Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Duke Women roll over FSU 75-57 to advance to the ACC Tournament Championship Game

Coach P talks of the big win over FSU
Coach P talks of the big win over FSU

Duke advanced to the ACC Tournament Championship game by defeating #2 seed Florida State 75-57.  Once again, Duke shot over 50% from the field as they continue to play their best basketball of the season.  The Blue Devils avenged an overtime loss in Tallahassee behind a balanced attack which produced four players in double figures.

Jasmine Thomas led the way with 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting.  Many of her buckets helped Duke thwart a second half Seminole rally which cut a 22 point half time advantage to just 10 points.  Coach Joanne P. McCallie called timeout and the Blue Devils regained their edge as they rolled to an unexpected easy win.

"Just an excellent strong game for us.  Our team really worked hard defensively.  I thought we played well, very well off each other, defensively and offensively.  A good start, and pretty thorough throughout the game despite one small area of giving up a few 3's in transition," said McCallie in her opening statement to the media.

Helping Thomas on the offensive end were seniors Careem Gay with 13 and 11 points .  Karima Christmas  had 12 points and Abby Waner tallied 9 points.

Jasmine calls the play - BDN Photo
Jasmine calls the play - BDN Photo

Once again the Blue Devils were able to utilize their bench with nine players 12 minutes or more.  Duke played all twelve players in the contest and their bench won the scoring battle 22-12.

As good as the offense has been, this years team relies on it's stingy defense.  Florida State managed hot 20 of 59 shots, going 33.9% for the game.  And an even more telling stat was the Blue Devils outscored their opponent in the paint 38-14.

After two surprisingly even games, Duke is in for a battle tomorrow against Maryland.  The Terps won the most exciting game of the tournament defeating North Carolina 95-84.  The game provided many streaks and had the crowd jumping.

Maryland guard Kristin Toliver hit all 13 of her free throws, scoring 25 points to go with 5 assists.  But the star of this game was teammate Marisa Coleman.  The first team All ACC performer hit a sizzling 9 of 13 from the field to help her finish the game with 29 points.

The Terps hit 28 of 36 free throws, while the Tar Heels made it to the line just 13 times.  North Carolina finishes 26-6 and awaits their seeding which takes place next week.

BDN Photo
BDN Photo

The Duke - Maryland contest is a game of contrasting styles.  During the post game press conferences, Coach P pointed to defense while Maryland coach Brenda Frese talked of offense.

The Terps could be the most balanced team in the ACC.  The two teams split the series during the regular season, each winning at home.  Frese promised a sea of red tomorrow.

"I personally can't think of anything better playing in a championship against Maryland my senior year, not referencing anything specific, of course.  We know them well.  They know us well.  So therefore it's not about who can scout better.  It's not about who can prepare better.  It's a head-to-head match-up that we know very well.  So it's going to come down to who wants it more," said Duke senior Abby Waner.

Duke will also have to find a way to keep the Terp's solid front line in check.

"Maryland's bigs, they were very effective against Carolina; Coleman and Toliver went to the foul line 26 times, so they attacked the basket a lot today, how do you prepare for that?,"  said Waner.

Duke fans need to turn out at the Greensboro Coliseum in force to support their team.  There is no love lost between these two teams and the game is sure to be entertaining.

Some kudos are in order -  While there was little defense in the game, Maryland and UNC excited the crowd and both teams deserve a pat on the back for the show.  The ACC Tournament organizers do a fabulous job in Greensboro.  Their hospitality and organization are top notch and it's been a pleasure to cover the event.  The Duke Women are on fire and Coach P has these women on the same page at the right time.  Look for out ACC Tournament Photo Gallery Monday.

From out friends at -

GREENSBORO, N.C.-- For the second straight game, Duke shot over 50.0 percent from the field and went on to cruise to a 75-57 victory over 12th-ranked Florida State on Saturday in the ACC Tournament semifinals in Greensboro, N.C.

Duke will next take on Maryland in Sunday's ACC Championship at 1:00 p.m., on Fox Sports Net.

For a full recap, click on <>


Blue Devil Postgame Notes   *  No. 2 seed Florida State vs. No. 3 seed Duke *  March 7, 2009
ACC Tournament Semifinals

With The Duke Victory:
*       Will next face top-seeded Maryland in the ACC Championship game on Sunday, March 8 at 1:00 p.m.  The game will be aired live on Fox Sports Net.
*       Moved to 6-0 all-time against Florida State in ACC Tournament play.
*       Increased the series record to 29-8 all-time against the Seminoles.
*       Improved to 26-4 overall on the season.
*       Moved to 23-4 all-time in the ACC Tournament when the games have been played in the Greensboro Coliseum.  Overall, Duke owns a 25-5 record in games played in the Greensboro Coliseum.
*       Joanne P. McCallie improved to 28-10 all-time in conference tournament action.
*       Now owns 23 ACC Tournament victories in ACC Tournament play since 2000.
*       Improved to 32-26 all-time in ACC Tournament play.
*       Won its second straight ACC Tournament game against a ranked opponent and improved to 8-3 on the year against ranked teams.
*       Improved to 5-4 all-time against No. 2 seeds, but won its fifth straight contest.
Senior Chante Black
*       Moved into a tie for eighth place on Duke's all-time points list with 1409.
*       With her five free throws made, moved into eighth place on Duke's all-time list with 299.
*       Pulled down eight rebounds to move into 23rd place on the ACC career rebounding list with 971.
*       Finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in 24 minutes.
*       Will play in her third ACC Championship game on Sunday - 2005 and 2008 were both losses.
Senior Abby Waner
*       Hit three three-pointers marking the 10th time out of the last 14 games she has hit two or more treys.
*       Has nailed 7-of-10 from downtown in the two ACC Tournament games.
*       Has hit 50.0 percent or better in back-to-back games from three-point range for the first time this season.
*       Finished hitting 3-of-4 from three-point land, had nine points and three assists.
*       Has now hit 22 career three-pointers in the ACC Tournament, which ranks Duke's all-time leader in ACC Tournament action. Her 22 treys also ranks as the fourth-highest total in ACC history.
Senior Carrem Gay
*       Registered double-figure scoring for the fourth time out of the last six games.
*       Had 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one steal in 23 minutes.
Sophomore Karima Christmas
*       Totaled double-figure scoring for only the sixth time this season with 10 points.
Sophomore Jasmine Thomas
*       Registered 14 points, five assists and two rebounds in 29 minutes.
*       Had double-digits in three out of the last four games.
*       After hitting only 1-of-7 field goals the day before, hit 6-of-9 shots.
Other Duke Notes:
*       For the second straight game, Duke shot over 50.0 percent from the field in the first half (53.1).  In two ACC Tournament  games, the Blue Devils have shot 55.7 percent in the first half this year (34-61).
*       Held a 38-14 points in the paint advantage.
*       Held FSU to 18 points in the first half marking the 14th time out of 30 games the Blue Devils have held an opponent to 22 points or fewer in the first stanza.
*       Hit 51.8 percent from the field marking the second straight game the Blue Devils have hit over 50.0 percent from the field in the ACC Tournament.  The back-to-back 50.0 percent shooting in the ACC Tournament was only the second time it has ever happened for the Blue Devils.  The other time was in 2000 when Duke won the ACC.
*       Held FSU to 57 points marking the 22nd time out of 30 games Duke has held an opponent to 58 points or under.
*       Collected a 22-12 bench points lead.
*       After getting outrebounded in the last contest, Duke held a 36-31 advantage on the day.
*       In two games, has hit 15-of-25 from three-point land for a 60.0 percentage

High School Hoops Edition No. 13

barnes1Ames defeated Roosevelt 75-42 on Tuesday night. Harrison Barnes scored 14 points as Ames advanced to the State Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. The Little Cyclones are the number one seed in the tournament and will face number eight seed Iowa City West on Wednesday March 11.

Harrison Barnes' mother denied rumors circulating that Barnes will transfer to Oak Hill Academy for his senior season.  Barnes is the number one rated player in the Class of 2010 and is being pursued by top basketball schools across the nation including Duke and Kansas.

Andre Dawkins scored 37 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Atlantic Christian defeated Covenant 90-61 in the Virginia Independent Schools tournament quarterfinals. Dawkins scored 16 points in the semi-finals as Atlantic Shores defeated Norfolk Christian 76-63. James McAdoo, a highly rated 6'8" sophomore, scored 37 points for Norfolk.

DeMatha edged Gonzaga 62-61 in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game. Tyler Thornton scored 14 points for Gonzaga. Quinn Cook scored 13 points to lead DeMatha.

Blue Devils wallop Cavaliers by a score of 76-53 in their ACC Tournament opener

Abby addresses the media - BDN Photo
Abby addresses the media - BDN Photo

The Duke Blue Devils used a suffocating defense to smother Virginia from the very start of their opening round game of the ACC Tournament.  Holding the Cavaliers to just 36.4% from the field the Blue Devils recorded a surprisingly easy 76-53 win.

It certainly helped that Duke hit a season high 56% from the field, led by Abby Waner who went 4 of 6 from the three point stripe on her way yo 16 points.  Chante Black and Joy Cheek were the only other Dukies to score in double figures, tallying 12 points apiece.

Duke played 12 players in the game and had contributions  from many.  In fact just two Blue Devils failed to score in the game.  The Duke bench outscored their opponent 32-16.

While Duke was outrebounded for just the eighth time this season, they controlled the paint on the offensive end outscoring the Cavs 36-20.  Duke also boosted their all time tournament record in Greensboro to 22-4.

Waner went 6 of 9 from the field to lead Duke over Virginia - BDNP
Waner went 6 of 9 from the field to lead Duke over Virginia - BDNP

Duke now stands at 25-4 for the season and will try to avenge an overtime loss to Florida State, the second seed at 3:30 tomorrow.  Florida State comes in at 25-6 and is 13-2 against conference opponents.

All four top seeds made the semi finals and all four teams are ranked in the top twelve teams in America.  UNC will face Maryland in the days opener.  With such great competition, all fans who can make it over to Greensboro Coliseum.

Mason Plumlee chats up the Blue Devil Nation

Blue Devil Nation Premium caught up with Mason Plumlee who just helped lead his Christ School team to their third consecutive state championship.  The following is an in depth and exclusive interview where he talks of that game.  He also touches on playing against and with Ryan Kelly, his brothers Miles and Marshall Plumlee, the upcoming all star games and his plans for the future.  Enjoy the interview -

Your Christ School team won another state championship game.  Can you tell me about the game?

Plumlee throws down a dunk in the title game
Plumlee throws down a dunk in the title game

It was great.  It was probably the most fulfilling out of the three (CS has won three consecutive state titles).  It was the expectation all year for us and anything less than winning would have been a disappointment.  There were a lot of mixed emotions but it was a relief.  But it was more happiness than anything.

Have you thought about the fact that your high school career is over and that after some All Star games, you'll next dribble the ball in Durham?

[private] In terms of getting ready for Duke I am, but I want to enjoy the last semester with my teammates and the people I have been here with for three years.  I'm just trying to enjoy the rest of the year here.

Can you look back and reflect on your Christ School experiences?

I've learned a ton of stuff on and off the court, but it's more just the people I've been with and the players I've been able to play with made it more fun and such an enjoyable experience.

When you first moved from Indiana to North Carolina, did you see yourself being as successful as you are today?

I really didn't .  Especially my first year.  I thought we had a really good team that wasn't expected to win the state.  I could have never imagined we'd have won three championships in three years which is pretty awesome.

How often do you talk to Miles?

I talked to him after we won the state tournament.  He was happy for us and congratulated us and everything.

What has Miles had to say about his experience at Duke thus far?

He just said there are ups and downs and that it's not always easy but overall he enjoys it.

You were named to the prestigious McDonald's All American team.  While growing up, did you think you would attain that status?

Yeah, it would be easy to say now that's what I wanted but I didn't ... the first time I decided it was something I wanted to reach was when I went to watch the 2005 game in South Bend, Indiana.  I think Josh McRoberts got the MVP in that game and that was the first time I saw one, so ...

Will it be odd not to go right into AAU ball this summer?

Yeah.  It is kind of weird because I love AAU and I will miss it.  Like you said earlier, I have got the McDonald's, the Jordan game and the Nike Hoop Summit, so I will be a little busy.

Tell me a little more about the Hoop Summit ...

It will be played April 18th and we'll go out there 3 or 4 days.  It's in Portland.  John Wall is on our team who Duke is recruiting.

When the McDonald's committee selects you, the Jordan and so on.  How do they contact you?  Or how do you find out you've been selected to play in those games?

Well, the McDonald's stuff came in the mail and once that happened a couple of people who are voters called me or called my coach.  I think Bob Gibbons called my AAU coach.  Then like the Jordan Classic, the Nike guy called my Dad and said I was invited.  Then I got something in the mail later.  The Hoop Summit?  They called my coach.

Back to the championship game for a minute.  You went up against your future teammate Ryan Kelly and beat those guys twice this year.  Were they a little tougher this time out?

Yeah.  I think they tried to slow it down a lot more and were more ready for us.  I mean, the first ... we kind of knew as a team going in we weren't going to beat them by thirty plus again.  We just played our game and came out on top.

What are the differences you see between Ryan Kelly's game and your game?

Well!  I figure he's a pretty good shooter.  I think we are more similar than different.  I don't know ... on his team he has to do the majority of the scoring.  I've been fortunate to play with people like Lakeem Jackson, Reggie and a little bit more of a balanced team.

Was there any type of rivalry that developed between you guys?  I mean you both signed at Duke and that kind of thing.  Did that add a little something extra when you guys met?

Yeah, I guess.  From the outside looking in, it's kind of like that.  But for us it was just our team against theirs.   The most important thing was a championship.

Do you think you can play alongside Kelly?


Do you see Miles as a more inside oriented guy next season?

I've played with Miles my whole life and he can do a lot more than just play inside.  I think with me coming in next year and Ryan and having more depth inside, he'll be able to go inside-out more.  Right now, he is just down on the block.

Let's talk just a second about your younger brother Marshall.  Do you think that Duke may recruit him?

Well, I don't know, it'll be interesting.  Of course, as his brother I hope they do.  I hope he improves his game enough to where they will recruit him.   He's got a long way to go, just like I do before I get to Duke next year.  I hope that we can all stay together like we did here at Christ School and hope Marshall keeps improving.  He's working really hard.  If he just grows into his body I think he'll be pretty good.

Do you know where Marshall will play his AAU ball for this summer?

Yeah, he's going to play for Indiana Elite.  He'll go to the Carolina Challenge.  I know AAU will be different this year because they have an open period in the Spring.  I think the tournaments are more regional up until July.

How long do you have left in high school?

We have until May which will not be that long.

You guys take a pretty good academic load and study a lot ...

We have study hall every week night from Sunday to Thursday which lasts from 7:30 to 9:15.

Good deal, that'll help prepare you for college.  When you finish school will you go to Indiana to be with your parents ... Durham ... where will you be hanging out?

I will go home for the first month or so to be home with my family and work out there.  I will go to Duke for the second session of summer school which I think starts July 1st.

Thanks for your time and good luck with the All Star games.  Enjoy yourself, stay healthy and be a kid.

I will.  Thanks Mr. Watson.

Thank You. [/private]

Duke Coach Joanne P. McCallie addresses the media

ncw_ap_mccallie_195Here is the transcript from the ACC Teleconference with Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie.  Duke is preparing for this weeks ACC Tournament and their first game on Friday evening.

Opening remarks as Duke heads into the tournament as the third seed with an impressive win on Sunday over UNC -

“We’re just working hard coming off of the last game on Sunday night, and looked at that film and had to break some things down to get better at so we looked at that and had some practice. We’re really excited for the tournament it’s such a great tournament. Greensboro and all the folks in Greensboro did such an amazing job with the tournament so we’re excited about that. We’re just back at practice tomorrow and ready to get started.”

Could you talk about how the ACC has come up with a stat of 27 players throughout the league from North Carolina and why you think that is so?

“That’s tremendous. I’m new to the area and new to the ACC in a lot of ways, compared to the great longevity of some of the coaches. But it’s just not really a big surprise to me relative to what I’ve seen in terms of the talent across the state and trying to be out more and more; we’ve been recruiting hard in the state. It just makes perfect sense when you think about the triangle and you think about the rivalry and the great basketball traditions. It’s an exciting thing, if we can recruit locally and have great North Carolina players at Duke that’s exactly what we want to do. It’s great that Duke is global and that we can go worldwide; we’ve got a girl coming in from France next year, and that’s very exciting for us. But at the same time if you can go half an hour, 45 minutes or a couple hours down the road and find the best players in the country that’s very exciting for us as well. So I’m not surprised, I’m learning the state, obviously we’ve got a lot more to learn about meeting being, being out and that type of thing but I think it’s a great thing.”

Florida is known for a football school, Texas for a football school, can you say the same about North Carolina for basketball, women’s basketball especially?

“I think that Duke and North Carolina and N.C. State, this area is absolutely basketball country, and I don’t think that any school has the monopoly. Certainly I think that’s what makes the beauty of it. Some of the schools you mentioned might have more of a monopoly, or seem to at times, but the reality of it is there are just some really, really great programs in this area and I think they just feed off of each other. I think about our fans, 9,200 people jam-packed into Cameron [Indoor Stadium]. When we played some teams even last year, there were a lot of empty seats. It was a sellout but it wasn’t a true sellout. The neat thing for us on Sunday night was it was a true sellout. It was hard to find a seat in the house. So I think it’s very exciting, those types of things occurring, getting our attendance up. I know we’re very prideful about our attendance and leading the triangle in attendance and also trying to build that nationwide. So it all revolves around the same thing, which is that this is a basketball place, and it’s one of the key reasons why I came to Duke and came to this area, after really enjoying my time at Michigan State.”

Just to clarify Coach, when I was saying state I meant Florida the state and Texas the state in terms of prep athletes – those states are football states. Do your comments still stand if I were to ask you about North Carolina as a state?

“Sorry, but yes, I think that North Carolina just coming on so strongly, a lot of great coaches, talking about the high school and AAU level, there are a lot of great coaches and a lot of great students. But I think it’s all interwoven; if it’s football down there, it’s basketball here. And it’s interwoven by the high school student-athletes and the coaches, as well as what’s going on in college, with the Duke’s in the world, North Carolina, N.C. State and that type of thing.”

I was wondering how you think Chante Black’s defense has improved over the years and how big of an effort she’s made on that as a forward this season?

“I think Chante has improved in all areas, I don’t think I would even pick one area specifically because I think she’s just grown. She competes everyday in practice, she’ll never take a play off, and she’ll go harder than most ever would. I agree with you I think she’s improved dramatically because she’s getting quicker, stronger, a little bit more savvy. I was very saddened that she only got to play 18 minutes in Sunday’s game; I really did not feel that she was going to be up for disqualification in any way. I think she’s a great player; she’s got to be on the floor, she’s a player who is aggressive but she’s smart, and without question has improved in all areas. Her shot blocking, her timing, aggressiveness there has improved. I think her best basketball is ahead of her. It’ll be after Duke, it’ll be someplace else.”

How has Jasmine Thomas developed in your system, she had such a good game on Sunday, how have you seen her progress?

“I think Jasmine’s really done incredible things. Being a sophomore I think people don’t give her her due. She’s a sophomore point guard, she’s got so much to learn, and she’s been getting better every game. She’s had many, many great games this year, whether it was at Virginia, at Tennessee, Stanford, against Carolina on Sunday. She has risen to the occasion so much this year, in many interesting games, in Maryland at home, and I just think it’s part of her competitive spirit. Jasmine is a kid who works really, really hard. The thing about it is she’s not a true point guard, but she plays point guard in an excellent way. She’s really a 1-2-2-1, because she thinks like a two, she wants to score – definitely a scoring point guard. So I think its been very exciting to see her command the point guard position, without being as true as a point guard can be in that area. It’s really great to work with her, she’s just such a great person, and I know she’ll continue to get better and I know she’s excited for what’s coming up for us.”

How have you been able to live with your assist to turnover ratio this year, I’m sure it’s not what you’d like, but how have you been able to deal with the fact that you guys do have that negative assist to turnover ratio, and there have been times when it’s hurt you?

“I look at that kind of scientifically. We have 12 people on our team, and we have one true point guard. And that true point guard is a freshman, Chelsea Hopkins. She’s played point guard her entire life and grown up a ‘point guard coach’s daughter.’ The rest of our team is made up of combination players; two-ones, two-threes, three-twos, four-threes, and things of that nature. So I have a little bit of patience because I understand that the assist to turnover ratio when it’s at its best comes from a point guard, and sometimes having two or three of them on the floor at the same time. We don’t have that luxury; we’ve got a lot of attacking guards. So we’ve got to be patient about it, but in the same sense be impatient, because I think our guards are getting more experience and that’s a good thing in order to try to make that a better number.”

Is that sort of the classic case of “okay” turnovers, turnovers you can live with, and then some that you do need to think about; is that something you have been teaching them this year?

“I don’t know. I think that 14 or 12 turnovers for a game is something that we’re always going for – even though I know it doesn’t look like that – but we are. And that’s 14 to 12 every single game, or less. And I think that our assists have been climbing recently to 15, 16, 17 a game – ideally it’s 20, 22, 24. So that number needs to go higher. But I just think it’s a matter of growing as a team. Out of our three guard spots that start, one’s a sophomore, and one’s a young lady who has now started a game at Duke, I told her this year she really got going, and that’s Bridgette [Mitchell], but she’s not a point guard in any way. Then you’ve got Abby [Waner] who has got great experience, but she still is the truest two there is, with her beautiful ability to shoot and score and all of that stuff. So we’ve just got to roll with it, we can’t worry about what we’re not, we’ve got to be what we are, and I’m just really proud of our attack mentality. So hopefully that will make up for those negative turnovers.”

Duke Basketball Injury Update

Scheyer sprined his ankle against FSU - BDN Photo
Scheyer sprined his ankle against FSU - BDN Photo

Many of you are wondering about the injury situation at Duke.  Here is the latest as of this afternoon. Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek. Thomas suffered a left ankle sprain in the first half of the game and is listed as day-to-day. Zoubek suffered a broken nose and is day-to-day.  Jon Scheyer also suffered an ankle sprain in the second half on Tuesday and Nolan Smith’s status remains unchanged after sustaining a mild concussion on Feb. 25.