Category Archives: Duke Basketball

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]

SJC Pro Am gearing up for the stretch run (corrected)

[private]Elliot Williams helped his E-Net team to it's third victory scoring 19 points in the process.  Williams had a fabulous first half where he at times seemed to be posturing for a highlight reel.  There was one sequence where he showed of his athletic ability.  He slashed to the basket finishing with an authoritative dunk which brought ooh's and ahh's from the crowd.  He then created a break after a turnover as he slithered through the defense only to be found with the pass where he finished by using the basket to his advantage for a reverse lay in.  IOW, he played a huge role for his team tonight and shows he is not afraid to play against anybody at this level.

He didn't do it all by himself though.  He was aided by Brandon Costner whose presence has helped E-Net win consecutive games.  Costner was strong in the paint, an area that had plagued his team in early losses.  E-Net was down by 10 points early, but stormed back to go up by 11 and hung on for a victory over.  Former Pack player Anthony Grundy led all scorers and has showed significant improvement since his days in Raleigh.

Three Dukies took to the court for the RDU Barnstormers in a game that would prove a defensive struggle.  The more talented Barnstomrers eventually won 48-47.  This team is guard heavy and guard dominated.  In fact, there is way too much dribbling and forced shots where they try to make the big play instead of finding the open man.  Sometimes the efficient plays bode better for the team than forcing the issue.

For the first time, SIngler was able to get a breather, alternating with Czyz.  I am not too sure how effective this was for the four guard lineup hurt in my humble opinion.  Singler struggled a bit on offense, possibly because last seasons ACC Rookie of the Year got five whole shots, making a deuce and a three.  He got to the line often, going 6 of 10 for a total of 12 points.  What many missed is that he is willing to do the dirty work and little things which equate to 5 blocked shots and 8 rebounds.

Low and behold, Olek Czyz didn't get a dunk tonight.  That's because he was used as a hacking dummy in an effort to keep the crowd favorite grounded.  Olek was 10 for 16 from the free throw stripe and that was all of his points.  He added 3 boards to go with 2 steals.

Nolan Smith is saddled on a team with many guards and it keeps the ball out of the hands of the talented player.  Nolan tossed in 15 points going 4 of 6 from the field and 3 of 3 from the line.  You would think with that kind of efficiency his teammates might get the rock in his hands more often.  He was smooth in his movement and his first half performance kept his team in the game.  Smith had 3 steals and a couple of assists as his team went to 6-3 which is still good enough for second place.

Lance Thomas was the man tonight and had to be for there was no Jerry Stackhouse, Green nor Davis for the Regulators.  After two consecutive dunks, LT helped his team to an early 29-12 lead.  During one sequence, LT dunked, rushed back to play the passing lanes, made the steal, dished to a teammate to start the break and finished it off with a reverse dunk.  Lance is a hustle guy who goes 100%  while he  in the game.  The wheels came off for the Regulators in the second half as they went down to a one point defeat, 57-56 blowing a 20 point lead.  Thomas had 17 points and a bevy of boards in the Regulators only loss thus far.  My report from the scorers table says LT was hacked hard as time ran out, but no whistle was heard.  Hopefully, a bit more consistency will ensue with the playoffs looming.

I didn't catch the nightcap, but got a call from the statistician who told me Gerald Henderson has 12 points with his team winning a 54-51 game over   There was no doubt that the overall play was hurt by physical foul-fests and forced shots on this evening.  Still, that's to be expected in basketball where o n a given night many things can happen.

The tournament will continue on Tuesday night with the final regular games and they will be hard fought in that they are jockeying for play off position.  They will then start the playoffs where the team are one and done.  So, get out there and support your favorite players!  The crowds have been consistent and again, there is an accommodating atmosphere at McDougald Gymnasium.

Standings going into the last regular game - Regulators (Lance Thomas) 8-1, RDU Barnstormers (Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Olek Czyz)  6-3, Team Williams 5-4, Team KG (Gerald Henderson) 5-4, Team Noel 4-5, Black Magic 3-6, E-Net (Elliot Williams, Steve Johnson) 3-6,  Team Felton 2-7 (Duke players in parentheses)

Official Pro Am Site Link

Pictures - (1) Elliot taking a three, (2) Elliot and Steve Johnson with Ridge and Corey (two of the kids our members sent to Carrawell James Basketball Camp), (3) LT readies to dunk[/private]

General Update – Boynton, targets

Let me start with a little talk of the "coming" new site.  We should have it up and running within ten days, but it will be a work in progress.  It may look similar to this one at first, but will undergo a face lift.  The goal is to get the premium section up and running asap.  I appreciate your patience of late with concerns to this issue.

You have to love the way David Cutcliffe and staff are recruiting.  We will cover football more once the dust clears.  In fact, I will be at the Duke kickoff lunch this Sunday and will give you the skinny. FWIW, there are two more names which should surface or commit by next week, making it 21.  They will save a few offers, like other schools do for the big guns which commit at the last minute.  That is unless they get who they want now and move on to 2010.  A new scoreboard is about to go up in the closed end of the horseshoe.  We'll show you a pic soon.

[private]I have been informed that the Duke Basketball Staff has turned their focus to the class of 2010.  That, of course, does not include Kenny Boynton.  They stay in contact with the Boyntons and will do so throughout the Olympic Games.  Terrell Vincent is out at this point which should free him to go to Villanova.  If Duke misses on Boynton, they will see who is still out there, meaning maybe Nick Russell.  They are still evaluating Jamil Wilson and he is the only kid which could get an offer at this time.

Kenny Boynton hit a go ahead three pointer with 38 seconds remaining to give defending champ Team Breakdown (6-0) a 61-59 victory against the Richmond Squires in U-17 play.Team Breakdown will play Philly Pride in a quarterfinal today at 11:30 a.m. The semifinals will be today at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.  There will be 2:30 p.m. final Friday should they advance  This ends the AAU season for Boynton and Knight.  I will keep you informed and should have a final from his last game shortly.  Nate James is keeping tabs on Boynton and Knight.

Despite the questioning at DBR, I can assure you that Brandon Knight does have an official offer.

The scoreboard is here!  The new scoreboard is going up in Cameron Indoor Stadium as I type.  It will be finished next week.  It of course will have video screens.  Also, there are planners about talking of Wallace Wade changes.

And then there is 09's Thomas Robinson ... Duke is evaluating him, b ut the genral feeling is that they could be late.  There could also be other issues which would make it so Duke could not offer.

As for Tyler Thorton and Josh Hairston, well, Duke hope to get them both soon.  If one commits, look for the other one shortly behind.  Georgetown is the team which came hard after both players once Duke offered.[/private]