Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Jabari

Duke Standout Freshman, Jabari Paker will enter the NBA Draft

JabariDURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Jabari Parker will enter the 2014 NBA Draft head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Thursday. Parker, a consensus first team All-America selection, joins Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011) and Austin Rivers (2012) as Blue Devil freshmen to enter the NBA Draft after just one year of college basketball. The four previous freshmen early entrees were each selected among the first 13 players in their respective drafts, including Irving, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

“Jabari could not have been better. He is the epitome of what you would want a basketball player to be – outstanding everyday on the practice court and in the classroom and a very humble young man,” said Krzyzewski. “He had a fantastic freshman year and is so deserving of the opportunity to play in the NBA and follow his dream. It was an honor for us to have him in our program and he will always be a part of our family here at Duke. We will be on the Jabari Parker team the rest of our lives and we know Jabari and his family will be on the Duke team for the rest of their lives.”

Parker led Duke to a 26-9 record, a 13-5 mark in conference play and a trip to the ACC Championship game last season. The 6-8, 235-pound forward from Chicago, Ill., averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 assists per game while setting or tying Duke freshman records for points (670), points per game, rebounds (306), double-doubles (14), free throws made (160), free throws attempted (214), dunks (61), double-figure scoring games (33), 20-point games (18) and double-doubles (14).

He received first team All-America honors from Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the Wooden Award. Additionally, Parker was also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award. The 2014 ACC Rookie of the Year, Parker is the 16th consensus first team All-America selection under Coach K and Duke’s first since Nolan Smith in 2010-11.

“Coming out of high school, I knew that Duke was going to be a great fit for me and it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life,” said Parker. “I cannot thank Coach K enough for all his love and guidance. I had the opportunity to pick his brain throughout the year and it really paid off. I have learned how to be a man on and off the court and to be strong mentally going into practices and games. I appreciate him for challenging me to be better each and every day.”

Parker also became the first Duke freshman (12th freshman in ACC history) to lead the team in scoring and rebounds. He closed out the year ranked fourth among ACC freshman all-time in scoring and 10th in rebound average. Parker and Joe Smith (Maryland) are the only two players to rank in the top 10 of both categories.

His top performance came on the biggest stage when he scored a career-high 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds in a March 8 win over North Carolina. The 30-point game was the fifth in school history by a freshman and the first since Kyrie Irving had 31 against Michigan State on Dec. 1, 2010. Parker’s 30-point effort was the most by a Duke freshman in the 238-game series history with North Carolina, breaking the previous freshman record of 29 points set by Austin Rivers on Feb. 8, 2012.

“Coach Capel and Jon [Scheyer] also really helped guide me throughout the year by serving as a father figure and/or big brother in helping me with things off the court,” Parker added. “That was really important for me without my family here. The entire coaching staff as well as the support staff is amazing and is a huge part in what make Duke such a special place. I could not have asked for a better environment to grow and develop this past year.”

Parker becomes the third Duke player in the last four years to enter the NBA Draft early and the 13th Blue Devil early entree candidate overall.

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Duke offers Henry Ellenson

ajrayno_1326135603_WallyEllensonThe Duke Blue Devils staff recently visited Henry Ellenson, a 6-9, 245 pound prospect from Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  The Blue Devils have long showed interest in Ellenson, a true post player who will play his AAU ball for Minnesota Pump N’ Run this summer.  The Duke staff has been heavy on the recruiting trail during the past few weeks and they will soon visit Brandon Ingram, another prospect from North Carolina in the near future.

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Duke drops in on Chase Jeter

1Coach K, along with two assistants, visited key 2015 recruit Chase Jeter on Thursday in Las Vegas. was a [private] short visit with the 6’10″ Bishop Gorman HS forward, too short to even watch him work out, but nevertheless was a bonding opportunity between Chase and the staff.  The Duke coaches know that they are close with Jeter, so this was far from a pressurized environment, despite the hopes of a commitment post-Luke Kennard committing earlier in the week per sources.  While Arizona in particular is still in the running, along with UCLA and Oregon, Duke has only solidified its leadership position with Jeter over the last month or so.  Jeter is still sticking to his previously-stated plan (see our previous interview) to commit in late April or early May, and with how comfortable he and his family are feeling with Duke, its staff, and the other players — and the bonding Chase did with Luke Kennard over the UNC weekend — it would be a big surprise at this point if Jeter does not become a Blue Devil.[/private]

Andre Dawkins to compete in 3-Point Shooting Contest

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke guard Andre Dawkins will participate in the State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships at 9 p.m. ET April 3 at Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Intersport announced today. The 26th annual event, which will air live on ESPN, features 24 of college basketball’s top dunkers and long-range shooters.

Individual elements of the contest include: Quicken Loans Men’s 3-Point Championship, Buick Women’s 3-Point Championship, Echo Battle of the Champions and Denny’s Slam Dunk Championship.

Dawkins will compete in the Quicken Loans Men’s 3-Point Championship after helping Duke to a 26-9 record this season. The Chesapeake, Va., native averaged 7.9 points per game, while shooting 42.1 percent (64-for-152) from three-point range. He finished his career ranked eighth on the Blue Devils’ all-time list with 231 triples and became the 63rd player at Duke to top 1,000 career points. Dawkins wrapped up his career ranked fifth in school history with a .410 (231-for-563) three-point field goal percentage.

One player already named to the Denny’s Slam Dunk Championship roster is Eastern Kentucky University forward Marcus Lewis, who won the State Farm Dark Horse Dunker competition. A five-week, bracket-style, elimination competition, 16 under-the-radar dunkers competed in this social media contest. Fans determined the winner by voting during each round at www.facebook.com/CollegeSlam.

Outstanding State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships alumni include: Gary Payton (Oregon State), Steve Nash (Santa Clara), Bobby Hurley (Duke), Allan Houston (Tennessee), Michael Finley (Wisconsin), Wesley Matthews (Marquette), Kyle Korver (Creighton), Damon Stoudamire (Arizona) and Jason Terry (Arizona).

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Duke Basketball – Not the End of the World as we know it

jjjjjWe’ve been conspicuously absent since Duke lost and the main reason was to let the dust clear. Duke Basketball has created a monster of a fan base these days and quite frankly, it’s hard to navigate the waters in the various social media forums without being berated with rants from spoiled fans or short sided criticism of the team and Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The bottom line is that by Duke standards, the Mercer loss was a disappointing end to the season, one where the team never quite came together. In fact, this past seasons team never seemed mentally tough enough to advance but they were all good stewards for Duke just the same.

Were there specific reasons for this team to fall short of expectations? Sure there was, but there are no simple answers and certainly not any one thing to point to in trying to explain a first round exit.

I suppose one can call me old these days and I am sure many think I am cranky. But age does add wisdom and what I see is a blip on the radar with concern to Duke’s performance.

Duke had a staggered roster that needed Jabari Parker to play more in the paint, but that is not his natural position. They tried to off set their short comings in the paint with their perimeter play, but that didn’t work as well as expected. In fact, Duke was very inconsistent with their backcourt play where every player on the roster contributed to the plight. The guards struggled mightily to prevent penetration. Oddly, they saved their best collective performance for last, but then the front court issues reared its head in the Mercer loss and or the lack of post scoring.

And one cannot under sell the fact that Coach Mike Krzyzewski suddenly had to deal with the loss of his beloved brother. And the timing of that happening in season and at Christmas simply cannot be overstated. You see! Coach K is as human as you and me, but he’s just accomplished more than most reading this ever will in their profession, making him seem super human at times.

It never fails. Any time Duke loses, the lunatic fringe or narrow thinking bunch comes out firing that he’s losing his touch. They point to the same old tired analogies that have gained steam over the years like an old wives tale gains more to the story as time passes and becomes a bastion of misquotes.

Please. Coach K is still the winningest coach in the history of the college game. He’s still got the touch and he’s still got the desire. Krzyzewski hit the recruiting trail running attending Luke Kennard’s announcement that he will attend Duke. And that wasn’t his only stop on the recruiting trail.  In short, it took the staff little time to start to rebuild and secure future players.

As Duke fans, most of you are very lucky to have chosen to root for a team with a living legend at the helm. And fortunately, there are still rational fans or those who appreciate the body of Krzyzewski’s  work and have the foresight not to judge him on a season or even two.

The truth of the matter is that most fans adopted Duke for they were consistent winners. The vast majority of Duke Basketball fans do not pull for the football program and that in a sense makes them bandwagon fans. Bandwagon fans are hard to please for they think it’s their birthright to win every game, every season and when this doesn’t happen, they ask what’s wrong.

Nothing is wrong folks, save a dose of reality. It’s not easy to win year in and year out. It’s not easy to win national titles or even ACC Championships, yet the Duke program has done so and if the “Balance God’s,” are listening, they gave the Blue Devils several breaks along the way for more success than pretty much every other fan base enjoys.

Yes. Most of you have become quite spoiled as fans.

Anyhow, let me get back on track here by saying there is always a lot going on behind the scenes and the margin for error in going out early in the NCAA’s is a small one in this day and time.  I mean, it’s not like any one program is dominating the scene at this time and you don’t have to look far to see other behemoths like Kansas and North Carolina are also at home seeking distractions until the season ends.

Duke Basketball is way too big to let one season bring them down. And it’s not like they didn’t get some big wins, but they simply fell short of goals and it happens.

Anyhow, some of you can go back to harping on one and done types, live in the 90′s and such. The truth of the matter is that it is simply a time for adjustment. That adjustment could be a few simple tweaks but there is no reason the believe they will not be made. Duke Basketball is alive and well, just a little wounded at the moment.

Tomorrow, Krzyzewski will address the media and you can bet that we’ll learn a lot more at that time. He’s always shared more after the season than in season and we can expect him to address many issues.

That said, stay tuned, for we’ll be here to bring you what he says.  Until then, some could take a step back and a look at the big picture and the success you’ve enjoyed from a team always being competitive at the highest level.  Some times, it’s simply your turn to lose.  It happens.  It’s real.  But it’s not the norm for Duke Basketball nor will there likely be another first round exit a season from now.

It’s not the End of the World for Duke Basketball

We’ve been conspicuously absent since Duke lost and the main reason was to let the dust clear. Duke Basketball has created a monster of a fan base these days and quite frankly, it’s hard to navigate the waters in the various social media forums without being berated with rants from spoiled fans or short sided criticism of the team and Coach Mike Krzyzewski. The bottom line is that by Duke standards, the Mercer loss was a disappointing end to the season, one where the team never quite came together. In fact, this past seasons team was never seemingly mentally tough enough to advance. Were there specific reasons of this team falling short of expectations? Sure there was, but there are no simple answers and certainly not any one thing to point to in trying to explain a first round exit. I suppose one can call me old these days and I am sure many think I am cranky. But age does add wisdom and what I see is a blip on the radar with concern to Duke’s performance. Duke had a staggered roster that needed Jabari Parker to play more in the paint, but that is not his natural position. They tried to off set their short comings in the paint with their perimeter play, but that didn’t work as well as expected. In fact, Duke was very inconsistent with their backcourt play where every player on the roster contributed to the plight. The guards struggled mightily to prevent penetration. Oddly, they saved their best collective performance for last, but then the front court issues reared its head in the Mercer loss. And one cannot under sell the fact that Coach Mike Krzyzewski suddenly had to deal with the loss of his beloved brother. And the timing of that happening in season and at Christmas simply cannot be overstated. You see! Coach K is as human as you and me, but he’s just accomplished more than most reading this ever will in their profession, making him seem like he’s super human at times. It never fails. Any time Duke loses, the lunatic fringe or narrow thinking bunch comes out firing that he’s losing his touch. They point to the same old tired analogies that have gained steam over the years like an old wives tale gains steam and becomes a bastion of misquotes. Please. Coach K is still the winningest coach in the history of the college game. He’s still got the touch and he’s still got the desire. Krzyzewski hit the recruiting trail running attending Luke Kennard’s announcement that he will attend Duke. And that wasn’t his only stop on the recruiting trail.  Kennard is a baller and a hard nosed competitor and Krzyzewski and his staff got a great start in his class where he’ll be a senior this coming season. As Duke fans, most of you are very lucky to have chosen to root for a team with a living legend at the helm. And fortunately, there are still rational fans, one who appreciates the body of his work and have the foresight not to judge him on a season or even two. The truth of the matter is that most fans adopted Duke for they were consistent winners. The vast majority of Duke Basketball fans do not pull for the football program and that in a sense makes them bandwagon fans.  And trust me.  When the day comes when Krzyzewski does retire, many will fall off the ship in droves.  Most of you weren’t around when Krzyzewski put in the hard work to revitalize the program when it was in the doldrums.  What I am saying is that he has built Duke into the winner they are today with blood, sweat and surely some occasional tears. And Bandwagon fans are hard to please for they think it’s their birthright to win every game, every season and when this doesn’t happen, they ask what’s wrong, each suddenly having all the answers and taking on the role of “Coach Couch.” Nothing is wrong folks, save a dose of reality. It’s not easy to win year in and year out. It’s not easy to win national titles or even ACC Championships, yet the Duke program has done so and if the “Balance God’s,” are listening, they gave the Blue Devils several breaks along the way for more success than pretty much every other fan base out there. Yes. Most of you have become quite spoiled as fans. Anyhow, let me get back on track here by saying there is always a lot going on behind the scenes and the margin for error in going out early in the NCAA’s is a small one in this day and time. I mean, it’s not like any one program is dominating the scene at this time and you don’t have to look far to see other behemoths like Kansas and North Carolina are also at home seeking distractions until the season ends. Duke Basketball is way too big to let one season bring them down. And it’s not like they didn’t get some big wins, but they simply fell short of goals and it happens. Anyhow, some of you can go back to harping on one and done types, live in the 90′s and such. The truth of the matter is that it is simply a time for adjustment. That adjustment could be a few simple tweaks but there is no reason the believe they will not be made. Duke Basketball is alive and well, just a little wounded at the moment. Tomorrow, Krzyzewski will address the media and you can bet that we’ll learn a lot more at that time. He’s always shared more after than season than in season and we can expect him to address many issues. That said, stay tuned, for we’ll be here to bring you what he says.  Until then, might I suggest some take a step back to realize how lucky you are to be a Duke fan.  When you are truly on board with your team, you accept their struggles and their joys.  Fortunately for the Duke fan base, we know which of those occurs most often.  The balance of things in the college basketball world have clearly been in the corner of Duke for decades, putting the program in the fortunate rare air all want to breath.