Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Marvin Bagley III Is Set For Duke Visit

Marvin Bagley takes aim

There will always be buzz around Marvin Bagley III and for good reason.  Bagley is a sure fire NBA player to be who will spend one year in college preparing for what should be a long career.  The star prospect most recently concluded his AAU season at the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina. During this seasons sessions he scored more total points for a 25.8 ppg average.

Most consider Marvin Bagley the top player in his class and that is easy to see when watching how easily he handles high level competition,  Bagley works hard around the glass and collects rebounds as if the ball was his to take home.

Bagley has a target on his back and every team he faces has a player wanting to make a name for himself in the match up. "Oh yeah, I mean, I expect it. With all this attention and everybody talking about you in the media I expect people to come hard at me and I have to be ready. I just have to work harder with that happening and stay with my game," Bagley said.

The schools who call the most per Bagley are the ones that recruit him the hardest and his list is made up of Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and USC.  He claims to still be taking the process one day at a time while enjoying the ride, yet he will start to take some unofficial visits and soon,  In fact, he will be on the campus of Duke University this week after visiting family in the area.

Bagley told Blue Devil Nation during a Q & A session, "After the Peach Jam is over my family is going to take a visit to Duke to see a little more of the school.  I have been on a visit there but didn't get to see a lot, so this time I hope to see way more.  I am excited about it and can't wait.''

Also soon to get unofficial visits are USC and Arizona.  While the recruiting process is closing down for Bagley, neither him or his family have yet to give any firm timetables which would involve a decision.  Bagley also clearly stated that he would be visiting Kentucky as well and that he planned to see all the schools on his list.

During events, Bagley gets asked all kinds of questions including answering rumors.  Some have speculated he would not go to college, but Bagley denies those accusations, stating, I am really excited about playing in college so wherever I go, I will be excited."  And which ever school he chooses will be equally excited in getting a player with his skill set.

When asked what he is looking for in a school, Bagely said "I want to go somewhere where I can get better.  I want to grow as a person and be around great people and in an environment that I feel like is helping me grow.''  That statement would appear to say he wants to be challenged and go to a school that has success at getting players to the next level.

There is much talk of package deals where prospects want to play together in college, but Bagley says that his focus is what is best for him and his family more so than it is playing with certain players.  During the process, Bagley has been the center of attention for a few years now even as an underclassman. Until this year, he was always buffered by his parents in interviews but that too was a learning process.  Now, he rolls of answers as if that tutelage helped him.

When asked if he was enjoying the process, Bagley stated, "Not a lot of kids have this many college calling upon them, so I am just blesses and I thank God everyday for the opportunity."  While some may see his statement designed to be humble, there is a sincerity in his eyes which makes one know it is true.  he fact of the matter is that Bagley has been able to remain both grounded and humble during the process to date.

During one of his games at the Nile Peach Jam, Kevin Durant of the world champion Golden State Warriors entered the gym.  As he strolled to his chair trying not to be hounded for autographs, he stopped to greet and hug Mike Krzyzewski who coached him for USA Basketball.  After the two exchanged some words, he went to his seat where he obviously wanted to see what they hype was about with Marvin Bagley III.

When asked of the VIP guest watching his game, Bagely answered, "It was weird at first because I watch KD all the time and I was actually at one of his games when they played Cleveland this year.  So yeah, I was sitting there watching him and now he is there watching me, so it was a weird feeling but we came out and played hard tonight."

The truth of the matter is that Bagley is a Nike star as is Kevin Durant.  He will one day get a shoe deal just like some that have come before him if he makes the right choices. And lets not forget that some who are recruiting him are some of the biggest Nike schools which include Duke, Kentucky and UCLA. Arizona also signed with the swoosh king in 2015.

Duke is in a pretty good place with concern to recruiting Bagley but they are in a heated competition for his services.  His Dad, Marvin Bagley II is originally from Durham and has family here to this day.  In fact, in a conversation with him it turns out we played junior high basketball at the same school.  But while while his local roots are interesting it is worth noting that he has been gone 20 years and entrenched in the Arizona area of late.  "We won't be going to college for family," stated the father but he also said it certainly doesn't hurt.

Then there is the recent talk of Bagley possibly reclassifying.  The truth is that he has to talent to do so but it is also factual that there would be some hoops to jump through in short time.  Bagley is a solid student but his Dad more or less squelched the talk as rumor via his twitter account.

What is factual is that Duke is recruiting Marvin Bagley III hard.  Coach Mike Krzyzewski is at every game he plays,  He is clearly a coveted prospect for the Blue Devils. Mike Krzyzewski has spent an enormous amount of time from the Hampton EYBL session until the Peach Jam finale making sure he was front and center for Bagley.

Nike Peach Jam Day One

Nike EYBL Peach Jam
Nike EYBL Peach Jam

Day one of the Nike EYBL Peach Jam Finals are complete and there were some stellar performances  by Duke prospects.

In the opening play-in game, Nike Team Florida pulled away for an 82-77 win over Team Final.  One of the Blue Devils top prospects in Cameron Reddish scored 44 points, with 7 made three pointers, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in his teams loss.  Considering the fact that he just finished up play with USA Basketball, this was an impressive performance.

E1T1 United held on for one basket win over Nike Phamily.  Blue Devil prospect Marvin Barnes III scored 25 points while grabbing 15 rebounds to go with 2 steals and 2 blocked shots in front of Mike Krzyzewski.  Another Duke prospect Emmitt Williams had 13 points and 8 rebounds in his teams win.

The Bradley Beal All Stars crushed the PSA Cardinals behind four double-figure scorers.  Duke PG prospect  Darius Garland went for 15 points and 2 assists.  On the losing team, 2019's Cole Anthony who also has the Blue Devils future interest scored a game high 34 points and had 6 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 steals in a stat stuffing outing.

A late bucket from Tre Jones helped Howard Pulley hold off Mokan Elite for a single point win.  Jones, who is the brother of former Duke star Tyus Jones ended the game with 13 points,  7 rebounds and 5 assists.

Duke was also represented by Jeff Capel and Nate James while Jon Scheyer was checking out Zion Williamson a couple of hours north in the Adidas Gauntlet event in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Duke Basketball Staff Hits the Recruiting Trail

Zion Williams and Tre Jones on a visit to Cameron.
Zion Williams and Tre Jones on a visit to Cameron.

The Duke Men's Basketball staff led by HOF coach Mike Krzyzewski will be out in force the rest of the month.  The reason is that this time of year are the most important days in recruiting.  The dead period ended today with concern to live views and that means planning and travel miles for weeks to come.

The Blue Devils staff will be in Spartanburg, South Carolina at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale  to watch the likes of sensational dunk artist Zion Williamson and others. Williamson is playing in his backyard to what will be standing room only crowds.  They will also take the 2.5 hour drive south for the Nike Peach Jam.

Marvin Bagley III
Marvin Bagley III

The Peach Jam will be especially loaded for the Blue Devils.  It all starts with the nations top prospect Marvin Bagley III, who is expected to visit Duke shortly after the event ends.  Bagley lists Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and USC as his finalist.

download (1)Duke has long been recruiting other stellar players as well including Cameron Reddish.  Coming off his duties with Team USA, Reddish and his teammates will need to win a play in game.  Reddish is a gifted, long prospect who is in the cross hairs of Duke and Kentucky,

Then there is the watch for a point guard where Duke is in the running for the two best.  Tre Jones is the brother of Tyus Jones and he exploded early on this season.  And then there is Darrius Garland who has been ranked at the top and had the Blue Devils interest for a good while.

And let us not forget RJ  Barrett who led Canada to a win over Team USA recently.  The versatile and talented prospect is expect to reclassify and he is a major Duke target.

There are many other Duke prospects which we discuss on our members message  board as well.  Duke will also be checking out the likes of 2019 prospects which include PG Cole Anthony, but the emphasis will be heavily on the 2018 young men where Duke has yet to land anyone in the class.

Duke will be facing major losses after the season and could go after as many as six players to fill the void.  Stay tuned for more as the week progresses and reports from both major events.

Duke Basketball Non Conference Schedule Released

unnamed (9)DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s basketball program has finalized its 2017-18 non-conference schedule, featuring seven regular-season home games and a road date in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and trips to Chicago, New York and Portland.

Nine of the 17 known or potential opponents on the Blue Devils’ non-league slate made postseason appearances last season, including NCAA runner-up Gonzaga, Elite Eight participant Florida and Sweet 16 participant Butler.

As Duke has done for each of the last three seasons, it will open its 2017-18 schedule with home games on consecutive nights; the Blue Devils will play host to Elon on Nov. 10 and 2017 CBI semifinalist Utah Valley on Nov. 11. The season opener will mark the sixth consecutive year in which Duke has faced off with Elon.

The seventh edition of the State Farm Champions Classic is set for Nov. 14 at the United Center in Chicago and will pit the Blue Devils against Michigan State.

Duke owns an 11-2 lead in the series with MSU and has won the last six meetings between the programs, including a 78-69 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium last season as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. November’s Champions Classic matchup will be the seventh meeting between the programs since 2010, including two during the 2014-15 season.

The Blue Devils will host Southern on Nov. 17 before kicking off the PK80 with a home contest 2017 CIT semifinalist Furman on Nov. 20.

PK80 is a 16-team early-season men’s college basketball event honoring Nike co-founder and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight as he celebrates his 80th birthday. The two eight-team brackets will run simultaneously at the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore.

In the Motion Bracket, Duke will face Portland State in the first round on Nov. 23 and will meet either Butler or Texas on Nov. 24depending on first-round results. Florida, Gonzaga, Ohio State and Stanford are also in the Motion Bracket and Duke will face one of them on Nov. 26.

Following the PK80, the Blue Devils will venture to Bloomington, Ind., to meet Indiana at Assembly Hall. The date of the game is yet to be determined. Duke leads the all-time series with Indiana by a 5-3 count after its Big Ten/ACC Challenge defeat of the Hoosiers at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 2015. IU qualified for the NIT a season ago.

The Blue Devils are 16-2 (.889) all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, marking both the most wins and best winning percentage of any team in the event. Duke is 3-0 against Indiana in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games, winning in Durham in 2006 and 2015, and capturing a victory in Bloomington in 2005.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski spent the 1974-75 season as a graduate assistant at IU under his former coach at Army, Bob Knight. That squad posted an 18-0 record in the Big Ten and a 31-1 overall mark.

The Blue Devils will host 2017 NIT participant South Dakota on Dec. 2 and Saint Francis (Pa.) on Dec. 5 before opening ACC play on the second weekend in December. Duke will return home to face Evansville on Dec. 20 in its final game before a break for the holidays.

Duke’s final non-conference tilt of the regular season won’t occur until February 3, 2018, when it takes on St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.

Duke has a 16-6 edge in the all-time series with St. John’s and has won nine of the last 10 meetings between the schools. Coach K owns a 29-10 (.744) record at The Garden as head coach at Duke.

St. John’s is led by Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Chris Mullin, who played for Coach K when Krzyzewski was an assistant coach with the “Dream Team” at the 1992 Olympics.

As previously announced, Duke’s ACC schedule will include home-and-homes with North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Duke will only host Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Virginia, while only playing road games against Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and NC State.

Prior to the start of the regular season, Duke will host Countdown to Craziness presented by Delta Air Lines on Oct. 20, as well as exhibition games against Northwest Missouri State on Oct. 27 and Bowie State on Nov. 4.

Duke Prospect Cameron Reddish Playing Well

Cameron Reddish
Cameron Reddish

Duke Basketball recruiting is getting serious this month as they chase down commitments from a talented class.  One of the players they have long coveted is Cameron Reddish.  The youthful forward has been playing exceptionally well with USA Basketball.  He scored 15 points during Tuesday’s 98-65 win over Italy.    He also grabbed 5 rebounds, had 2 steals and a blocked shot as USA Basketball is  now 2-0 and moving forward to the round of 16 which starts today.  Reddish commands attention when he is on the court and is at the top of the rankings in every service. You can see a replay of his last game below -

Duke to Face Indiana in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

1ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Duke men’s basketball program learned Monday that its Big Ten/ACC Challenge visit to Indiana has been set for Wednesday, Nov. 29. The 19th-annual event will be held from Nov. 27-30, the leagues announced in a joint release.

Game times and network assignments will be announced at a later date.

Duke leads the all-time series with Indiana by a 5-3 count after its Big Ten/ACC Challenge defeat of the Hoosiers at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 2015.

The Blue Devils are 16-2 (.889) all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, marking both the most wins and best winning percentage of any team in the event. Duke is 3-0 against Indiana in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games, winning in Durham in 2006 and 2015, and capturing a victory in Bloomington in 2005.

Following last season’s defeat of Michigan State at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke is in the midst of a four-game Challenge winning streak.

Monday, Nov. 27

Maryland at Syracuse

Wisconsin at Virginia

Tuesday, Nov. 28

Northwestern at Georgia Tech

Louisville at Purdue

Florida State at Rutgers

Illinois at Wake Forest

Iowa at Virginia Tech

Wednesday, Nov. 29

Duke at Indiana

Miami at Minnesota

Boston College at Nebraska

Michigan at North Carolina

Penn State at NC State

Clemson at Ohio State

Thursday, Nov. 30

Notre Dame at Michigan State