Category Archives: Duke Basketball


Q & A with Duke Assistant Jeff Capel

8Duke Basketball is coming of another Championship season and their success has a far reaching effect. Duke Basketball truly never stops and the staff hit the road running after the title game.  I caught up recently with Duke Assistant Coach Jeff Capel who shared his thoughts on the title game, recruiting and more.

One of the big late season signings was the addition of Brandon Ingram.  Can you talk about his game?

He's really a 6-10 guard.  He has to get stronger, obviously, but he's been able to have success and is a big time worker who can pass, handle the ball and shoot,  He'll be an instrumental part of this team but we're not sure just how he'll fit.

Talk about the staff you work with.  The chemistry helped Duke win a National Championship and you join a rare club by gaining that honor.

I think our staff is great.  Obviously Coach (Kryzyzewski) is the leader of it.  Jon (Scheyer) brought  a new energy and he's going to be  a really good head coach one day.  I didn't know Jon as a player because I was coaching at Oklahoma.  I knew he was a really good player and I imagine he had a good feel for the game because he does as a coach.  Nate is a big time worker who has energy and passion.  There is no one more loyal and he's always there for our guys.  I think we all bring something unique and work well together. We all have ego's but we don;t have ego problem.  We just fit well together.

What did you guys do to help this team achieve the ultimate goal?

Really it was what all of us did.  Some of the things coach did this year, I know going forward when I become a head coach again that I will benefit from all the mental work in practice,  Just the little buttons he pushed to make us better as a team and to watch each player get better from his coaching played a such a big role.  When we went to Louisville, all of a sudden we switched to zone and won a big game there.  The things coach did in those meetings like keeping everything positive was huge for us. The main reason for success is that our guys just bought in.  There was no jealousy and everyone was about winning.  When you have that and talent, you have a chance to do something special and we did.

Well, you will be able to practice with eleven players next season.   What will it be like to have a full practice roster again?

(Laughs)  It will be like the beginning of the season.  Our practices at the beginning of the season were great.  They were competitive in that we had ten really good players who got after each other.  And then we went to that lull and were down to eight players.  We adjust to what we have.  That is what coach does.  We don't really have a system going into each season.  But what we do is develop our teams strengths with who we have on the roster at that time.

When do you put last season behind you and move forward with next seasons team?

It will start when they get here and they will get here during the second session of summer school in late June.  When you have a young team it's always evolving and that is what will happen with them.  Look at us the last six weeks of the season.  Justise Winslow was arguably our best player and that changed the dynamic of our team and as he got better, out team got better.  Going into the Final Four we added new things for Justise  Throughout the season we kept adding things for Jah.  As players develop we';ll add more to their role,.

Talk  a bit about the returning players.

Amile, Marshall, Matt and Grayson were a part of a championship.  Hopefully, they can instill the work ethic it takes to get there to the younger players we have coming in.

You win a National Championship, get back to Durham and have to hit the recruiting trail in the same week.  Did you ever want to hit the pause button and stop and enjoy the moment a bit?

Would you like to hit the pause button?  Yes.  We were up all night Monday watching the game again.  Then we get back Tuesday for the celebration at Cameron and we're exhausted.  By the time you get your bags are unpacked, it's Wednesday and we are meeting with the team and then Thursday we are out recruiting.  So, yes, it would have been nice to have had more time, but that's the way it is.  It was necessary and I think we've done a good job out on the road. It's tough but necessary.  We have to do it.  We enjoy doing it and have a zeal for it and we like the results.

At what point does the staff put the title game behind them and move forward to next season?

You never put it behind you but you have to move forward.  Every now and then we talk about it.  Every now and then Coach will say to us, hey, just in case you don;t remember, we won the National Championship. We knew we had to get to work.  We knew we had to get these guys,  We knew we had to recruit.  And that's what happened with Brandon Ingram and Derryck Thornton.  We had been working on them for a while.  We had a three-year relationship with Ingram and a year with Thornton, so it wasn't like we were getting to know that, but we did close them.

It was kind of like the perfect storm.  You win the title and then parlayed that into successful recruiting. Duke Basketball never stops, huh?




Duke Speak – Marshall Plumlee

marshallDuring last season championship run many of the Duke players grew from winning.  This season, Captain Marshall Plumlee hopes to show the newcomers the Duke way and the work that it takes to make a champion.  I recently caught up to the third of three Plumlees to wear a Duke uniform during the Coach K Academy.  Here is what he had to say about the following subjects -
What has your summer been like to date coming off a National Championship?

It's been awesome.  It's wonderful to be around the Duke program coming off a championship but it's exciting to get back to work.  Now we know what it takes to win, we'll just try to implement that into success this summer.

You will be a leader of this seasons team and a captain.  What can you share with the incoming freshman that will help their transition at Duke?
I think the captains need to set an example through our work ethic and show them how we handle every day things as a Duke Basketball player.  If we show them that we are going to get better every day, we can expect the same from them.  That's what other guys did for us and it is only natural that we will now do the same.
This season will be different.  Gone are some stalwarts but at the same time, you have a chance to build something new.  How excited are you to have that opportunity?
It's exciting.  Duke Basketball is always exciting.  We've got so many people who are hungry for more.  We have guys like Amile, Matt and Grayson and they all want to win as much as ever and there is a good possibility with the freshman we have coming in.
When will the team get their National Championship Rings?
We'll get our rings this Fall.  We just have to take the lessons learned and apply them to this season for continued success.
You most recently chose to go down a military path where you will enter West Point after graduation.  How did that come about and what does it do for you as a person?
It helps me be more disciplined and a better leader on and off the floor.  I'm proud of the military experiences I have had and look forward for more to come.  It helps me as a basketball player and a person.  I've always had interest in the military and it started my junior year of high school when I played for the USA team in Germany.  General Robert Brown who actually played for Coach K at West Point spoke to my passions and wanting to be something more than myself.  I attribute heading down this road in part to him, Coach K and Pat Thompson, our former Director of Basketball Operations here.
What would be the ideal situation for Marshall Plumlee five years from now?
To be a special player in the NBA who is also in the Army reserves.

Coach K Talks Hoops

5Coach Mike Krzyzewski is in the midst of conducting  his 13th Coach K Academy in Durham, North Carolina .  Coming off his fifth National Championship season he took time to address the media.  Here are some of the highlights of what he had to say.

- Coach immediately said he had less time this spring in that his team won the Nation Championship.  That meant less meeting with his staff.  He also mentioned that Duke had to hit the recruiting trail the Friday after Monday's title game.  "We're moving on and have three of our guys in summer school in Matt Jones, Sean Obi and Amile Jefferson," said Krzyzewski.

- Coach said he likes all the new NCAA rules joking they changed more in one session that they had done in thirty years.  "I think every thing they did was right on but think the lane should be wider and the three point line should be moved back to the international stripe.   Krzyzewski said he might be in favor of going to a 24 second shot clock as well which would give the refs less to work with in the way of counts, meaning five second calls, ten seconds to get the ball over mid court, etc.

- "We really haven't gotten away yet as a family," said Krzzyzewsi when asked whether he had rested since the season.  He mentioned that his family would be making a trip to the North Carolina coast after the camp.

- Coach mentioned that it was time for his three stars to go pro.  He said he asked them to finish up the school year and that Tyus, Jahlil and Justise did so,  He said this years team would not have the same dynamic that Jah and Jones had.

- Coach Krzyzewski mentioned that all the players would be on campus during the second summer school session,

- "We won't have that big guys inside like Jah this year, said Krzyzewski, but he did say they would have some good bigs.  "We should be able to score the ball, said Krzyzewski.  He immediately went into a spill on Grayson Allen, saying he would attack and get to the line.  He said that Luke Kennard was a shooter as well.  Kennard and Allen give Duke two guys who are scorers this coming season on the wings.  He called Derryck Thornton who will be the new point guard, a pass first point guard.  "We're just going to be young," said Krzyzewski.  He said he has had few talks with next years team as a group but wanted to share things about the championship .

- Krzyzewski mentioned how they used small line ups in the title game, saying it just happened that way at season's end.  He mentioned that his players played big, singling out Justise Winslow and Matt Jones.

- On Derryck Thornton - "He's talented.  He's mature.  He's the same age as Tyus," said Krzyzewski.  He mentioned that he played at Findlay Prep and the talented schedule they face.  He said he played 40 game schedules with  outstanding players.  "We just have to show these guys the same amount of confidence we did this past years team.  it will be interesting to see how we mesh together."

- Briefly mentioned Rasheed Sulaimon saying he thought he would graduate this summer and that he had fulfilled his requirements and that the school had theirs as well.  He said he though it was great he was going to Maryland for his last season of eligibility.

- Krzyzewski said it was terrific that Kyrie Irving would play in the NBA Finals and then said "Our whole perimeter  from the World Championships are in," meaning James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Stephan Curry in the playoffs.

- Coach Krzyzewski said Team USA would have a mini camp in August the 11th through the 14th.  It will be an All Star like gathering with no contact with an All Star Game like exhibition taking place per the Gold Medal wining coach.

- Coach said he texted Kevin Durrant over the weekend to see how he was doing.  He responded that he was doing well and that he wants to be a part of USA Basketball.

- "The young guys are better.  The younger guys today are better guys than ten years ago," said Krzyzewski.  He said that the USA Basketball program was being funded well at the grass-roots level and propped Jerry Colangelo for that.  He said that players were will to give up AAU ball for the Team USA experience and that it was tough for his players because of summer school.



ingram 005

Brandon Ingram Picks Duke

ingram 005The top unsigned prospect left in the nation just elected to play his college basketball for Mike Krzyzewski and duke University.  Ingram, the A.P. North Carolina High School Player of the year, chose Duke over Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Carolina State and UCLA.  With his addition, Duke now has the top recruiting class in the country coming in after losing Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow to the NBA.  The addition of Ingram gives Duke eleven scholarship players for the 2015-16 season.

K vs NCS

Duke Set For 2K Classic

DURHAM, N.C. -- National Champion Duke, national runner-up Wisconsin, and NCAA Tournament participants Georgetown and VCU will compete in the Championship Rounds of the 21st annual 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden this coming November. Tickets for championship round games of the 2K Classic are on sale now and may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 866-448-7849 or through

Duke, Wisconsin, Georgetown, and VCU combined for a 119-29 record this season and 104 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 25 Final Fours, overall. Each of these four teams will host a pair of regional round games in addition to playing in the World's Most Famous Arena in the Championship Rounds on Nov. 20 and 22.

The four Regional Round hosts will be joined in the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project by Bryant, Prairie View, Radford, and Siena. These four teams will play two Regional Round games in addition to playing at Bryant in a pair of Subregional Round doubleheaders on Nov. 20 and 21.

National Champion Duke Blue Devils - Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (Atlantic Coast Conference) Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the winningest coach in college basketball history with 1,018 wins, led the Blue Devils to their fifth National Championship and a 35-4 record this past season...Duke has a roster boasting only one senior and could return six letterwinners next year...the Blue Devils currently have four McDonald's All-Americans on their roster and will welcome two more (Luke Kennard and Chase Jeter) to next year's squad...Duke will be making its third appearance in the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project (1999 and 2008), winning the 2008 title.

National Runner-Up Wisconsin Badgers - Head Coach: Bo Ryan (Big Ten Conference)
Head coach Bo Ryan is Wisconsin's all-time leader in wins, amassing 357 victories in just 14 seasons...the Badgers claimed the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles with a 16-2 league mark to go along with a 36-4 overall record in advancing to the Final Four for the second straight year and the Championship Game for the first time since 1941...11 players, including two starters, are expected to return in 2015-16, led by junior forward Nigel Hayes (12.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and junior guard Bronson Koenig (8.7 ppg, 98 assists)...Wisconsin will be making its first 2K Classic appearance.

Georgetown Hoyas - Head Coach: John Thompson III (Big East Conference)
The Hoyas went 22-11 under the direction of head coach John Thompson III, who, in 11 seasons at Georgetown, has won 249 games...the Hoyas feature a roster with 10 players expected to return next season, including a trio of starters...junior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera led Georgetown with a 16.3 ppg average as well as with 101 assists in earning first-team All-Big East honors...freshman forward Isaac Copeland averaged 6.8 ppg and 3.8 rpg...this will be Georgetown's first 2K Classic appearance since 1998.

VCU Rams 
Head Coach: Will Wade (Atlantic 10 Conference)
VCU will be under the direction of new head coach Will Wade in 2015-16, who returns to VCU after two successful seasons at Chattanooga...the Rams, 26-10 this past season, boast a roster featuring 10 players who are expected to return, including three starters...among those expected to return are junior guard Melvin Johnson (12.4 ppg, 60 assists) as well as sophomore forward Mo Alie-Cox (7.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg)...this is the Rams' first ever 2K Classic appearance.

Bryant Bulldogs 
Head Coach: Tim O'Shea (Northeast Conference)
The Bulldogs posted a 16-15 record in advancing to the semifinals of the Northeast Conference tournament...head coach Tim O'Shea will enter his eighth season at Bryant, having taken over when the school made the jump to Division I...three starters return, led by second-team All-Northeast Conference pick Dan Garvin, who was second on the Bulldogs in scoring (10.9 ppg) and first in rebounding (7.9 rpg)...senior guard Shane McLaughlin led Bryant with a 4.8 assist per game average while netting 7.5 ppg.

Prairie View A&M Panthers 
Head Coach: Byron Rimm II (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
Head coach Byron Rimm II is in rebuilding mode at Prairie View where he looks to replace four starters from a squad that posted a 15-18 mark a year ago and reached the semifinals of the SWAC tournament...senior guard Jacoby Green played in all 33 games last season, starting 10, and posting an average of 3.7 ppg...junior guard Jayrn Johnson also played in all 33 games and netted 4.4 ppg...the Panthers last appeared in the 2K Classic in 2008.

Radford Highlanders 
Head Coach: Mike Jones (Big South Conference)
The Highlanders recorded a 22-12 ledger in advancing to the quarterfinals of the CBI for the second straight season...the 22 wins also marked the second-straight 20-win season for Radford, which won 20 games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1998...head coach Mike Jones will enter his fifth season at Radford and has turned around the Highlanders, winning 19 games in his first two seasons and 44 in his last two...two senior starters return: guard YaYa Anderson (9.3 ppg, 50 assists) and center Brandon Holcomb (6.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg).

Siena Saints 
Head Coach: Jimmy Patsos (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
Siena returns three starters from a year ago, one of which appeared in only six games...senior forward Brett Bisping, the MVP of the 2014 CBI, had surgery on his toe in December and missed the reminder of the season...junior point guard Marquis Wright (12.5 ppg) is the Saints' leading returning scorer while junior swingman Lavon Long posted 10.4 ppg and a team-high 4.9 rpg...head coach Jimmy Patsos is in his third year at Siena.

Matchups for the Championship Rounds, Regional Rounds, and Subregional Round will be announced at a later date.
Clemson v Duke


Justise Winslow is NBA Bound

JustiseDURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Justise Winslow will enter the 2015 NBA Draft, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Tuesday.

“We’re very happy for Justise and his family,” said Krzyzewski. “He had a sensational year, both on and off the court. He was an amazing factor for our success in winning the national championship. From everything we have found out, Justise is projected to be a high lottery pick and we believe that to be true. This is a great time to take advantage of this opportunity. We’re behind him all the way and love him and his family.”

Winslow, an All-Final Four team selection, joins Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012), Jabari Parker (2014) and teammate Jahlil Okafor (2015) as Blue Devil freshmen to enter the NBA Draft after just one season of college basketball.

Winslow, the third-highest freshman scorer in the ACC this season, averaged 12.5 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting from the field. In 31 of his 39 appearances, Winslow scored 10-or-more points, the second most double-digit scoring games by a freshman in the ACC this year, behind only Okafor (35). Winslow’s 31 double-digit scoring games ranks tied for third on Duke’s freshman list, while his 492 total points tied with Jason Williams for eighth on the Duke rookie chart.

Winslow also averaged 6.5 rebounds per game, second most by a freshman in the conference. He became just the second player 6-6 or under for Krzyzewski to average at least 6.0 rebounds per game, joining Chris Carrawell (6.1 rpg. In 1999-00). Winslow posted seven double-doubles during the 2014-15 season, including three-straight double-doubles in games against Virginia, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. Winslow was recognized for his athletic prowess by being named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and the USBWA All-District III Team.

“This year at Duke University, my dreams and aspirations have literally come true,” said Winslow. “Since I was a kid in third grade playing for the Houston Jaguars, I envisioned one day playing at the collegiate level and winning a championship. If you fast forward 10 years and my dream became a reality. The friendships and relationships I’ve formed with those a part of the Duke and Durham community have been even better than winning the National Championship. With that being said, my family and I have decided that I should declare for the NBA draft this year. Considering the success and growth that I have experienced over this past year as a player and as a person, I believe it is time to take the next step on my career path and play at the highest level.”

Winslow helped the Blue Devils earn their fifth national title, serving as a reliable scorer and rebounder throughout the team’s NCAA Tournament run. Over the six-game span, the Houston, Texas, native averaged 14.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. He scored on an efficient 50.9 percent shooting from the field, while converting 8-of-14 (.571) three-point field goal attempts. Although in foul trouble during the national championship game against Wisconsin, Winslow contributed 11 points and brought down nine rebounds in 32 minutes of action. Earlier in the tournament, Winslow scored 13 points, registered 12 rebounds and added five assists, four steals and three blocks to help Duke bypass San Diego State. Winslow became just the second player in Duke history to record a double-double and add five assists and at least three blocks and three steals in an NCAA Tournament game.

Duke has produced a first round selection in the NBA Draft in each of the past four years. Krzyzewski has mentored 28 first round picks, including 18 lottery selections. The 2015 NBA Draft will take place Thursday, June 25 in New York City.