Category Archives: Duke Basketball


Duke Picked to Win ACC, Allen POY

dsc_0307-001CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( – Duke will enter the 2016-17 season as the Atlantic Coast Conference favorite, according to a vote of media in conjunction with the league’s annual “Operation Basketball.”
The Blue Devils, who return junior All-America guard Grayson Allen and senior starting guard Matt Jones from last year’s team that finished 25-11 and earned the program’s 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, received 85 of 91 first-place votes in the preseason poll released Wednesday.
Duke also welcomes back 6-foot-9 graduate forward Amile Jefferson following an injury that sidelined him for most of last season, and sophomore Luke Kennard, who was a key contributor in his first year. The Blue Devils’ freshman class includes promising frontcourt players Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles.
Defending ACC champion North Carolina (six first-place votes) finished second in the voting, followed by Virginia, Louisville and Syracuse. Each of those teams has joined Duke in virtually every preseason Top 25 national ranking.
ACC preseason voters selected NC State sixth, followed by Notre Dame, Florida State and Miami. Virginia Tech was picked 10th, while Clemson, Pitt, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Boston College rounded out the voting.
The Blue Devils’ Allen, a 6-foot-5 native of Jacksonville, Florida, averaged 21.6 points per game last season to rank second among ACC scorers. Allen scored in double figures in 33 of 35 games, including 19 games with 20-or-more points. He raised his points per game average 17.2 points from his freshman year, setting an ACC record for scoring improvement in a single season.
NC State’s Dennis Smith, Jr., a 6-foot-3 guard from Fayetteville, North Carolina, received the nod as the Preseason Rookie of the Year. The highest-ranked recruit (No. 4 overall) that NC State has signed since the Recruiting Services Consensus Index began ranking prospects in 1998, Smith has been rated college basketball’s No. 1 incoming point guard by ESPN.
Allen also led the balloting for the Preseason All-ACC First Team, where he was joined by Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame, North Carolina’s Joel Berry II, Virginia’s London Perrantes and NC State’s Smith.
The Preseason All-ACC Second Team consists of North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, Duke’s Jayson Tatum, Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon, Florida State’s Dwayne Bacon and Pitt’s Michael Young.
Duke was picked as the ACC preseason favorite for the 16th time in the 48-year history of the poll and the 15th time under current head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils were last tabbed as the favorite prior to the 2014-15 season.
The regular season begins for all 15 ACC teams the weekend of November 11. In addition to an 18-game regular-season conference schedule, the 64th annual ACC Tournament will be played for the first time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, tipping off with first round games on Tuesday, March 7, and concluding with the Saturday night championship game on March 11,
ACC Operation Basketball 2016-17 Preseason Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
Team & Points
1. Duke (85) - 1359
2. North Carolina (6) - 1239
3. Virginia - 1125
4. Louisville - 1034
5. Syracuse - 905
6. NC State - 772
7. Notre Dame - 716
8. Florida State - 705
9. Miami - 650
10. Virginia Tech - 645
11. Clemson - 623
12. Pitt - 511
13. Wake Forest - 309
14. Georgia Tech - 199
15. Boston College – 128
2016-17 Preseason All-ACC Team
(votes in parenthesis)
First Team
Grayson Allen, Duke (87)
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson (70)
Joel Berry II, North Carolina (45)
London Perrantes, Virginia (36)
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (34)
Second Team
Justin Jackson, North Carolina (22)
Jayson Tatum, Duke (21)
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse (20)
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State (16)
Michael Young, Pitt (14)
ACC Preseason Player of the Year
Grayson Allen, Duke (70)
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson (7)
London Perrantes, Virginia (5)
Joel Berry II, North Carolina (5)
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (2)
Andrew White, Syracuse (1)
Davon Reed, Miami (1)
ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (51)
Jayson Tatum, Duke (20)
Harry Giles, Duke (10)
Tyus Battle, Syracuse (5)
VJ King, Louisville (2)
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State (2)
Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech (1)

Tatum Out Two Weeks With Sprain

dsc_0130DURHAM, N.C. – Duke men’s basketball freshman Jayson Tatum suffered a left foot sprain in practice on Tuesday.

The anticipated recovery time for this injury is two weeks. Tatum will not play in Duke’s exhibition games against Virginia State on Oct. 28 and Augustana on Nov. 4.

“This is the best possible news,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “It is a manageable injury that will not impact Jayson long-term. We look forward to having him back very soon.”

Duke opens the regular season when it hosts Marist on Nov. 11 as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off.


Harry Giles

Krzyzewski Says Harry Giles is Ahead of Schedule

Harry Giles
Harry Giles

While all of the Blue Devil Nation holds it's breath for new on star freshman forward Jayson Tatum's injury, there is some good news.

According to Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Harry Giles Jr. is coming along ahead of schedule.  Like Tatum, Giles is part of a stellar Blue Devils recruiting class that had helped make Duke the pre season's top rated team.

Krzyzewski appeared on ESPN Sports Center early this morning during the annual ACC Media Day in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“In Harry’s case, he had his knee scoped about three weeks ago, I think on Oct. 4,” Coach K said. “There was nothing structurally wrong with his knee. It wasn’t the knee that had the ACL, it was the one that he had a couple of years ago. He’s actually doing great. We feel very, very encouraged about him coming and playing, '' said Krzyzewski.

Meanwhile, the news on Tatum is wait and see.  Second opinions are being gathered and there will be a clearer picture at a later time.

“With Jayson, we’re not sure,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski stated Wednesday on SportsCenter. “It’s not nearly the injury that Harry has had. That’s still in an evaluation period. We’ll find out more today and hopefully it’s something minor.”

Tatum was injured yesterday during the Duke NBA Pro Day.


Jefferson Named Malone Award Canditate

dsc_0391-001SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Duke graduate student Amile Jefferson was named one of 20 candidates for the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award on Thursday in announcement by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The award is in its third year recognizing the top power forward in Division I men’s college basketball.

Jefferson has played in 115 games in a Duke uniform, making 68 starts and helping the Blue Devils capture the 2015 NCAA title.

The Philadelphia native started the first nine games of the 2015-16 season, averaging 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting .683 from the floor. After fracturing his right foot in December, he missed the final 27 games of the campaign.

Jefferson is one of the best offensive rebounders in Duke history and enters his final collegiate season ranked sixth on the program’s career chart with 277 offensive boards. He also has a career .624 field goal percentage, second-best in program history among players who have made at least 200 field goals.

In addition to his on-court exploits, Jefferson is the first player in program history to be named to the All-ACC Academic Team four times.

The Malone Award committee will narrow its watch list to 10 players by mid-February and a list of five finalists will be announced in March. The winner of the 2017 Karl Malone Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 7.

For more information on the Karl Malone Award, visit

2017 Karl Malone Award Candidates
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Ivan Rabb, California
Amile Jefferson, Duke
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
Yante Maten, Georgia
Carlton Bragg Jr., Kansas
Robert Carter, Maryland
Dedric Lawson, Memphis
Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Isaiah Hicks, North Carolina
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
Michael Young, Pittsburgh
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
Bennie Boatwright, Southern California
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Kris Jenkins, Villanova
Austin Nichols, Virginia
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin


Tatum Named to Julius Erving Watch List

 dsc_0130SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Duke freshman Jayson Tatum was named one of 20 candidates for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award on Wednesday in announcement by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The award is in its third year recognizing the top player in Division I men’s college basketball at the position played by Erving, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Tatum is the lone freshman on this year’s watch list.

Tatum was named both Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year and Gatorade Boys Basketball National Player of the Year in 2016 after averaging 29.5 points and 9.1 rebounds to lead Chaminade Prep to the Missouri Class 5A state title. He was a first-team USA Today All-USA and Naismith Trophy All-America selection in 2016, as well as a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Brand Classic participant.

The St. Louis native owns three gold medals as a member of the USA Basketball program: the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. In 19 games for his country, Tatum has posted averages of 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds.

The Erving Award committee will narrow its watch list to 10 players by mid-February and a list of five finalists will be announced in March. The winner of the 2017 Julius Erving Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 7.

For more information on the Julius Erving Award, visit


2017 Julius Erving Award Candidates

Evan Bradds, Belmont

Kelan Martin, Butler

Jarron Blossomgame, Clemson

Terry Larrier, Connecticut

Jayson Tatum, Duke

Dwayne Bacon, Florida State

OG Anunoby, Indiana

Deng Adel, Louisville

Justin Jackson, North Carolina

VJ Beachem, Notre Dame

Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State

Dillon Brooks, Oregon

Tres Tinkle, Oregon State

Vince Edwards, Purdue

Dikembe Dixson, Illinois-Chicago

Kevin Hervey, UT Arlington

Jalen Moore, Utah State

Josh Hart, Villanova

Markis McDuffie, Wichita State

Trevon Bluiett, Xavier


Big cheers for the team after their final drill.

Countdown To Craziness is Here

Big cheers for the team after their final drill.
Big cheers for the team after their final drill.

DURHAM, N.C. – The 2016-17 Duke men’s basketball team will get its first taste of game action on Saturday when the program hosts Countdown to Craziness presented by Delta Air Lines at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Countdown to Craziness presented by Delta Air Lines features a night of entertainment, games, engaging videos and on-court contests all leading up to the introduction of the 2016-17 Blue Devils, the unveiling of this season’s team poster and the annual Blue-White Scrimmage.

The festivities begin in Krzyzewskiville, adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium, where fans can enjoy various activities, music and games. Doors to Cameron open at 6 p.m. ET for students and 6:15 p.m. ET for the general public.

The Blue-White Scrimmage is set to tip off at approximately 8:25 p.m. ET.

A limited number of tickets to Countdown for Craziness remain available and can be purchased in person at the Duke Athletic Ticket Office in the Scott Family Athletics Performance Center, online at or over the phone by calling (919) 681-BLUE.

Fans who are unable to attend Countdown to Craziness have the opportunity to view the action live via ACC Network Extra as Ryan Craig and Chris Spatola provide commentary and analysis. ACC Network Extra is an Atlantic Coast Conference-dedicated live-events digital network available to authenticated subscribers of ESPN3 available on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

On the heels of a 25-win season and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2016, Duke welcomes back a veteran core led by graduate student Amile Jefferson, senior Matt Jones and junior All-American Grayson Allen for the 2016-17 campaign. The three veteran leaders were named captains for the 2016-17 season during the summer.

The Blue Devils also add one of the nation’s most heralded recruiting classes to the fold, a group of six headlined by center Marques Bolden, forward Harry Giles, guard Frank Jackson and forward Jayson Tatum.

Mike Krzyzewski is set for his 42nd season as a head coach and 37th at the helm of the Duke program after leading the U.S. Men’s National Team to its third consecutive gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Coach K wrapped up his tenure as the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach with an 88-1 record, including an active 76-game winning streak. He is the first coach – man or woman – to lead a country to three Olympic basketball gold medals.

The winningest coach in men’s college basketball history and the first Division I men’s coach to reach the 1,000-win mark, Coach K has a 1,043-321 overall record as a head coach and a 970-262 mark at Duke.

Duke will open the 2016-17 regular season when it welcomes Marist to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday, Nov. 11. Prior to the start of the regular season, Duke will host exhibition games against Virginia State on Oct. 28 and Augustana (S.D.) on Nov. 4.

Countdown to Craziness presented by Delta Air Lines Schedule of Events (subject to change)

6 p.m. – Doors open for students

6:15 p.m. – Doors open for general public

7:55 p.m. – National anthem

8 p.m. – Introduction of the 2016-17 Blue Devils

8:25 p.m. – Blue-White Scrimmage