Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Lewis and Paulus are selfless leaders who are enjoying the Duke experience

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It's always nice when Duke Student Athletes support one another.  Just ask Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis who recently told BDN, "When you sign on the dotted line to attend Duke University you are embracing a family whether you are a student or student athlete."

He went onto say, "I want them (athletes) to support me, so I go out and support them."  Lewis could be seen at the Coach K Academy this summer checking out all of the former Duke players while stopping to talk to a couple of current players like Greg Paulus.  "I wish I could get out there on the court," said Lewis during that event.  He went on to say he played basketball in high school.

Almost all athletes at Duke played multiple sports at one time.  The aforementioned Paulus was one of the top rated quarterbacks in the nation out of high school.  In a twist of irony, Paulus could be found at a recent football practice peering on much like Lewis did in Cameron, wondering what if.

Lewis and Paulus are two perfect examples of the kind of special athlete Duke produces both on and off the court or field respectively.  Both could be seen at various Duke sporting events last year and both are willing to put in the work for their university of choice.

I mean, talk about being selfless!  Lewis could be field on the field handing out water to prospects during the Duke Football Camps.  Paulus could be found  atop the hill in the new practice facility waiting to give attendees to the Coach K Academy rides to and from their motel.  Just take a second and imagine Lewis handing you a gatorade and Paulus saying "where to," as his van loads.

"Greg Paulus is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.  He'll do anything for his school," said recently retired Frank Dascenzo of the Herald Sun while the two of us sat in the new practice facility during the K Academy.

Lewis also supported the basketball Blue Devils at the recent SJC Pro Am event at NC Central University.  It's kind of nice when Singler, Williams or Smith can look up and see Duke's starting quaterback in the stands.

There is one bond that ties the two together besides being the engine to their respective teams.  That being each one is throughly enjoying their Duke experience.  "Duke is somewhere you can be comfortable at.  It's somewhere where you want to be and it's somewhere where they want you," said Lewis.  He went on, "It's family oriented around here and I'm enjoying every mintue of every day.

So, if you happen upon Paulus or Lewis around campus or in any environment, you will see two Duke student athletes who strive to not only give their best, but to support one another.  Perhaps more importantly, they are enjoying their Duke experience.[/private]

Team USA spanks Germany — on to the medal round!

[private]Dwight Howard put on a show missing a single shot on his way to scoring a team high 22 points (9 of 10 FG's) while grabbing 10 rebounds.   Twelve American players played double figure minutes as the Coach K led Team USA demolished Germany 105-59.  The romp was from start to finish, starting with a Anthony lay up and ending with Paul assisting Redd for slam dunk.  James chipped in with 18, Bryant 14 and Wade and Paul had 10 points apiece.  Team USA is now 5-0 and continues their quest to bring the Gold home.

USA Today ESPN Recap Box Score

Next up - Australia on Wednesday[/private]

USA Destroys Spain 119 – 82

[private]The United States men's basketball team made a statement Saturday night in Beijing by dismantling Spain 119 - 82 in the fourth game of pool play. Eight American players scored double digit points in the victory. For the first time since arriving in China, the 3-point shots started falling as the USA made 12 of 25 attempts from behind the arc to compliment their 32 - 0 advantage in fast break points. Team USA's signature stifling defense created 28 turnovers in this game.

Coach Krzyzewski commented: "I thought they missed some open shots tonight. We made our open shots; that was a big factor in the game. We know it's a pool game. We know the importance of winning pool games, but the most important games are next week."

Team USA concludes pool play against Germany on Monday evening then moves on to the Quarterfinals of Medal Play.

ESPN
USA Basketball
FIBA
Box Score[/private]

Team USA exacts revenge on Greece 92-69

BEIJING (AP) -- The U.S. Olympic team stopped the pick-and-rolls -- and just about everything else Greece tried. These Americans, who looked so lost two years ago in the World Championship, appear to have found their Olympic defensive way.

Batting away balls or swatting shots on seemingly every possession late in the second quarter, the Americans broke open a close game and went on to a 92-69 victory Thursday night to clinch a spot in the medal round.

The Americans were also able to find the range on jump shots when the Greeks went to a zone defense to slow them down. Kobe Bryant, who entered the game shooting just 37 percent in the first two games, was 7-for-14 from the field and finished with 18 points.

Chris Bosh also had 18 points, Dwayne Wade added 17 and LeBron James had 13 for the United States (3-0), which moves on to a matchup of Group B unbeatens Saturday night against world champion Spain. The winner will earn the group's top seed for the quarterfinals.

Greece stunned the Americans two years ago in the semifinals of the 2006 world championships, shredding the U.S. defense for 63 percent shooting with clinical execution of its pick-and-roll offense in a 101-95 victory.

This time, the Greeks hit just 41.3 percent (26-for-63) from the field and just 4-for-18, 22 percent, from 3-point range as the Americans used a suffocating defense to extend a seven-point lead to a 19-point cushion in the final 51/2 minutes of the first half.

After the previously slumping Bryant finally knocked down a 3-pointer, James blocked a shot that led to Bosh's three-point play for a 44-30 lead with 2:31 remaining in the second quarter. James came up with a steal less than 30 seconds later and threw down a reverse dunk.

Bosh swiped at a ball that led to another Greece turnover, and James found him on the next possession for another three-point play and a 49-30 bulge. The Greeks then turned it over again, with James keeping his balance while nearly falling down to take an outlet pass and convert a layup, and Bosh blocked the final Greek shot of the half to make it 51-32 at the break.

And after stubbornly sticking to what wasn't working in the game two years ago, the Americans showed the Greeks different looks this time. They picked up full court on one early possession, then fell back into a zone defense on another.

Unlike their easy victory against Angola two nights earlier, the Americans kept up the defensive intensity after halftime. Dwight Howard smacked away a shot right into Kidd's head, leading to a shot clock violation, and James and Bosh had rejections on the same third-quarter possession a few minutes later.   The Americans still struggled from the free throw line and 3-point arc. They were 7-of-20 on 3s and just 13 of 23 at the line.

Greece (1-2), which lost to Spain in its opener, faces winless Angola before closing pool play against China.  Box Score Link  Next up - Spain

Wade leads USA to 97-76 win over Angola

[private]Team USA cruised to an easy victory to go 2-0 in pool play by defeating Angola 97-76.  Dwyane Wade led his team in scoring with 19 points.  Team USA struggled from the free throw stripe and hit just 23% of it's threes.  In the end, there was simply too much talent for Angola to overcome.  Team USA will need to play a bit tighter against their next foe Greece, a team that defeated them in the semi finals of the World Championships a mere two years ago.

Coach K on the upcoming game with Greece - Our team knows a lot about them.  I’m very close friends the coach.  He’s actually come to Duke and spent time with me.  One of the assistant coaches, Nick, has spent the whole year with us.  We have great respect for them.  They play as hard as anybody we can play against, especially on the defensive end of the court.  Their offensive schemes are well conceived.  I think their team starts with their guards.  They really have three point guards and all three of them can be in at the same time.

They value possessions.  You have to play them possession by possession.  You have to play them with great intensity for 40 minutes.  Our guys already know that but we’ll reinforce that.  It’s a great game for us to play too to get ready for the medal round because we feel Greece has a good chance as anybody.  That’s how much we think of them

Box Score Link[/private]

Team USA routs China down the stretch, K and company advance

[private]Team USA began it's quest for the Gold Medal today by choking China with it's defense on there way to a 101-70 win.  Of course, all Duke fans are paying more than a little attention to the games and we will continue to cover the games.

Lebron James

Coach K- It was an honor for us to be in this game.  I thought the Chinese team and our team both played extremely hard.  I was proud of our effort.  I thought that the attention we gave Yao early, he made some really good plays to get his teammates involved.  And they hit 3’s.  More than half their points in the first half were from 3’s.  We were like 1-for-12 … I think we ended up 1-for-15 before we starting hitting some 3’s.  I was proud of our guys.  I would hope that their coach would be proud of their kids.  I thought both teams really responded at a high level to the magnitude of this game.

Team USA coasts to win--Tight Defense stymies China's Bigs--A.P. Recap--Box Score

So, what was the pre game like?--USA savors experience--Silk Road-Tobbaco Road?[/private]