Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Duke head man Coach K is going for Gold.

Coach K Talks Gold and USA win

Duke head man Coach K is going for Gold.
Duke head man Coach K won his 3rd consecutive Gold Medal as USA trounced Serbia in Rio.

Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski  or Coach K as he is known to many, led Team USA to its third consecutive Gold Medal with a 96-66 win over Serbia in Rio.  That's something no other coach has done to date,  Krzyzewski finished up his USABB coaching career with a phenomenal 88-1 record including a 24-0 mark in Olympic play.  Krzyzewski has now won two world championships, three gold medals and five national titles which puts him in living legend status.  Here is his post gold medal game comments.

Opening statement:

Well, the very first thing, I would like to say that from our entire staff, all the players, the personnel, we want to thank the people of Brazil for putting on an excellent Olympics, and the people of Rio de Janeiro. We were treated fabulously. Like really, I cannot think of one thing, one time that we were not treated at the highest level, and it was an honor to play in this fabulous country and this great city. We beat three outstanding teams in order to win in Argentina, Spain and Serbia, and congratulations to Serbia on the silver medal and Spain on the bronze. I’m just proud of my guys. These two guys are now the top two (Olympic) scorers in the history of United States basketball, and one of them is the top rebounder, too. So, the commitment that these guys – KD doesn’t rebound (laughing). It’s alright, he shoots it pretty well. He actually averaged nine rebounds a game (in his NBA season). Just these two guys, to have two veterans who’ve won it before to serve as the leaders for our team was fabulous.

Can you describe the journey with this team and with your journey as the national team coach?

This team kept getting better and even those three games in pool play, we had not played that type of game against that type of level.  We said it was a learning experience and our guys did learn.  We put it to good practice.  We kept getting better even though it didn’t necessarily reflect in the differential in the score but we were getting better and more knowledgeable.  That’s where I commend the leadership of our veterans for keeping us on course for that.  As far as (his tenure), Carmelo’s been here as long as I’ve been here.  We shared a press conference in Japan in 2006 where after our only loss, he set the tone in that press conference for what was to be one of the standards of our program and that’s collective responsibility.  He didn’t make any excuses.  We took responsibility for the loss and gave credit to the Greek team.  We built on that.  I call it character.  At that moment, sometimes in  a loss, you find out a deep character in someone and that’s what happened with Carmelo in then the commitment from LeBron and Kobe and all these guys, Chris, Kevin, all these guys have great character.  It’s just built to where now we have a great, great culture.

What are you proudest of coaching three different types of teams to a gold medal?

I think the fact that we’ve done with five teams because to me, if Kevin doesn’t do what he did in Istanbul, he might not have done what he did in London.  To me what he did in Istanbul is what he did today.  The coaching staff was saying that.  In fact, he took two shots further than he ever did in Istanbul today.  It’s called the ultimate green light.  You didn’t hear me saying don’t shoot.  What I’ve loved the most about these guys and not just these two but the guys who have made these commitments, they’ve set the example for the younger generation of the United States to where now everybody is proud of USA Basketball.  It’s because not just how they played but how they acted and how unselfish they were.  I’m amazed at these guys.  I’ve learned so much from being around them.  It’s made me a better coach.  This experience this summer has made me a better coach.

How much did coach Tom Thibodeau help you out on the sideline?

Tom is one of the great coaches on this planet. Obviously defense, a lot of people have said that’s what we need. He and Monty (Williams) are amazing. I think having him for these four years, he and Monty have been a blessing to me. To be quite frank, he talks to the team more than I do. Then when I need to interpret something, I’ll interpret some things, I’ll interject something or today’s meeting I cut short a little bit, but it was a good move. It was a good move today (laughs).

Having Tom’s voice there, it’s one reason, I always sit down during the ball game. I’m not a coach who stands a lot, because I got good guys around me. The best guy around me is Jim Boeheim. For 11 years, he and I have been co-coaches for this team. But to have Tibs next to me, yelling, I’ve learned a lot. I think the people in Minnesota are very lucky. His players are going to have … they’re going to be taught the game well. One thing about Tibs, he’s got a great voice, he’s got an unbelievable voice. I said, “If you weren’t a basketball coach, you should have a radio show from midnight to 4 in the morning and you could be saying, ‘This is Tom Thibodeau from Minneapolis.’” That’s what I feel about him.

How does today’s victory rank among your USA Basketball victories?

This ranks just like the others. I’ve been really a lucky guy, collegiately and internationally to be a part of championship teams. I’m just proud of the fact that Jerry Colangelo, when he took over he gave me an opportunity. The way these players have felt, they’ve been given an opportunity to play for their country and you make the most of it. I love the fact that almost a year ago, well, probably seven, eight months ago, we already named Gregg Popovich to take over. So, you have the best guy in the world coach the team now. That says a lot about the program that’s been developed.

With three gold medals, yet you don’t have any gold medals. What do you take home from this?

The main thing is all the memories and for me, seven of my grandchildren were here, out of my nine.  A few of them have been to all three Olympics, what a blessing. The night before the last three games, I had a chance to eat with my grandchildren, my daughters, my wife. For them to share this, a lot of the guys their families have shared this. That’s what I take from this. It’s been a joy. I’ve been so lucky to be given this opportunity.

Photo by Juan Ocampo/Getty Images

Irving Talks 2nd Gold Medal

Photo by Juan Ocampo/Getty Images
Photo by Juan Ocampo/Getty Images

Former Duke guard, Kyrie Irving won his second gold medal as Team USA throttled Serbia 96-66.  When asked about his feelings, Irving responded,  ''It feels great. It feels amazing, it’s the pinnacle of my summer right here. Finishing off the right way, playing with an unbelievable amount of talent. We made some great bonds that will last forever and it’s just a really exciting moment.''

Irving most recently won the NBA title as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in seven games.  Like other NBA stars he thought about not playing for Team USA this summer, but the lure of playing for his former coach Mike Krzyzewski swayed him to do so.

''Coach K is the main reason I’m here. He had a vision and I just followed it,'' said Irving after accepting his gold medal along with his teammates.

Irving played in just eleven games at Duke but he is still proud of the program and his relationship with Krzyzewski.   In his short career, Irving, 24 years of age,  has played in three NBA All Star games and was named MVP of one of them.  He was also named the NBA Rookie of the Year.


Gary Trent Jr. Down to 5 Schools

Co3iRA2UsAE9CSnGary Trent Jr. is one of the Duke Blue Devils most sought after targets.  Today he announced his final four schools via twitter which includes Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan State and UCLA.

Trent has been a constant star on the Nike EYBL circuit this season and a participant in the USA Basketball program.  Trent most recently announced that he would transfer from Apple Valley HS in Minnesota to traditional power Findlay Prep.

Trent played for Howard Pulley where he teamed with another Duke prospect in Tre Jones who is the brother of National Champion Tyus Jones.

The shooting wing guard is considered a top ten or can't miss prospect at the college level.

Gary Trent  Senior was the 11th pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.  His size and power play garnered him the nickname "The Shaq of the MAC". when he played for Ohio. His Ohio University No. 20 jersey was retired on January 21, 2012, during halftime of an Ohio vs. Miami, OH game.

You can follow Gary Trent Jr. on twitter @THAT_KID_GARY.

BDN Extra - Gary Trent Jr. on his unofficial visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium last season where Duke entertained several key prospects -

Gary Trent visits Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke last season. Picture here with Jayson Tatum.
Gary Trent visits Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke last season. Picture here with Jayson Tatum.

It was fun, it was crazy.  Every time you see them on TV with people putting their hands up or out on the out-of-bounds happens.  You kind of get a feeling of what it is like to be in a game there in person and they are crazy and loud.  I like the little Harry Potter feel the campus has to it with the old buildings.  It was nice.  I got to see their facilities too and they're top-notch. Everything is great there and the standards they have, it's all just really good.


ACC Digital Network to Launch 2019

ACC+KickoffESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will launch the ACC Network – a comprehensive linear and digital network, it was announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper at the conference’s annual Football Kickoff media event in Charlotte, N.C. The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036. ESPN is the ACC’s exclusive worldwide rights holder.
Beginning in August 2016, fans can access more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via a digital live-events channel ‘ACC Network Extra’, immediately available to users who have access to ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with that number growing each year.  More than 1,300 ACC events will be distributed across the platforms in 2019 when the linear network launches. 
Linear Network Programming
The linear network will feature 450 exclusive live events including 40 regular-season football games, more than 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, more than 200 other regular-season contests and tournament games from across the conference’s 27-sponsored sports, plus a complement of news and information shows and original programming. ESPN has been televising ACC content since 1979 and has exclusive rights to every conference-controlled football and men’s basketball game, plus women’s basketball and conference sports matchups, as well as all ACC championship events.
“We look forward to working with our longtime partners at the ACC to create a network that reflects the depth and quality of its athletes and teams, and serves the fans who passionately support them. We are proud and excited to add the ACC Network to our industry-leading college content offerings,” said John Skipper, ESPN President.
“On behalf of the ACC Council of Presidents, Faculty Athletics Representatives and our ACC Television Committee, we are tremendously pleased to further enhance our long-term partnership with ESPN that includes the creation of the ACC Network and ACC Network Extra, and positions the conference for the long-term future,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “This partnership continues to be a win-win for ESPN and the ACC. ESPN is the premier provider in sports content and this agreement will deliver unprecedented coverage to our fans, while highlighting our quality student-athletes, coaches and institutions.”
Additional details about the network will be announced in the coming months.
About ESPN, Inc.
ESPN is the only network to have rights agreements with 29 NCAA Division I conferences including long-term rights deals with each of the Power 5 conferences, the NCAA and the College Football Playoff. ESPN, Inc., is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company comprises eight U.S. 24-hour television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network and SEC Network). Other businesses include ESPN EventsESPN International (24 networks, syndication, radio, digital), ESPN Radio (broadcast, satellite, digital), digital services ( plus a variety of sport-, college-, and market-specific sites; multi-screen WatchESPN and ESPN3; plus mobile TV and video, apps, alerts and messaging), ESPN The Magazine and consumer products. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
About the ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 64th year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity. The ACC currently sponsors 27 NCAA sports – 14 for women and 13 for men – with member institutions located in 10 states. For more information, visit and follow @theACC on Twitter and on Facebook (

Duke Captains Bring Plenty to the Table

yThe Duke Blue Devils 2016-17 Basketball team is generating a tremendous amount of anticipation and for good reason. The team will be loaded and deep and coached by what many consider the best staff in the country.  Add to that three veteran captains and the expectations should be through the roof.

A ridiculously talented recruiting class will join some veteran holdovers to form a team that will likely be the pre season number one pick.  Three or four first year Blue Devils will play huge roles on the team, but as history often shows us, you are only as good as your veterans at crunch time.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski recently name his team captains for the coming season. There was really no mystery on which players would get the call. There will always be seniors involved and this means Texas native, Matt Jones  is one,  And then Philly product in Amile Jefferson was another natural choice.

Both Jones and Jefferson are very mature and each brings their own form of leadership to the table. Matt Jones is a young man of faith and that has allowed him to exude patience. That patience was needed after his freshman season where like many before him he hit a wall in mid-season. Jones would end up spending more time in his home state of Texas that off-season.  His soul-searching and hard work landed him a key role with the teams system moving forward.

Ask any coach and they will tell you how much they covet low maintenance player and that is what you have in Matt Jones. He caught Mike Krzyzewski's eye when Duke was recruiting his teammate Julius Randle who ultimately chose Kentucky and is now with the Los Angeles Lakers. It didn't take long for Jones to commit to Duke and his journey has led him to a leadership role in his final season wearing the royal blue.

10644586_10205578347492091_4093529158834014343_nA season ago, Amile Jefferson was having a breakout year. He went down with an early season foot injury that ended his campaign. While that was certainly disturbing at the time for the program his return to help break in new big men from the incoming class.  Talk about a luxury for the staff, his leadership will be vital to the teams effortd.

Jefferson was a double-double machine when he went down to injury and while those numbers could fall off a bit, it shows he can consistently produce. Duke won over Jefferson after a late battle with N.C. State on the recruiting trail. Like many on the team, he actually always favored the Blue Devils and that  makes for spirited leaders.

23With an extra year of added maturity both physically and mentally, Jefferson could be the best leader of the bunch. He is a bit more animated or emotional than some players but it is controlled. Krzyzewski and his staff love on court communication and Jefferson has never been short for words in the locker room.

The third captain is a polarizing figure and his talent is undeniable. Grayson Allen has always wanted to play for Duke and he has that rare determination to achieve goals no matter the cost. Players with a can-do attitude are vital when it comes to winning championships and Allen has that drive.

A year ago, Allen had to pretty much do it all on a team that noticeably thin and inexperienced after the loss of Jefferson. A couple of incidents seemed to overshadow the sophomores gutsy play at times but Allen managed to grow from it even more. Allen's decision to return was partly based on wanting to lead and win another championship. He will garner plenty of deserved attention and magazine covers but he wants to leave Duke two-time champion more than anything else.

All three captains have their strengths but collectively, they pretty much check all the boxes for leadership. It's a real luxury for the staff to have these three kids who are not only good basketball but are strong in character. I've been privy to know each of these young men from their days in AAU ball to now. That said, I am objectively impressed by each of these young men's character first and foremost.

But what will be their key role or form of leadership with the many newcomers.

In Matt Jones I see a player who can share the story of patience and applying yourself to the system. Jones can also preach defense and rounding out through hard work on your game out to find a role.

Amile Jefferson will likely represent team spirit. And like Jones, that patience will present a role in time. Jefferson also has a mental toughness to his game which showed in the 2015 National Championship game.

Meanwhile, Allen is the steward of drive and effort and giving it his all. There is no loose ball that does not deserve a dive and tumble in his eyes. Always remember that Allen did not play a lot during his freshman campaign.  He would later enter the title game and help Duke win their fifth National Championship by being ready to play.

Together, these three captains display for all the epitome of the Duke Basketball system and how it works. Each has developed relationships to go with their skill sets and been in past battles that will benefit them moving forward. The Duke newcomers will have some good teachers and captains who all own a championship ring. The one most important thing that each of them will stress to the likes of Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson and the rest of the freshman is what it takes to become a part of the club of champions.

Grayson Allen will be set to take on the schedule in 2016-17 for Duke.

Duke Non Conference Schedule Set

Grayson Allen will be set to take on the schedule in 2016-17 for Duke.
Grayson Allen will be set to take on the schedule in 2016-17 for Duke.

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s basketball program has finalized its 2016-17 non-conference schedule, which features eight regular-season home games, a pair of contests at Madison Square Garden and the first college basketball game at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

Of the 14 known and potential opponents on Duke’s 2016-17 non-conference schedule, six made postseason appearances in 2016, including three NCAA Tournament participants (Cincinnati, Kansas and Michigan State). Those 14 teams combined to post a .574 winning percentage in 2015-16.

The Blue Devils will open the regular season with a pair of home games as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off, hosting Grand Canyon on Nov. 11 and Marist on Nov. 12. Duke has never faced either school in men’s basketball.

Duke will square off with Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., on Nov. 15. The Blue Devils own a 7-3 advantage in the all-time series and last met KU in Chicago in the 2013 Champions Classic.

Duke will remain away from home for its next two games, taking on Penn State at Mohegan Sun Arena on Nov. 19 to open the championship portion of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off. The game will start at 12:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast on ESPN3.

The following day, the Blue Devils will face either Cincinnati or Rhode Island depending on the results of the semifinal games. The tournament championship game will be held at 1 p.m. and broadcast on ESPN, while the consolation game is set for approximately 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

On Nov. 23, Duke will kick off a stretch of four consecutive home games when it hosts William & Mary. The Blue Devils will host Appalachian State on Nov. 26 before their ACC/Big Ten Challenge showdown with Michigan State on Nov. 29. Duke is 10-2 all-time against MSU, including a 3-0 mark in the Challenge, and has won the last five meetings between the programs.

Duke’s homestand will conclude when it plays host to Maine on Dec. 3.

The Blue Devils will make a return trip to Madison Square Garden on Dec. 6 to take on Florida in the Jimmy V Classic. Duke owns a 12-4 advantage in the all-time series with UF, though the programs haven’t met since the 2000 NCAA Tournament.

“Duke is honored to participate in the Jimmy V Classic, one of the prominent events in college basketball each season,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said when the event was announced in April. “Certainly, Florida represents a significant challenge. Facing this level of competition, played in one of the world’s premier sporting venues at Madison Square Garden, will provide us with invaluable experience as we develop our team. Personally, the Jimmy V Classic means so much to me as Jim and I became brothers toward the end of his life. He recruited me to be a part of his vision for the V Foundation, and I am very proud to be associated with that team’s tireless efforts to find a cure for cancer.”

Duke is making its third appearance in the Jimmy V Classic, having earned wins over Kentucky in East Rutherford, N.J., in both 1998 and 2001. Florida is led by second-year head coach Mike White, the son of Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White.

The Blue Devils will travel to Las Vegas for a matchup with UNLV on Dec. 10, marking the first meeting between the programs since the 1991 national semifinals. The contest will also represent the first college basketball game played at the new T-Mobile Arena, a multi-purpose venue that opened in April 2016.

Duke’s non-conference home finale will occur on Dec. 19 when the Blue Devils host Tennessee State, and Duke will conclude regular-season non-conference play on Dec. 21 when it squares off with Elon at the Greensboro Coliseum.

As previously announced, Duke’s ACC schedule will include home-and-homes with Florida State, Miami, North Carolina and Wake Forest. Duke will only host Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, NC State and Pitt, while only visiting Louisville, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Prior to the start of the regular season, Duke will tip off the 2016-17 campaign with Countdown to Craziness presented by Delta Air Lines on Oct. 22. The Blue Devils will also host exhibition games against Virginia State on Oct. 28 and Augustana (S.D.) on Nov. 4.