Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Cook

UNC at Duke Game Notes

CookOpening Tip

• Duke (22-3, 9-3) hosts North Carolina (18-7, 8-4) Wednesday, Feb. 18 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tipoff is set for 9:10 p.m. with ESPN and the ACC Network televising the contest.

• The Blue Devils enter the game ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Duke is 71-15 when ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll.

• North Carolina enters the game ranked No. 15 in the AP Poll and No. 16 in the Coaches Poll. Duke is 12-8 all-time against the No. 15 team in the AP Poll.

• Duke and Kansas are the only teams in the NCAA to rank in the top 10 of the AP Poll (No. 4), USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 5), Ratings Percentage Index (No. 5) and Strength of Schedule (No. 9).

• Duke is 9-2 against teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI, including a 3-0 mark against teams ranked in the top 10. North Carolina enters Wednesday’s contest ranked No. 10 in the RPI.

• The Blue Devils are 5-1 on the year against ranked opponents, including a 4-1 mark against teams ranked in the top 10.

Last Time Out

• Duke is coming off an 80-72 road win over Syracuse Saturday as Jahlil Okafor recorded his ninth double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Okafor went 10-of-15 from the field, including 7-of-7 in the second half of play.

• Quinn Cook added 17 points and five assists in the win with Justise Winslow (12) and Tyus Jones (11) also scoring in double figures.

• The Blue Devils shot a season-high 86.4 percent (19-of-21) from the free throw line, including 12-of-12 in the final five minutes of play.

• Duke trailed by as many as 11 points in the opening half of play before using a 26-7 run over an eight-minute span midway through the game to gain control.

• Duke’s bench outscored the Orange, 15-0, with Matt Jones leading the way with eight points.

By the numbers

• Jahlil Okafor leads the team in scoring (18.2 ppg.), rebounds (9.3 rpg.) and field goal percentage (.665). He is attempting to become the first freshman to lead Duke in all three categories.

• Quinn Cook is averaging a career-high 14.8 points per game while also posting career bests in field goal percentage (.454), three-point percentage (.392), three-point field goals (2.60 3pg.) and free throw percentage (.908).

• Duke is the only team in the NCAA with three freshmen averaging double figures in scoring. Jahlil Okafor (18.2 ppg.), Justise Winslow (11.4 ppg.) and Tyus Jones (11.3 ppg.) combine for 40.9 points per game (50.9 percent of Duke scoring).

• Freshmen Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow have started all 25 games. Mike Krzyzewski has started three or more freshmen in a game 60 times at Duke (including 27 times in 1982-83).

• A freshman has led the Blue Devils in scoring in 18 of 25 games. Jahlil Okafor has paced the offensive attack 11 times, while Tyus Jones (5) and Justise Winslow (2) have also led Duke in scoring multiple times. The rookie trio has also accounted for 15 of Duke’s 17 20-point games on the year (Okafor 10, Jones 4, Winslow 1).

• Quinn Cook has made at least one three-point field goal in each of the past 35 games, tied for the second-longest streak in Duke history. He is shooting 40.1 percent (87-of-217) from behind the arc in that stretch.

• Duke’s starting backcourt of Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones has combined to shoot 88.6 percent (155-of-175) from the free throw line. Over the past 15 contests, Cook is 42-of-46 (.913) and Jones is 64-of-70 (.914) from the charity stripe.

• Justise Winslow has scored in double figures in each of the past six games and is averaging 14.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2 percent (27-of-56) from the field in that span.

• Jahlil Okafor leads the ACC and ranks sixth nationally with a .665 field goal percentage (187-of-281). He has shot 70 percent or better from the field 15 times on the year and is 24-of-31 (.774) from the field over the past three games.

• Tyus Jones has scored in double figures in eight of the past nine games and is averaging 14.8 points and 6.0 assists per game in that span. He is 39-of-83 (.470) from the field, including 16-of-33 (.485) from three-point range, over the past nine contests.

• Quinn Cook is one three-point field goal shy of becoming the 14th player in Duke history with 200 or more three-point field goals. He has made 185 of his treys over the past three seasons.

• Duke leads the ACC in scoring at 80.3 points per game. The Blue Devils are looking to pace the conference in scoring in back-to-back years for the first time since finishing atop the league scoring charts from 1997-2003.

• Duke is averaging 87.8 points per game on 53.6 percent shooting from the field, including 61.2 percent (278-of-454) from two-point range, over 11 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils have scored 80 or more points in a game eight times at home this season.

• Jahlil Okafor is averaging a team-high 20.7 points per game in Duke’s 12 home contests. He is 102-of-146 (.699) from the field with seven 20-point games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

• Duke is 11-1 at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season and has lost more than one game at home just twice over the past 14 seasons.

Jones vs NCS

Duke Faces Their Emotion

Jones vs NCS

The Blue Devils came through with a win over Syracuse in a packed Carrier Dome to push their season record to 22-3. By winning, Duke is currently guaranteed a much sought after bye in the fast approaching ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils continue to build a solid resume for the NCAA Tournament as well, but now must take on their arch-rival North Carolina this Wednesday night at 9:00. In fact, the Blue Devils will take on the Tar Heels two times in their final six games. Looking back at the win over Syracuse, one has to be impressed.

With the Orange electing not to participate in the tournaments, the Duke game was their Super Bowl. Duke won in a hostile environment similar to the kind of atmosphere that can be presented in March Madness. Duke continues to mature as a team with a line-up where half the roster are freshmen. The Blue Devils also seemed to have learned from earlier back-to-back defeats to N.C. State and Miami earlier this season, but there still could be lessons to be learned and Mike Krzyzewski is well aware of that.

The young Blue Devils will need leadership and advice from captains Quinn Cook and Amile Jefferson before facing North Carolina. The reason is the many intangibles involved with this game that, for the most part, go unnoticed by the fan base. This will be the first time the Duke freshmen have played in such a big game. Waiting around all day while hearing nonstop hype for a 9:00 tip-off can be a challenge. Being around a most crazed atmosphere in tent city leading up to the big game can be as well.

While this is a fun game for the fan base, it is a worry fest for the coaching staff who has to make sure their team doesn't spend emotion before the game. You can get so pumped up for this game, that you have tired legs by the second half. The staff even controls how the team warms up, attempting to slow down their pulse in the best crowd atmosphere on game day anywhere on the planet.

And then there is the one thing Duke cannot control: that being the emotion of the North Carolina Tar Heels. This is their biggest game to date as well and they are deep and talented. It is no secret that teams rise to the occasion of a challenge and records go out the door in rivalry games. Strange things can happen and unsung players can step up and play their best career games.

As for the Tar Heels, they need a win to have hopes of a bye in the ACC Tournament. And after losing to Pitt on the road and the recent passing of legendary coach Dean Smith, is there any doubt they will come to play? Of course they will.  They always do in this game, as does Duke.

The Blue Devils need to protect their home court but this is the grand challenge for the remainder of their home schedule. Duke is down to a mere six games before tournament basketball. It will be interesting on many levels to see how they fare against their arch rivals this week.

During his weekly television show, Mike Krzyzewski said his team would grow from the match-up with UNC, win or lose. Having seen every match-up between these two since his tenure at Duke began, I agree.

This week Duke will learn a lot about itself from a team perspective. They'll also have to put this game behind them to face Clemson this weekend. With the challenges ahead, the staff and the nation will learn much more about the team. If Duke can come away with two key victories on their home court, the season will have lined up well for the final four games.

Another thing to watch for is the reality of the rivalry game. Despite what fans on both sides think, it will be hard-fought and close. Trust me in saying that either coach would gladly take a single digit win. We can expect another epic battle come Wednesday. North Carolina is hungry and riding the emotion of the passing of one of their beloved. Duke is trying to prove they can handle the pressure despite having a team where three freshmen start against a more veteran team. Like anyone reading this, I can't wait to see what happens.

Cook vs NCS

Duke at Florida State Game Notes

Cook vs NCS
Duke (20-3, 7-3) at Florida State (13-11, 5-6)

Monday, February 9, 2015 • 7:01 p.m. • ESPN

Tallahassee, Fla. • Donald L. Tucker Center

OPENING TIP

• Duke (20-3, 7-3) travels to Tallahassee to face Florida State (13-11, 5-6) Monday, Feb. 9 at the
Donald L. Tucker Center. Tipoff is set for 7:01 p.m. with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Shane Battier (analyst) and Allison Williams (sideline) calling the action for ESPN.

• The Blue Devils enter the game ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Duke is 69-15 when ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll. Florida State is unranked in both polls.

• Duke, Kansas and Virginia are the only teams in the NCAA to rank in the top 10 of the AP Poll (No. 4), USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 5), Ratings Percentage Index (No. 5) and Strength of Schedule (No. 6).
• Monday’s game marks Duke’s second appearance on ESPN Big Monday. The Blue Devils topped Pittsburgh, 79-65, Jan. 19 in the other outing.

LAST TIME OUT

Duke recorded its fourth win over an AP top-10 opponent with a 90-60 rout of No. 10 Notre Dame Saturday. The Blue Devils used a 43-7 first half run to race out to a 50-24 halftime lead.

• Justise Winslow recorded his third consecutive double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four assists and two blocks.

• Jahlil Okafor posted a game-high 20 points and added 10 rebounds for his team-leading eighth double-double, while Matt Jones (17) and Tyus Jones (12) also scored in double figures.

• Duke went 17-of-21 (.810) from the field, including 7-of-8 (.875) from three-point range, in the opening half to match the third-best shooting half in school history.

• Duke’s 30-point margin of victory is the fourth highest against an AP top-10 opponent in program history.

BY THE NUMBERS

• Duke is one of six teams in the NCAA shooting 50 percent or better from the fi eld. The Blue Devils
have shot better than 50 percent from the field 11 times this year.

• Jahlil Okafor has scored in double figures in 23 straight games to match Johnny Dawkins for the longest double-digit scoring streak by a Duke freshman.

• Quinn Cook is averaging a career-high 14.2 points per game while also posting career bests in field goal percentage (.451), three-point percentage (.393), three-point field goals (2.57 3pg.) and free throw percentage (.920).

• Justise Winslow has recorded a double-double in three  consecutive games marking the eighth time at Duke a freshman has accomplished that feat. He is averaging 16.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals per game in that span.

• Duke is the only team in the NCAA with three freshmen averaging double figures in scoring. Jahlil Okafor (18.2 ppg.), Justise Winslow  (11.4 ppg.) and Tyus Jones (11.1 ppg.) combine for 40.6 points per game (50.4 percent of Duke scoring).

• Freshmen Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow have started all 23 games. Mike Krzyzewski has started three or more freshmen in a game 58 times at Duke (including 27 times in 1982-83).

• A freshman has led the Blue Devils in scoring in 17 of 23 games. Jahlil Okafor has paced the offensive attack 10 times, while Tyus Jones (5) and Justise Winslow (2) have also led Duke in scoring multiple times. The rookie trio has also accounted for 14 of Duke’s 15 20-point games on the year (Okafor 9, Jones 4, Winslow 1).

• Quinn Cook has made at least one three-point field goal in each of the past 33 games, tied for the fourth-longest streak in Duke history. He is shooting 40.3 percent (81-of-201) from behind the arc in that stretch.

• Duke’s starting backcourt of Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones has combined to shoot 88.3 percent (136-of-154) from the free throw line. Over the past 13 contests, Cook is 29-of-31 (.935) and Jones
is 58-of-64 (.906) from the charity stripe.

• Matt Jones has come off the bench to average 12.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game over the past three contests. He is 14-of-27 (.519) from the field, including 5-of-12 (.417) from three-point range in that span.

• Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones combined for 12 assists with no turnovers in Duke’s win over No. 10 Notre Dame Saturday. The guard duo averages 7.8 assists per game with a 2.69:1 assist-to-turnover ratio on the season.

• Jahlil Okafor leads the ACC and ranks seventh nationally with a .659 fi eld goal percentage (172-
of-261). He has shot 70 percent or better from the field 13 times on the year.

• Tyus Jones has scored in double fi gures in six of the past seven games and is averaging 15.1 points and 5.1 assists per game in that span. He is 30-of-62 (.484) from the fi eld, including 13-of-28 (.464) from three-point range, over the past seven contests.

• Including Monday’s game, Duke has been ranked in the top 25 of the AP Poll in 32 consecutive meetings with Florida State. The Blue Devils have been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll 31 times
during that span.

• Duke has played in front of a sellout crowd in 19 of its 23 contests this season.

Jahlil

Duke Basketball Notebook

JahlilThe Duke Blue Devils pushed their season record to 20-2 with a rollicking 90-60 win over Notre Dame.  Cameron was rocking as the Blue Devils played their best game of the season both on offense and defense.

Duke has been playing with a new-found chemistry after the dismissal of junior guard Rasheed Sulaimoin.  So far, the team has not shown any signs of having just eight scholarship players on the roster as hindering their set goals.

It's been a great sequence of events for Duke of late, on and off the court.  With Mike Krzyzewski winning his 1000th game and passing the legendary Dean Smith for the most ACC wins, there have been worthy celebrations.  But you can bet that Krzyzewski has quickly put to bed those honors and focused back in on the job at hand.

What the nation will watch for tonight is if the Blue Devils can put their impressive win over the Irish behind them quickly.  The reason is an incredibly short turn around where they travel to Florida to take on the Seminoles.  Florida State is a team that has notoriously played the Blue Devils tough in their venue.  And the Blue Devils have to show that they can get up for the middle teams of the ACC as they do big games.

I expect the Blue Devils to have enough left in the tank to take care of business in Tallahassee.  They can give their maximum effort having five days before they travel to Syracuse at weeks end.  As for the Syracuse, you can bet that the Duke game at home has become their Super Bowl.  The reason, of course, being their recent self imposed sanction to not participate in the tournament.

Krzyzewski has a way of setting short team goals for his team and this will surely prove to be another interesting week.  He knows Duke needs ACC wins to get back into the regular season race.  Before the recent Justin Anderson injury this seemed like a tall task.  The reason being the Blue Devils play a much tougher schedule than do the Virginia Cavaliers.  One must remember, there is no round robin in ACC play.

Whether or not the Blue Devils are to win the regular season, they have built quite the resume with stellar road wins which should be beneficial when the NCAA pairings are announced.  But there is the ACC Tournament which is quite obviously loaded with hungry teams like never before.  The Blue Devils next home game is against arch rival North Carolina.  As usual, the two teams play twice and do not met until late in the season.

The season has its ebbs and flows and the Blue Devils are the only team in the nation so dependent on three freshman starters.  No matter how talented the trio of Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones are, they are still young and still learning.  But the emergence of Matt Jones and the steady and unselfish play of Amile Jefferson has been a major key to recent success for Duke.  And then there is Quinn Cook who continues to play smarter basketball and show leadership which is always needed.  Cook and Jones have taken on a can-do attitude of late, while Jefferson has sacrificed personal stats for team stats.

Duke Basketball is in a good place right now and one where they need to take it one game at a time.  They've come together as a team and are playing great basketball since their incredible comeback victory at Virginia.  But the ACC is unforgiving and the proof lies in earlier losses to Miami an N.C. State.

If Duke comes out of tonight with a win over Florida State, a team that will make this their biggest home game of the season, it will show they've learned even more as a team.  The Noles will be hungry and bring their A game and Duke needs another ACC win to stay in the race.  Don't expect another 30 point win for it just doesn't work like that, but just getting the win is the key tonight and a challenge I think the Blue Devils will meet.

marshall

Georgia Tech at Duke Game Notes

marshallDuke (18-3, 5-3) at Georgia Tech (10-11, 1-8)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 • 7:01 p.m. • ESPN2

Durham, N.C. • Cameron Indoor Stadium

The Opening Tip

• Duke (18-3, 5-3) hosts Georgia Tech (10-11, 1-8) Wednesday, Feb. 4 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tipoff is set for 7:01 p.m. with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Dick Vitale (analyst) calling the action for ESPN2.

• The Blue Devils enter the game ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Duke is 67-15 when ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll. Georgia Tech is unranked in both polls.

• Duke is the only team in the NCAA to rank in the top 5 of the AP Poll (No. 4), USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 5), Ratings Percentage Index (No. 5) and Strength of Schedule (No. 5).

• Mike Krzyzewski is one ACC win shy of passing Dean Smith for most conference wins in league history. Krzyzewski is 422-169 at Duke against ACC opponents.

Last Time Out

• Duke scored on 14 of its last 15 possessions to overcome an 11-point second half deficit en route to a 69-63 win at previously undefeated and second-ranked Virginia Saturday.

• Tyus Jones scored a game-high 17 points, including a game-clinching three-point field goal with 10.4 seconds remaining. He also had four rebounds and four assists in the win.

• Justise Winslow posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Quinn Cook went 3-of-4 from three-point range en route to a 15-point night.

• Jahlil Okafor added 10 points, nine rebounds (six offensive rebounds), three assists and two steals against the Cavaliers.

• Duke missed its first nine three-point field goal attempts before going 6-of-8 from long distance over the final six minutes of play.

By the numbers

• Duke is 9-1 at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season and has lost more than one game at home twice over the past 14 seasons.

• Jahlil Okafor has scored in double figures in 21 straight games, the second-longest double-digit scoring streak by a freshman at Duke. Johnny Dawkins holds the top mark after scoring 10 or more points in the first 23 games of his career.

• Quinn Cook is averaging a career-high 14.4 points per game while also posting career bests in field goal percentage (.455), three-point field goals (2.67 3pg.) and free throw percentage (.933).

• Tyus Jones is averaging 18.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game over the past four contests. He is 22-of-43 (.512) from the field, including 9-of-19 (.474) from three-point range, and 22-of-24 (.917) from the free throw line in that stretch.

• Jahlil Okafor is averaging 21.4 points per game on 71.5 percent (88-of-123) shooting over 10 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. He has recorded six of his team-leading eight 20-point games in front of the home crowd.

• A freshman has led the Blue Devils in scoring in 16 of 21 games. Jahlil Okafor has paced the offensive attack nine times, while Tyus Jones (5) and Justise Winslow (2) have also led Duke in scoring multiple times. The rookie trio has also accounted for 13 of Duke’s 14 20-point games on the year (Okafor 8, Jones 4, Winslow 1).

• Duke is the only team in the NCAA with three freshmen averaging double figures in scoring. Jahlil Okafor (18.3 ppg.), Tyus Jones (11.2 ppg.) and Justise Winslow (10.9 ppg.) combine for 40.4 points per game (50.1 percent of Duke scoring).

• Freshmen Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow have started all 21 games. Mike Krzyzewski has started three or more freshmen in a game 56 times at Duke (including 27 times in 1982-83).

• Quinn Cook has made at least one three-point field goal in each of the past 31 games. He is shooting 41.1 percent (78-of-190) from behind the arc in that stretch. Cook is tied for second in the ACC in three-point field goals (2.67 3pg.) and fifth in three-point percentage (.403) this season.

• Duke’s starting backcourt of Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones combines to shoot 90.1 percent (127-of-141) from the free throw line on the year. Over the past 12 contests, Cook is 29-of-31 (.935) and Jones is 54-of-58 (.931) from the charity stripe.

• Jahlil Okafor (86) and Amile Jefferson (59) have combined for 145 of Duke’s 257 offensive rebounds. Okafor leads the ACC with 4.10 orpg., while Jefferson is tied for seventh at 2.81 orpg. Okafor has collected five or more offensive rebounds in a game eight times, including each of the past three games.

• Duke is shooting 53.7 percent (318-of-592) from the field, including 62.0 percent (235-of-379) from two-point range, through 10 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils have shot better than 50.0 percent from the field in seven of 10 home contests.

• Justise Winslow is averaging 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds over the past two contests. He recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday’s win at Virginia.

• Jahlil Okafor was named ACC Rookie of the Week for the eighth time Monday. The league record for ACC ROTW citations is 10 (Kenny Anderson, Tyler Hansbrough and Jabari Parker).