Category Archives: Duke Basketball

54

3 Double Figure Scorers Lead Duke over UF

54The Duke Blue Devils  used 15 to 3 run to close the first half where they took a 10 point lead into the longer room.  Duke would hanf on to whip the Florida Gators 84-74 in the Jimmy V Classic.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, ''It was a huge win for us.''  Duke goes to 9-1 on the season and they avenged an earlier close loss to Kansas in Madison Square Garden.

Duke was aided by three double figure scorers paced by Luke Kennard who ended the game with 29 points.  Kennard was coming off a career high scoring game of 35 points in his last outing and was 7th in the ACC in scoring coming into the contest.

Amile Jefferson added 24 points to go with his game high 15 rebounds which translated into his fifth double-double performance of the season.  Jefferson also had 2 blocked shots in the game showing that he is one of the more consistent performers on this years team with his overall stat line.

Jefferson did not practice the day before in that he went home to attend his grandmothers funeral.  And for the record, the Divinity School graduate student was very close to her where she helped raise him while he was growing up.

It was clear that Jefferson wanted to have a big game and he did as his Father watched from the stands.  Jefferson drew a tough defensive assignment where he guarded Florida big man John Agbubu, the nations leading shot blocker who went just 2 of 9 from the field.

Duke freshmen, Jayson Tatum would come off the bench to add 22 points to go with 8 rebounds.  It was quite impressive that Tatum was able to blend in with the team in just his second game of the season which is a reflection on how good he can be.

'''We sat him a couple of minutes but when he came back in wow, he really played well,'' said Krzyzewski.  He added, ''Welcome back.''

The Duke coach also had high praise for Jefferson where he was clearly happy with his players efforts and what they had been through.  Tatum had actually attended a funeral in his home town as well, so both players came to New York after that business was handled.

Kennard, Jefferson and Tatum scored 75 of the Blue Devils 84 points.  In fact, the three held a 75-74 edge over the entire Gator roster.

Duke hit 13 of 14 free throws which was there best performance from the stripe this season.  The Blue Devils had 8 steals as well with 7 of those coming in the first half and they won the battle of the boards by margin.

Pre season ACC Player of the Year selection, Grayson Allen struggled shooting the ball but came away with a career high 8 assists.  If Duke is to be successful as the season progresses, there will be times when players have to find ways to contribute when they are otherwise struggling a bit with their game.

Duke will now return to Durham where the players will be involved with first semester exams.  They will return to the court on Saturday where they travel to Las Vegas to take on the UNLV Running Rebels in a late afternoon game.  Duke will then go on a nine-day break before returning to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on Tennesee State.

Duke gets Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden back but Kennard and Jefferson hold Dule together.

Kennard, Jefferson Career Highs Lead Duke

Duke gets Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden back but Kennard and Jefferson hold Dule together.
Duke gets Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden back but Kennard and Jefferson hold Duke together.

Duke walloped out-manned Maine 94-55 to push their season record to 8-1.  The Blue Devils were aided by career high scoring numbers from Luke Kennard who talked 35 points and Amile Jefferson who finished with 20.

Krzyzewski rests Grayson Allen and Frank Jackson

The Blue Devils decided to rest Grayson Allen and Frank Jackson both who've been hobbled by injuries.   The good news is that Mike Krzzyzewski said both players would likely return versus Florida, the Blue Devils next opponent in the Jimmy V Classic in New York on Tuesday,  Allen has been battling  jammed toe and practice little per the head coach.

Luke Kennard continues his torrid scoring

There was a career high 35 points from Luke Kennard who still leads a talented Blue Devil team in scoring.  Kennard has been very steady for the Blue Devils where he grabbed 8 rebounds.  That's impressive in that Duke got longer and bigger which you will see below...

Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden make their Duke debut

Well, it took until the ninth game of the season but we finally got to see Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden play for Duke.  Tatum got the start ''I really didn't expect to start but I did and I just being out there with the guys is all I cared about,'' said Tatum.  He continued, ''it will take some time but we'll adjust really quick.  We are just adding new guys,''  Tatum finished the game with 10 points and 8 rebounds in a mere 20 minutes of play.  Tatum said he learned earlier this week that he would play and that he was just happy to be back.  Tatum finished the game with 2 blocked shots but was credited with one for whatever reason.  Krzyzewski said Tatum had cramps when he went out onto the court and that he decided not to play him further out of precaution.  Tatum told Blue Devil Nation that he had to get his timing back and that it was a work in progress.

As for Bolden, he scored 7 points and grabbed 5 rebounds to go with an emphatic blocked shot in 12 minutes of play.  ''it was great, I mean I have just been waiting on playing all year-long so it was very fulfilling to be back there with the guys,'' per Bolden who was smiling while making the comment.  Krzyzewski said Bolden got tired but that he was coming long.  Bolden was told just yesterday that team doctors cleared him to play.  Bolden said he did not want to disrupt the team by coming back in that they've played so well.  ''I feel pretty good but I am not myself just yet but that will come along during the season and we're going to be pretty good this year,'' said Bolden.  It is worth noting that Krzyzewski said Bolden has not done anything for five weeks before getting cleared to play.

Amile Jefferson is as steady as they come

There is no player more consistent on a talented roster than Amile Jefferson.  The graduate senior scored a career high 20 points to go with 9 rebounds.   Before he would talk about his effort, he spoke of the freshman, ''Aw man, I am so glad to have these guys back and be playing beside Jayson and Quese.  We spent so much time off the court so to be back on the court with them elevates our team.  Our team has a new happiness, a new verve.''  Jefferson said he was trying to rebound but that he played on the wing with Allen and Kennard out. Jefferson actually called out a few plays t the point tonight.

Return of inured players having an effect

Duke has not been able to practice, so it is no wonder Krzyzewski seemed light on his feet with the return of some injured freshman.  Amile Jefferson and Luke Kennard both seemed to be in a better place in the post game locker room as well.

Harry Giles is practicing well

According to Duke coach Mike Krzyzweski we could see Harry Giles Jr. after coming exams.  He started contact in practice per the Duke coach.  ''He's close to doing stuff and it might be after exams.  He's been away from over a year, so I just want him to do more five on five, when we can do five on five, in practice,'' said Krzyzewski.

K comments

''We just have to put this thing together while we are playing games.''

''Luke, Amile and Matt held us together.''

'' Frank has had a little bit of a sore foot and he's played a lot of minutes for us.''

Sidebar

Duke has won an NCAA best 130 straight games versus non conference opponents in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Jefferson was one rebound shy of a double-double and had four on the season.

Duke has just one more non conference game in Cameron this season versus Tennessee State.

After their road game at UNLV on December 10th, Duke will have a nine-day break between games which should bode well for injured players.  That game is against Tennessee State.

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Mike Krzyzewski Honored by USA Basketball

ht1COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Duke University and former United States National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski was named a co-recipient of the 2016 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year Award on Thursday in recognition of USA Basketball’s third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Krzyzewski shared the honor with Geno Auriemma, who led the U.S. Women’s National Team to Olympic gold in Rio.

This honor marks the record seventh time Coach K has earned at least a share of the USA Basketball National Coach of the Year Award. He was similarly honored in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014.

“Certainly, I am honored to share the 2016 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award with Geno Auriemma, a terrific leader whose accomplishments in women’s basketball stand alone,” Krzyzewski said. “Any award that a coach or individual receives is the product of having a great team. Starting with the leadership of Jerry Colangelo, we’ve had that in USA Basketball. Our staff was together every step of this journey, and our players were, too. It was another magical run to gold in Rio, and I was thrilled and honored to be a part of it.”

Coach K, who produced an 88-1 record as head coach of the USA Men’s National Team, is the first head basketball coach to win three Olympic gold medals, and he and Henry Iba (1964, 1968 and 1972) are the only coaches to lead three straight U.S. Olympic teams.

“He motivated all of us every single day, and the standard that he held us to was a championship-level standard,” Kevin Durant, the leading scorer on the 2016 USA Olympic Team, said. “We followed that blueprint from day one. We all believed in him, he believed in us and we were able to go out there and accomplish something special.”

Krzyzewski is also the first coach in the history of international basketball to win back-to-back Olympic and FIBA World Cup titles.

 

Frank Jacson helped key a 9-0 Duke run as they defeated Michigan State 78-69 in Cameron.

Second Half Run Helps Duke defeat Michigan State

Frank Jacson helped key a 9-0 Duke run as they defeated Michigan State 78-69 in Cameron.
Frank Jacson helped key a 9-0 Duke run as they defeated Michigan State 78-69 in Cameron.

The Duke Blue Devils came away with a hard-fought 78-69 victory over Michigan State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday evening.  With a late start it was actually Wednesday before Mike Krzyzewski took to the podium.

''Cameron was electric, it was so darn good and both teams responded to it,'' said Krzyzewski.  And he was right for the old girl erupted when Duke went on a 9-0 run in the second half after being tied at the half.

Grayson Allen led the way for Duke is scoring where he tallied a game high 24 points.  ''Just so you know Grayson does not practice one second, so when he is out on that court, it is a gutsy performance,'' said a frustrated Krzyzewski.

As it turns out, Duke has not been able to hold full practices with a bundle of injuries, some of which have sidelined three of the lands top freshman.

'Our older guys know how to win when they're tired they don;t give up the ship. the white flag does not come up., said Krzyzewski after he praised Matt Jones defense and the play of the ever consistent Amile Jefferson who had another double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The difference in this game was the Blue lmental and physical toughness but it still got help from freshman Frank Jackson.  The first year product scored 11 points, 6 of them coming during stretch that allowed the crowd to get in the game during a run.

It appeared that Krzyzewski felt his team has been under appreciated.  And it has to be frustrating to field constant questions on when freshman will return and or view articles geared towards that than his teams play.  That showed as he spoke to Matt Jones play.

''He is one of he best defenders in the country and we pout him on every outstanding player we play against.  But nobody notices that.''  Krzyzewski continued saying, ''He has a spectacular 2 point performance tonight.  When you all about winning you are super important and Matt Jones is all about winning, he's a beautiful kid. and  great leader for us,''

Also learned this evening is that Luke Kennard had worn a boot for six weeks before healing.  ''He's been as consistently good as anybody on our team.  Kennard, the Blue Devils leading scorer, hit a huge three and then grabbed a key defensive rebound on his way to 20 points.

Duke played just six players in their win which pushed their season reord to 7-1.  Duke will next take on Maine in Cameron  on December the 3rd.

Duke moves to 16-2 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge which is clearly the best record of any paticipating school.  Amile Jefferson has his fourth double-double in scoring and rebounding in eight games.

Wendell Carter picks Duke with his own video on twitter this morning.

That Kid Carter – Wendell Carter is a Blue Devil

Wendell Carter picks Duke with his own video on twitter this morning.
Wendell Carter picks Duke with his own video 

To nobodies real surprise, Wendell Carter made his decision to play basketball at Duke University official this morning.  An imposing big man who stands 6-10 with strong physical play, Carter is a sure thing at the collegiate level.

The Blue Devils had been on Carter for well over a year, where Jeff Capel took the lead assistant role in the process.  And there was no shortage of Coach Mike Krzyzewski making his intent known all along.

Carter had long been thought a Duke lean despite some flirtation with Harvard coached by former Blue Devil coach and player, Tommy Amaker.  Other big time schools did not bother even ringing his doorbell past a certain point feeling he was just too good of a fit for the Blue Devils.

Trent and Wendell Carter are friends.
Trent and Wendell Carter are friends.

The writing was on the wall even more-so when Gary Trent Jr. selected the Blue Devils.  The two were and always have been a package deal and look forward to playing with one another.  This was also another case of how Krzyzewski's USA Basketball connections helped once again, for both were mainstays in the youth program for the country.

Carter averaged 21.6 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.5 blocks, leading his team to a state title at Pace Academy last season.  During the camp season he played for CP3 in the Nike EYBL Circuit and had numbers of 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in a system where you play lesser minutes.

Having seen Carter play over the years, I can tell you that he's a baller.  He's likely a power forward but can play center.  He's big, long and imposing with solid basketball instincts.  Carter is simply  beast to be arround the rim where his presence alters shots.  He can drain a jump shot or put the ball on the floor to score and finishes strong around the basket.

Carter should flourish in the Duke system where he will likely be playing with some solid perimeter guys.  The Blue Devils might return Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard while adding Trent and others before others before the recruiting period is said and done.

The Blue Devils will now turn their attention to Kevin Knox, Matt Coleman and Mohamed Bamba.  And who knows, another player could be in the mix before all is said and done.

In closing, Duke got one of the best big men in the country to join Gary Trent and Alex O'Connell.  Those additions have the Blue Devils moving up in the team rankings and they are far from finished.

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Duke Will Be Just Fine

f8820232-f51e-4fcb-984e-420efb9fcfcdEverywhere I go someone asks me, when will our injured freshman be back.  Well, nobody but the Duke staff knows the answer to that but  I think they'll all play this season.  Some are saying Harry Giles should sit out the season but he did not come to Duke nor is he rehabbing hard to do that.  Giles will play at some point this season and it will help his draft status to do so.

Now, some say what if he gets injured and such.  All I can say is an NBA team will not draft him as a top 5 pick if they have not seen him play. Trusted sources say Giles is coming along and working his way back into shape.  That should be good enough news for fans who realize we haven't even hit December yet.

The first of the injured trio to return will likely be Jayson Tatum.  At some point Mike Krzyzewski will give him a go but most do not expect that to be this week.  Duke can survive games with William and Mary and Appalachian State without any of their injured players.

And then there is Grayson Allen who is suffering a toe injury not to mention some you haven't heard about.  You see, that's thing with Duke, they keep stuff like that close to the vest.  So, those who keep turning up rocks for clues about the return or status of players may as well relax and enjoy the team that's on the court.

Furthermore, the team is not trying to keep secrets from fans and such when being coy.  They are trying not to allow other teams a better preparation by not knowing what to expect.

Duke will be juss fine
Duke will be just fine.

Duke teams have suffered many injuries over the years, some during championship seasons, so this is nothing new.  The silver lining of the injuries is that other players have been allowed the spotlight.

All of the Blue Devils talented perimeter players have gotten better.  Maybe you haven't noticed but those guys are chasing down a lot of rebounds as well.  And let's not forget the endurance they've built having to go all out for close to 40 minutes per contest.

The bottom line is when Duke gets some help back up front, they'll be on of the scrappier teams going.  That is the kind of thing Krzyzeski was counting on coming into the season.  He wanted to put players on the court who could go all out, all the time.

Once Duke has some more bodies we'll continue to see man to man defense mixed with traps and zone.  Sometimes it takes more depth in the back to do certain things on the defensive end.

Until then, we are seeing Frank Jackson step up and he is playing like one of the best freshman in the country and he'll just get better. Then there is Luke Kennard who has probably been the teams best player to date.

Add to that, sensational senior leaders in Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones and one must feel good about the Blue Devils chances as the season progresses.  And Grayson Allen will surely get back into the groove after some average performances by his lofty standards.

There is no doubt that Duke needs it's depth.  Krzyzewski was straight up honest in saying his team was tired after the win over Rhode Island and they were.  But Duke also played 5 games in 10 days, short-handed and barely lost to a pretty good Kansas team.

Some are saying Duke looks vulnerable and similar to last season, but I see a team that lost by a bucket to one of the best teams in the country versus Kansas that will get healthy.  In fact, this sixth place ranking Duke currently holds will likely be the lowest spot in the poll this season.