madison Square Garden, New York

Zion Williamson Shines at ESPY’s

Zion Williamson

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Former Duke men’s basketball standout Zion Williamson added another trophy to his collection Wednesday evening, winning the ESPY as the 2019 College Athlete of the Year.

Williamson becomes the first Duke men’s basketball player to win an ESPY, and just the fourth nominated. In 2002, both Shane Battier and Jason Williams were nominated for the College Athlete of the Year, while J.J. Redick was nominated in 2006.

“I want to thank Duke University and Coach K for letting me perform on the highest platform,” said Williamson during his acceptance speech. “And a shout out to The Brotherhood -- I wish they could have been here with me. I love Duke, and wish I could have stayed a second year.”

The No. 1 overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans in last month’s 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson was the consensus National Player of the Year and a consensus first-team All-America selection. He became the first freshman in ACC history to be named both ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP in the same season.

The other 2019 nominees for the College Athlete of the Year were Kyler Murray (Oklahoma football), Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon women’s basketball) and Rachel Garcia (UCLA softball).