Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Vernon Carey is the NABC Freshman POY

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke's Vernon Carey Jr., has been named the National Freshman of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Carey becomes the third consecutive Blue Devil to be honored as the NABC Freshman of the Year, joining Marvin Bagley III in 2018 and Zion Williamson in 2019. Duke has accounted for three of the four winners of the award since its inception in 2017. The Miami, Fla., native was also selected to receive the Wayman Tisdale Award as the USBWA Freshman of the Year.

The consensus second-team All-American and ACC Freshman of the Year, Carey was the only player ranked in the ACC's top 10 in scoring (third, 17.8), rebounding (fourth, 8.8), field goal percentage (first, .577) and blocked shots (sixth, 1.6). He posted 15 double-doubles on the season, which ranked second among NCAA freshmen and second in the ACC. Ten of his double-doubles were 20-10 performances, while 14 came as 15-10 games. Carey was second nationally among freshmen in scoring, third in field goal percentage and fourth in rebounds.

The NABC Freshman of the Year honor comes as the latest postseason recognition for the Duke big man. In addition to receiving the Wayman Tisdale Award, Carey was named the USBWA District III Player of the Year and a consensus second-team All-America selection. He is a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. Carey helped lead the Blue Devils to a 25-6 overall record and 15-5 mark in the ACC.

Dayton boasted the 2020 NABC Player (Obi Toppin) and Coach (Anthony Grant) of the Year. Iowa's Luka Garza earned honors as the NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, while Udoka Azubuike of Kansas was named the NABC Defensive Player of the Year.

Duke Basketball Awards Announced

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke sophomore Tre Jones and freshman Vernon Carey Jr., have been named the recipients of the 2020 Swett-Baylin Most Valuable Player Award, as the Duke men's basketball program announced its annual awards. The awards are traditionally handed out at the team's annual postseason banquet, which was canceled this season.

The pair of Jones and Carey were highly-decorated as Jones was named both the ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year and earned multiple All-America honors, while Carey was honored as the USBWA National Freshman of the Year, the ACC Freshman of the Year and a consensus second-team All-America pick.

Carey is the ninth freshmen to receive at least a share of team MVP honors under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, joining Johnny Dawkins (1983), Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016), Jayson Tatum (2017), Marvin Bagley III (2018) and RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson last season. A freshman has won or shared the trophy in seven consecutive seasons.

Jones also earned the Iron Duke Award, presented to the Blue Devil that logged the most minutes in 2019-20 (1,028), with Carey also earning the awards for both the highest rebounding average (8.8) and the team's best field goal percentage (.577).

Graduate student Justin Robinson was the recipient of the Glenn E. "Ted" Mann Award, given to the reserve who most contributed to team morale throughout the season. Robinson and Jones, along with seniors Javin DeLaurier and Jack White, earned the Bill Krzyzewski Captains' Award, bestowed upon the team captains. White also claimed the Dr. Deryl Hart Award as the team's top scholar-athlete for the second straight year.

Junior Jordan Goldwire was presented the Pagliuca Family Coach's Award, given to the player that best exemplified the commitment and values of Duke Basketball.

Goldwire and Jones shared the team's Defensive Player of the Year honor, while Jones was also presented the award for having the team's most assists (185). Freshman Wendell Moore Jr., earned the team's best free throw percentage plaque (.806).

Receiving the Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award were Ronald DombroskiNeb TibebuMichael Scheinert and Jack TauberGrace Gutierrez was the recipient of the Harry Rainey Spirit Award, while Sam Lester was named the recipient of the Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award.

2019-20 Duke Men's Basketball Award Winners

Swett-Baylin Award (Most Valuable Player): Vernon Carey Jr., Tre Jones

Dr. Deryl Hart Award (Top Scholar-Athlete): Jack White

Pagliuca Family Coach's Award (Commitment and Values): Jordan Goldwire

Glenn E. "Ted" Mann Award (Contribution to Team Morale): Justin Robinson

Iron Duke Award (Most Minutes Played): Tre Jones

Bill Krzyzewski Captains' Award: Javin DeLaurier, Tre Jones, Justin Robinson, Jack White

Best Field Goal Percentage: Vernon Carey Jr.

Best Free Throw Percentage: Wendell Moore Jr.

Best Rebound Average: Vernon Carey Jr.

Most Assists Award: Tre Jones

Best Defensive Player: Jordan Goldwire, Tre Jones

Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award: Ronald Dombroski, Neb Tibebu, Michael Scheinert and Jack Tauber

Harry Rainey Spirit Award: Grace Gutierrez

Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award: Sam Lester

Duke Finds a Fit in Patrick Tape’

The one thing the Duke men's basketball staff does before offering a transfer is their due diligence. There have only been six transfers in the Coach Mike Krzyzewski era. A week ago everyone had Duke involved with Harvard's Seth Towns and Yales Jordan Bruner. But both, whole talented, are small forwards.

Earlier this evening Duke got a commitment from Patrick Tape who played for the Columbia Lions a season ago. And it was a perfect fit for Duke which beat out Arizona. Maryland, Ohio State and Syracuse for his service.

Tape immediately gives Duke some much-needed post depth where Vernon Carey will soon take his game to the NBA. The Blue Devils also lost the service of seniors Jack White and Javin DeLaurier.

Duke will now have another player to work in the frontcourt with incoming freshman Mark Williams. Before the signing of Tape, it appeared Matthew Hurt would have to play more inside, but now he can play inside out or the stretch position on next seasons team.

One of the things you see when watching film on Tape is that is is a true post player. He is tall at 6-10 and a sturdy 230 pounds and he is physical around the rim.

Many people likely do not know that Tape had a single offer coming out of high school. Yet when he hit the market where players are not allowed to play a fifth year at an Ivy League school. the bluebloods lined up.

That is a testament to how much Tape improved and that big bodies are a commodity. And there is a reason Mike Krzyzewski liked what he saw in Tape -- that being he plays defense.

When asked what the strength of his game was by Jamie Shaw or Phenom Hoops, Tape replied,  "I would say that I am a low post threat, high energy guy. I am looking to expand to the perimeter more, but always looking to get better."

The Blue Devils could be done for the recruiting season if the players expected to leave and return stay as it is right now. You can learn more about that by joining Blue Devil Nation Premium during our one-year special where we break down what we expect to happen.

I think we will see in time that the Blue Devils did their due diligence finding a player that should fit well on the roster.

Photo- Getty Images

Blue Devils Add Grad Transfer Patrick Tape

Patrick Tape, a transfer from Columbia, has one year of eligibility left, and he chose to use it by playing for the Duke Blue Devils.

Tape averaged 11.3 ppg to go with 5.9 rebounds and 1 block per game for Columbia. He stands 6-10, 230 pounds will give the Blue Devils some depth in the post position.

Proximity played a role in his decision, where Tape is from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tape spoke with ESPN saying, "It was really just being close to home and having my family come see me, the excellent tradition they have there, and the opportunity to play for the best coach of all time," 

Duke is expected to lose Vernon Carey Jr. to the NBA and is already down two frontcourt players due to graduation in Jack White and Javin DeLaurier.

The word on Tape is that he developed into a solid post presence and rim protector. He is aggressive and physical but rarely if ever shoots from the perimeter.

Tre Jones, One of Four Finalist for National DPOY

ATLANTA, Ga. – Duke sophomore guard Tre Jones has been named one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award, presented annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The finalists include Jones, Marcus Garrett (Kansas), Ashton Hagans (Kentucky) and Mark Vital (Baylor) and were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's board of selectors, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, who based their selections on outstanding on-court defensive performances during the 2019-20 regular college basketball season.

The winner is scheduled to be announced on April 1 and honored with a ceremony at a later date.

Named both the ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, and an Associated Press All-American, Jones was the floor general for the Blue Devils, who finished 25-6 and 15-5 in the ACC. The sophomore team captain, who is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and the John R. Wooden Award, ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring (16.2), second in assists (6.4), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (+2.4), sixth in steals (1.8) and 11th in field goal percentage (.423). He was the only player ranked in the league's top 11 in each of those categories.

"Each of these finalists enjoyed an incredible season, and all of them deserve to be a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "Their tenacity embodies the spirit of this award, and although we won't see them in postseason play, we believe it is important to still honor their accomplishments."

No program in college basketball has won more Naismith Defensive Player of the Year trophies than Duke's nine, which have been won by six different Blue Devils. Shelden Williams was the last Duke winner, claiming the award in 2005 and 2006.

Alex O’Connell Enters the Transfer Portal

Duke shooting guard Alex O'Connell has entered his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal. O'Connell has one season of eligibility left and will likely seek a place where he will get more playing time.

O'Connell, Georgia native averaged 13.3 minutes per contest this season averaging 5.2 PPG. 2.2 RPG during his junior season at Duke. He started six games for the Blue Devils.

"These past three years have been filled with nothing but blessings and love from Duke," stated O'Connell on his decision. He continued, "However, I will be opening my recruitment and exploring other options. I want to thank all of the Duke fans and crazies as well as the Duke coaches and staff."

Blue Devil Nation members were told of some pending moves and we are now seeing the offseason develop quickly.

The Blue Devils also lost the services of Tre Jones who elected to put his name in the NBA Draft. Vernon Carey Jr. is expected by many to follow Jones and Cassius Stanley is analyzing his situation.

Duke also loses three seniors in Javin DeLaurier, Jack White and Justin Robinson. If the numbers remain as is, that is six roster players departing.

The Blue Devils have a six-man recruiting class coming in and they're kicking the wheels on possible incoming transfers. For more on recruiting, join Blue Devil Nation Premium.

O'Connell showed flashes of a much-improved game this season. He was physical with the ball and threw down a career-high nine dunks. The Blue Devil Nation wish Alex all the best and we'll be keeping an eye on his career.