Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Frank Jacson helped key a 9-0 Duke run as they defeated Michigan State 78-69 in Cameron.

Second Half Run Helps Duke defeat Michigan State

Frank Jacson helped key a 9-0 Duke run as they defeated Michigan State 78-69 in Cameron.
Frank Jacson helped key a 9-0 Duke run as they defeated Michigan State 78-69 in Cameron.

The Duke Blue Devils came away with a hard-fought 78-69 victory over Michigan State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday evening.  With a late start it was actually Wednesday before Mike Krzyzewski took to the podium.

''Cameron was electric, it was so darn good and both teams responded to it,'' said Krzyzewski.  And he was right for the old girl erupted when Duke went on a 9-0 run in the second half after being tied at the half.

Grayson Allen led the way for Duke is scoring where he tallied a game high 24 points.  ''Just so you know Grayson does not practice one second, so when he is out on that court, it is a gutsy performance,'' said a frustrated Krzyzewski.

As it turns out, Duke has not been able to hold full practices with a bundle of injuries, some of which have sidelined three of the lands top freshman.

'Our older guys know how to win when they're tired they don;t give up the ship. the white flag does not come up., said Krzyzewski after he praised Matt Jones defense and the play of the ever consistent Amile Jefferson who had another double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The difference in this game was the Blue lmental and physical toughness but it still got help from freshman Frank Jackson.  The first year product scored 11 points, 6 of them coming during stretch that allowed the crowd to get in the game during a run.

It appeared that Krzyzewski felt his team has been under appreciated.  And it has to be frustrating to field constant questions on when freshman will return and or view articles geared towards that than his teams play.  That showed as he spoke to Matt Jones play.

''He is one of he best defenders in the country and we pout him on every outstanding player we play against.  But nobody notices that.''  Krzyzewski continued saying, ''He has a spectacular 2 point performance tonight.  When you all about winning you are super important and Matt Jones is all about winning, he's a beautiful kid. and  great leader for us,''

Also learned this evening is that Luke Kennard had worn a boot for six weeks before healing.  ''He's been as consistently good as anybody on our team.  Kennard, the Blue Devils leading scorer, hit a huge three and then grabbed a key defensive rebound on his way to 20 points.

Duke played just six players in their win which pushed their season reord to 7-1.  Duke will next take on Maine in Cameron  on December the 3rd.

Duke moves to 16-2 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge which is clearly the best record of any paticipating school.  Amile Jefferson has his fourth double-double in scoring and rebounding in eight games.

Wendell Carter picks Duke with his own video on twitter this morning.

That Kid Carter – Wendell Carter is a Blue Devil

Wendell Carter picks Duke with his own video on twitter this morning.
Wendell Carter picks Duke with his own video 

To nobodies real surprise, Wendell Carter made his decision to play basketball at Duke University official this morning.  An imposing big man who stands 6-10 with strong physical play, Carter is a sure thing at the collegiate level.

The Blue Devils had been on Carter for well over a year, where Jeff Capel took the lead assistant role in the process.  And there was no shortage of Coach Mike Krzyzewski making his intent known all along.

Carter had long been thought a Duke lean despite some flirtation with Harvard coached by former Blue Devil coach and player, Tommy Amaker.  Other big time schools did not bother even ringing his doorbell past a certain point feeling he was just too good of a fit for the Blue Devils.

Trent and Wendell Carter are friends.
Trent and Wendell Carter are friends.

The writing was on the wall even more-so when Gary Trent Jr. selected the Blue Devils.  The two were and always have been a package deal and look forward to playing with one another.  This was also another case of how Krzyzewski's USA Basketball connections helped once again, for both were mainstays in the youth program for the country.

Carter averaged 21.6 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.5 blocks, leading his team to a state title at Pace Academy last season.  During the camp season he played for CP3 in the Nike EYBL Circuit and had numbers of 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in a system where you play lesser minutes.

Having seen Carter play over the years, I can tell you that he's a baller.  He's likely a power forward but can play center.  He's big, long and imposing with solid basketball instincts.  Carter is simply  beast to be arround the rim where his presence alters shots.  He can drain a jump shot or put the ball on the floor to score and finishes strong around the basket.

Carter should flourish in the Duke system where he will likely be playing with some solid perimeter guys.  The Blue Devils might return Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard while adding Trent and others before others before the recruiting period is said and done.

The Blue Devils will now turn their attention to Kevin Knox, Matt Coleman and Mohamed Bamba.  And who knows, another player could be in the mix before all is said and done.

In closing, Duke got one of the best big men in the country to join Gary Trent and Alex O'Connell.  Those additions have the Blue Devils moving up in the team rankings and they are far from finished.


Duke Will Be Just Fine

f8820232-f51e-4fcb-984e-420efb9fcfcdEverywhere I go someone asks me, when will our injured freshman be back.  Well, nobody but the Duke staff knows the answer to that but  I think they'll all play this season.  Some are saying Harry Giles should sit out the season but he did not come to Duke nor is he rehabbing hard to do that.  Giles will play at some point this season and it will help his draft status to do so.

Now, some say what if he gets injured and such.  All I can say is an NBA team will not draft him as a top 5 pick if they have not seen him play. Trusted sources say Giles is coming along and working his way back into shape.  That should be good enough news for fans who realize we haven't even hit December yet.

The first of the injured trio to return will likely be Jayson Tatum.  At some point Mike Krzyzewski will give him a go but most do not expect that to be this week.  Duke can survive games with William and Mary and Appalachian State without any of their injured players.

And then there is Grayson Allen who is suffering a toe injury not to mention some you haven't heard about.  You see, that's thing with Duke, they keep stuff like that close to the vest.  So, those who keep turning up rocks for clues about the return or status of players may as well relax and enjoy the team that's on the court.

Furthermore, the team is not trying to keep secrets from fans and such when being coy.  They are trying not to allow other teams a better preparation by not knowing what to expect.

Duke will be juss fine
Duke will be just fine.

Duke teams have suffered many injuries over the years, some during championship seasons, so this is nothing new.  The silver lining of the injuries is that other players have been allowed the spotlight.

All of the Blue Devils talented perimeter players have gotten better.  Maybe you haven't noticed but those guys are chasing down a lot of rebounds as well.  And let's not forget the endurance they've built having to go all out for close to 40 minutes per contest.

The bottom line is when Duke gets some help back up front, they'll be on of the scrappier teams going.  That is the kind of thing Krzyzeski was counting on coming into the season.  He wanted to put players on the court who could go all out, all the time.

Once Duke has some more bodies we'll continue to see man to man defense mixed with traps and zone.  Sometimes it takes more depth in the back to do certain things on the defensive end.

Until then, we are seeing Frank Jackson step up and he is playing like one of the best freshman in the country and he'll just get better. Then there is Luke Kennard who has probably been the teams best player to date.

Add to that, sensational senior leaders in Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones and one must feel good about the Blue Devils chances as the season progresses.  And Grayson Allen will surely get back into the groove after some average performances by his lofty standards.

There is no doubt that Duke needs it's depth.  Krzyzewski was straight up honest in saying his team was tired after the win over Rhode Island and they were.  But Duke also played 5 games in 10 days, short-handed and barely lost to a pretty good Kansas team.

Some are saying Duke looks vulnerable and similar to last season, but I see a team that lost by a bucket to one of the best teams in the country versus Kansas that will get healthy.  In fact, this sixth place ranking Duke currently holds will likely be the lowest spot in the poll this season.



Duke’s Frank Jackson is the ACC Rookie of the Week

dsc_0341GREENSBORO, N.C. – Duke guard Frank Jackson was rewarded on Monday for his big opening weekend, earning ACC Freshman of the Week honors in a vote by media members who cover the league.

The Alpine, Utah, native averaged 19.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 25.0 minutes per game as Duke defeated Marist on Friday and Grand Canyon on Saturday to open the 2016-17 season. Jackson finished the first weekend of the season ranked second on the team in scoring and tied for the team lead in steals.

He was also efficient on the offensive end, shooting .520 (13-of-25) from the floor, .500 (5-of-10) from the arc and .800 (8-of-10) from the free throw line.

Jackson debuted with a team-high 18 points, a team-high four assists and a game-high four steals in Duke’s win over Marist on Friday night. Roughly 20 hours later, he put up 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including a 4-of-6 performance from long distance, in the Blue Devils’ defeat of Grand Canyon.

Top-ranked Duke is set for a Champions Classic clash with No. 7 Kansas on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. ESPN will televise the event with Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor on the call. The Blue Devil IMG Sports Network will carry the game on the radio waves.


Two Game Review and Duke Team Notes

cxgec5hwiaaexbjThe Duke Blue Devils came away with back to back victories over Marist and Grand Canyon over the weekend.  Here is my two game review, followed by player notes and thoughts.

Duke 94 Marist 49

Short handed or not, Duke was just too athletic for Marist in their opener.  The opening game of a two game set in the Hall of Fame Tip Off went as expected with the Blue Devils winning big.  Duke had a sluggish start but then adjusted offensively score 54 first half points. The Blue Devils were able o go to their bench in the second half earning bench players lots of playing time.  Antonio Vrankovic came away with a game high 10 rebounds while true freshman Frank Jackson led the team in scoring with 18 points.  Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard added 16 each.

Duke 96 Grand Canyon 61

Grayon Allen turned in a Player of the Year worthy stat line of 25 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists as the Blue Devils cruised against a much tougher opponent than in their opener.  Duke rarely played beyond six men int his game as Mike Krzyzewski's bench shortened with Kansas coming up tomorrow in the Champions Classic in New York City.  The Blue Devils showed man to man, traps and zone while accumulating an impressive 14 steals.  The Duke defense also had 8 blocked shots in the game despite being short-handed up front.

Do not expect Bolden, Giles or Tatum this week

The injuries to Marques Bolden, Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles will keep the former prep All Americans out versus Kansas for sure.  In fact, don't expect any of them back during the two game Hall of Fame Tip Off at the Mohegan Sun Arena as well.  Duke will move cautiously with concern to a return and the what you see now as a team is what you get or the forseeable future.  The good news is that Duke can win with this team according to Krzyzewski and we'll find out this week.

There is an uptick in the play of Luke Kennard

If you are wondering who has played more minutes than any other Duke player thus far, the answer is Luke Kennard.  There has been an uptick of improvement in Kennards game which has led Krzyzewski to say is has been their most consistent player in the pre season.  Kennard is averaging 15.5 ppg and pulling down 7 rebounds per contest.  He's playing bigger and stronger which bodes well for Duke.

Frank Jackson is the real deal

After his second collegiate game, Jackson is averaging 19.5 ppg. That's impressive .  He has successfully mastered running the point in unison with Matt Jones, Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard to date. Now, the question is how will he handle the defense of  a solid Kansas backcourt in the Madison Square Garden spotlight.

The old guys

Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones are the heart and soul of the spunk Duke will need while the team battles injuries.  Jones had a very solid outing against Grand Canyon and they will need him to step his game up another notch this week.  Jefferson is currently in Divinity School at Duke as a graduate senior.  He has picked up where he left off a season ago averaging a near double-double.  Like Jones, they will need his play to be top-notch as teams will start to focus on the trio of Allen, Jackson and Kennard.

Will the real Chase Jeter please stand up

Thrust into the starting lineup at center, Chase Jeter has been a tale of two games thus far in the season.  Against Marist he tallied 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots with no turnovers.  Against Grad Canyon his numbers sank to 3 points and 2 rebounds.  However his blocked shots went up at 3 and he had 3 steals.  The Duke staff is seeking consistency from their capable sophomore.

The defense never rests

After two games the Duke defense is forcing opponents into 17.5 turnovers per outing.  The Blue Devils are also averaging 11.5 steals per game where Matt Jones leads the team with 3.0 per contest.

Krzyzewski updates injuries to freshman

Krzyzewski Updated Status of Injured Freshman

Krzyzewski updates injuries to freshman
Krzyzewski updates injuries to freshman

After the Duke Blue Devis 94-49 win over Marist, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said there was no timetable for the return of his injured players.

If you live under a rock you may not realize that three prized freshman in Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden have yet to play for Duke this season.  Giles is coming off serious knee injury, while Bolden and Tatum's are less severe.

''It wasn't an event.  Some times you wake up and there is something you haven't noticed.  it's a lower leg but it's too difficult to explain.  He's getting  better but we have to be careful not to get these guys coming back to soon,'' said Krzyzewski when questioned about Bolden's injury.

''Jayson is doing great.  I thought we put him in practice a little too soon and that hurt him, so we're just going to shut those guys down for a while.  We can't go through a whole year with lingering injuries,'' stated Krzyzewski.

He continued on his plans on the injury by saying, ''i'm going to be adamant about taking a longer time than a shorter time, no matter what.''

Duke takes on Grand Canyon tomorrow in Cameron just mere hours from now.  After that game, they will travel to New York City on Tuesday where they take on Kansas.