John Wall returned from his visit to Memphis on Sunday afternoon and he may pay a visit to Duke possibly on [private] Tuesday of this week, the day before the team leaves for the Coaches versus Cancer 2K Classic in New York.
"Probably some time next week or this week," said Wall on when that visit might take place. I then
asked if Duke was a serious player at this time and Wall said, "I haven't been offered yet. Coach K wants me to sit down and talk to him in person and we'll take it from there."
He seemed to have liked his visit to Memphis, bit didn't elaborate too much on how it went saying, "It went good. I think it's a great school with a great environment. The fans show support and it was a great visit over all."
When asked who would play the biggest role in his recruitment he stated, "Probably my Mom and my high school and AAU Coach, Brian Clifton."
Wall also has a criteria which has pretty much remained the same saying, "I'm looking at the style of play, how my relationship might go with the coach. I like a style that lets you get up and down the court."
"The thing I most need to work on is my jump shot," said Wall. That's about the only thing which needs polish for Wall is a cat quick point guard who plays good on ball defense and finds his teammates with his unselfish play and terrific passing ability.
"All the teams on my list have been aggressive," said Wall. He continued to name his list and Duke was still in it. "They had showed some interest before and explained to me how they recruit players and once they offer they stick with that player."
He was of course talking about Kenny Boynton, who recently selected Florida. That opened the door for Wall. He also stated that Coach K had handled the majority of the process.
I asked the young prospect to describe his game in his own words. "I'd say clutch and I can lead my team to victory and get other people involved and he can lead his team to victory," said Wall. As a person, he said, "I'm cool, like to have fun and try to be a good person."
For those of you think there might be an early verbal to a school, think again. Wall stated, "I will wait until spring before I make a decision, that hasn't changed. I'm still wide open."
Walls list of schools - Duke, NCSU, Baylor, Memphis, Kansas, Oregon, Clemson
[private]The Duke Blue Devils survived Rhode Island's best shot on Sunday, and came away with a 82-79 win. Of course it took quite the effort from the Dukies as well, namely Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler. Singler twice hit two critical free throws to put Duke ahead at 78-77 and 80-79 on his way to 21 points, 5 boards and 5 assists.
“I tried clearing my head. You can’t let anything get to you. I knew we were down on all four them. I needed to sink them for the team to win. I stepped up with confidence and knocked them down,” Said Singler.
Scheyer drained 13 of 13 free throws including 6 of 6 with 3:18 remaining in a game that was on the line. His biggest two came with three seconds left giving Duke the lead for good at 82-79. Scheyer was also the Blue Devils leading scorer with 23 total points.
In a game that had a tournament atmosphere, Duke had to claw their way back time and time again. While the lead changed hand just 9 mes, the game was intense from the opening tip. In fact, Duke found itself trailing most of the contest.
“As good as the players were for both teams, the crowd was right there. This was a big time crowd today. Our crowd helped us so much today. They were fantastic. It was one of those February games in November. It’s a big-time game today. I don’t know how you get prepared for a game like this until you get in it. I thought in those last five minutes we did everything right, which you can’t practice, you’ve just got to be there," said Kryzewski just minutes after the game.
Krzyzewski continued, “We’re lucky to have Dave [McClure] and Lance [Thomas]. They just played so hard. Greg was in a tough position today because two days ago he really hurt his arm. He took a charge, and his arm swelled so much he couldn’t move his hand. This was Friday, and he kept ice on it all night and some of the swelling came down and yesterday he was able to somewhat close his hand and then he spent all night and today icing to where in our shoot-around he shot it a little bit. That kid played with a lot of guts today."
For a while it seemed as if the Rams would pull the shocker as they took a punch and countered time and time again. Jimmy Baron, the coaches son, put on a dazzling display of ways to get off three point shots, going over the Duke defense for 24 points. "He’s a great player. We wanted to win so bad and we’d get it down to a two-point game and then he’d hit a three and it’d go to five. We would come back down and score and then they would score. It was a game where it was hard to stop people," said Scheyer.
Barons teammate, Delroy James added 21 on 9 of 12 shooting, many on pull ups which barely moved the net.
In the end, it was Duke's patented man to man defense that finally made Barron moveoff the dribble. As he drove the lane, he was forced to alter his shot, missing badly with 10 seconds left in the game. Kyle Singler, then made the games biggest block and Duke grabbed a team rebound and held on after Scheyers aforementioned clutch free throws. "
Ultimately, we knew we were getting good shots and opportunities. We just needed to get stops," stated Scheyer.
The game had a tournament atmosphere and the Cameron Crazies were on top of their game, giving the team a huge lift. In short, the game is an early season instant classic in that an inspired Rhode Island squad had the crowd sitting on pins and needles until the final buzzer.
Duke went with just eight players for the most part in that Coach K obviously felt comfortable with his veterans against a team filled with junior and seniors at the key positions. Duke had just two points on the fast break because the Rams game plan was to get back on defense and run when they could.
Duke made a living at the free throw stripe going 28 of 32, a sizzling 87.5%. The Blue Devils were out rebounded by 2 boards, but out scored the Rams in the paint 38 to 26. The Devils struggled from the three
point stripe going just 4 of 17 for 23%. On the other hand, the red hot visitors were 10 of 14 for 71.4%, a stat any coach would love.
Duke valued the ball down the stretch and ended the game with just 10 turnovers as Coach K's mentor, Bobby Knight looked on from the sidelines. Knight and his wife are visiting with Krzyzewski before he works the Kentucky at UNC game on Tuesday evening.
While some fans on the various message boards are complaining a bit, thinking it is Duke's birthright to win blowout after blowout, they are failing to see is how much a game like this can help a team grow. Duke took an inspired teams best shot, yet dug deep to win with a ton of adversity.
This game taught the team many lessons and Coach K will use this contest to his advantage in preparing his team for Southern Illinois, another tough team, in New York on Thursday. More importantly, Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer stepped up and showed they are true leaders on this team.[/private]
[private]Abby Waner hit a three point shot in the opening minute of the game and Duke never looked back, in route to a 96-31 blowout. The Blue Devils went on an early 15-1 run and rode that to a 47-12 halftime lead.
The stats at the break said it all. Duke out rebounded the Bears 28-14 and made a living at the free throw stripe hitting 16 of 20. The Blue Devils stifling defense put a vice grip on the visitors who struggled to 4 made field goals in just 20 shots.
The second half was similar to the first with Duke outscoring Maine 10-0 in the first minutes. The game gave Coach McCallie the opportunity to to play all twelve players. This allowed freshman Kathleen Scheer, Chelsea Hopkins and Shay Selby to get significant minutes.
Scheer had 9 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in her college debut. Shay Selby had 7 points and 2 assists. Perhaps the most productive freshman was Chelsea Hopkins who tallied 9 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
"It's always great when you can go deep into your bench and give everyone some positive experience. It's one thing to get positive experience, it's another thing for people to take advantage of it. It's one thing to get some playing time, but another to be extremely productive and very intense during your time on the floor. I thought this group really did a super job attacking and going to strengths," said McCallie.
It was also a milestone for senior Chante Black in that her opening basket was her 1000th career point. That basket came via assist from fellow senior Abby Waner. Black also moved in to the top ten All Time Leading Shot Blockers in the ACC with a total of 4.
Black was the teams high scorer with 16, fellow senior Waner had 9 points and 5 assists. Thomas had 13 points. Cheek 10, Jasmine Thomas and Gay 7 apiece and 6 for Mitchell and 5 for Jackson.
The Duke defense caused 38 Bear turnovers and held them to 23% shooting for the game. They out rebounded Maine 56-17 and had 23 assists to just 5 for the opponent. Duke had 27 second chance points and 19 more from the fast break. The Dukies outscored Maine 50-14 in the paint. McCallie won her 343rd game as a coach.
Black has a total of 1015 points in her career. Abby Waner tied Vickie Kraphol in all time thee pointers for Duke and is 25th in the ACC. Careem Gay hit her first career three pointer. Joanne McCallie coached the Bears head coach, Cindy Blodgett in her stint at Maine. The Blue Devils move to 2-0 for the season and will now head to Chicago, Illinois for the DePaul Invitational where they open with Hartford on 11-21 at 6:30 PM CST.[/private]
[private]The Duke Women won their opener over a pesky Oklahoma State team, led by All American candidate Andre Riley. To say it was a tale of two half's would be appropriate in that Duke went into the locker room trailing 44-35, their heads still spinning from Rileys speed to the bucket where she tallied 20 points.
Duke was shooting but 33.3% at the break and a paltry 1 of 11 from the three point stripe didn't help. The Cowgirls had also stayed even with the Blue Devils on the boards, not to mention just two successful perimeter shots. In short, it looked as if the 14th rated team from the Big Twelve was poised to spoil the evening for the 6000 fans in the stands.
Those fans made their way to Cameron thorough a downpour of rain and it seemed to continue early on. But the rains stopped at the start of the second half and Duke's fortunes did as well. Once the weather cleared from the first half storm, Coach McCallie righted the ship.
The main move she made was to go to the zone and back off the press which Riley had moved through with ease. The Dukies also made it a point to get the ball to their star front court player, senior Chante Black who would score 18 second half points on her way to a career high 28 points to go with 10 boards.
It was essential that Duke got the ball on the blocks, in that their starting guards of Waner and Thomas struggled on the evening with 5 of 29 from the field. Despite the off night, each of the them hit huge three pointers in an amazing second half run.
Cheek started the rally with a three, but Shuante Smith made a quick lay up and it looked as if the game would go much like the first half did. At the 18:32 mark, a royal blue storm took over as the Devils erupted to the delight of Cameron fans. When the dust started to clear, Duke had gone on a 20 to 1 run to take a 58-46 lead.
It was the kind of comeback that made one realize how fortunate they were to have witnessed the thrilling turnabout. The Duke zone stifled the Cowgirls and Riley scored just nine second half points, but to their credit, they never gave up.
The Blue Devils outscored their opponent 42-24 in part due to stellar defense where they eliminated the backdoor lay ups. But the real culprit is that the Devils dominated the boards 34-20 after the break. Careem Gay led the way with11 rebounds and it's worth noting that her first half offense kept the Devils close going into the half.
The win was the 18th straight home opener. Duke will host Maine on Sunday at 12:00 in Cameron and tickets are available. Check back later this evening for more coverage from this game.[/private]
[private]Leading scorer Kyle Singler will lead the Duke Blue Devils against the Rhode Island Rams on Sunday at 4:30 pm in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Rhode Island has size and athleticism, and will arrive at Cameron Indoor Stadium as the best team on Duke's schedule to date. It remains to be seen whether the Rams have the talent to seriously challenge the Blue Devils, but this game will not be a pushover so the Blue Devils need to be focused on the task at hand - beating Rhode Island - not looking ahead to New York City and Madison Square Garden.
Last year, Rhode Island jumped out to a 14-1 start before fading over the second half of the season and finishing 21-12 in the tough Atlantic 10 conference earning a bid to the NIT. Leading scorer Will Daniels (18.6 ppg/6.5 rpg) has graduated along with Parfait Bitee (11.8 ppg/4.7 apg), but Rhode Island returns six players who significantly contributed, and welcome three freshman and a transfer from Connecticut who sat out last season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.
Seniors Jimmy Baron (6'3" 195) and Kahiem Seawright (6'8" 235) averaged 14.2 points/1.9 assists and 9.2 points/8.4 rebounds per game respectively. Jason Francis (6'9" 280) is the team's third Senior. Juniors Lamonte Ulmer (6'6" 215) and Keith Cothran (6'4" 195) both averaged double digit minutes, while Junior Delroy James (6'8" 220) averaged 9 minutes per game. The three Juniors combined for 17.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season. Sophomore Marquis Jones (6'1" 200) is projected to be the starting point guard.
Rhode Island strengths: Jimmy Baron is a very good shooter and has range. He made over 40% of his 3-point attempts last season and will be the Rams' Go-to-Guy. Baron made 91% of his free throw attempts so, like Jon Scheyer, he will have the ball in his hands a lot even though he isn't the point guard. Rebounding is another strength as Rhode Island was second in the Atlantic 10 and averaged 13.4 offensive rebounds a game. Kahiem Seawright was the leading rebounder in the Atlantic 10 conference. Seawright is the core of the Ram's inside game but he will receive support from small forward Lamonte Ulmer who is active on the glass. Ulmer averaged 7.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game off the bench last year.
Rhode Island vulnerabilities: The Ram's point guard is untested and against a high intensity defensive team such as Duke that could be a big problem. Perimeter defense is also a suspect area for Rhode Island. They were burned in Atlantic 10 conference play last season as teams exploited the Rams from behind the 3-point arc. Finally, Rhode Island likes to get out in transition but they can struggle in their half-court offense. When matched against teams that are able to match their speed and athleticism, the Rams are prone to being erratic on offense.
Keys to the game: Foul trouble will be the first indicator one team is in trouble. While both teams have sufficient depth, there are key players that must stay on the court. For Duke, the player is Kyle Singler. It is important that the combination of Lance Thomas, Miles Plumlee, and Brian Zoubek execute against Rhode Island's big interior players. If Kyle Singler is forced to do the dirty work inside, picks up fouls, and is forced to the bench, Rhode Island will gain an advantage. For Rhode Island, Seawright and Baron must stay on the court for the Rams to be competitive.
Second, turnovers will be critical. Both teams like to get out in transition and force game tempo. Which team will be successful? The team that successfully executes their running game by forcing turnovers and scoring in transition will gain a significant advantage toward ultimate success. Look for Duke point guards Nolan Smith and Greg Paulus to pressure Marquis Jones relentlessly in an attempt to deny Rhode Island the opportunity to establish fast paced offensive flow. Lance Thomas and Dave McClure are very strong defensive players in a fast paced environment so look for these two to see plenty of playing time against the Rams.
Finally, long rebounds off of missed 3-point shots will be important. Rhode Island and Duke like to shoot from behind the arc so it will be important for perimeter players to secure rebounds. Long offensive rebounds equate to extra opportunities to score the ball. Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer, and Elliot Williams are all strong rebounding guards who will need to out hustle the Rams.
Last season, Rhode Island averaged 80.5 points per game and shot 47 percent from the field including 38 percent from behind the 3-point arc. They were the 82nd best team in the nation according to Pomeroy Basketball Ratings. Duke's first two opponents this season were ranked 294 (Presbyterian) and 141 (Georgia Southern).[/private]
[private]The following is courtesy of Duke Sports Information/GoDuke.com
• Game 3 •
[8 AP/5 Coaches] Duke (2-0) vs. Rhode Island (0-0)
Sunday, November 16, 2008 • 4:32 PM ET • ESPNU
Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) • Durham, N.C.
Blue Devil Bits
- The Blue Devils are ranked eighth in the AP poll and fifth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Rhode Island is unranked in both polls.
- Duke has won 61 consecutive non-conference home games. The Blue Devils have won 191 of the last 194 non-conference home games.
- Duke is 2-0 on the year, marking the eighth straight year it has started with back-to-back wins.
- The Blue Devils have a 37.0 points per game margin of victory through two games. Duke topped Presbyterian by 31 points (80-49) in the opener and Georgia Southern by 43 points (97-54) in the second game of the year.
- Duke and Rhode Island have played just two times entering Sunday’s contest. Both games came in the NCAA Tournament with the Blue Devils recording one-point victories in 1978 (63-62) and 1988 (73-72). Duke advanced to the Final Four with the narrow win on March 24, 1988.
- Sophomore Kyle Singler earned 2K Sports Durham Regional MVP honors after averaging 19.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game against Presbyterian and Georgia Southern.
- Six Blue Devils are averaging at least 8.0 points per game, while five players are grabbing 4.0 rebound per game or more.
- Duke has forced 45 turnovers and allowed just 34 made field goals this season.
- Duke is 105-16 all-time in the month of November, including a 91-10 mark under Coach K.
- The Blue Devils have won 11 straight games in November and are 42-2 in the month since 1997-98.
- Mike Krzyzewski is fifth all-time (first among active coaches) with 805 career wins.
- Duke is 263-52 this decade, more wins than any other team in the NCAA.
- The Blue Devils are playing in their third straight game on ESPNU.
- Duke is 73-27 all-time against teams currently in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Blue Devils have won 11 straight contests against A10 opponents (last loss was 59-58 versus Temple on Jan. 25, 1996). Duke will also play A10 schools Duquesne (11/28) and Xavier (12/20) this season.
- Duke pulled down 58 rebounds for a 58-36 rebounding advantage against Georgia Southern. The 58 rebounds are the most rebounds by the Blue Devils since March 4, 1999, when they had 59 rebounds in a 104-67 win over Virginia in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. It is the most rebounds at home since Duke had 59 against Xavier, in an 82-60 win on Dec. 4, 1993. The 58 rebounds on Tuesday are the second most at home and fourth most overall under Coach K. On the year, Duke is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 18.5 rebounds per game.
- Against Georgia Southern Duke went to the free throw line 49 times (25-of-49), the most since Jan. 30, 2005 when the Blue Devils also recorded 49 free throw attempts (30-of-49) against Virginia Tech.
- The Duke bench is averaging 33.5 points per game through two contests. The reserves posted a
big game against Georgia Southern with 40 points. Duke had three games last season with 40 or more points from the bench.
- The Blue Devils collected at least 10 steals in both games with 17 against Presbyterian and 11 against Georgia Southern. The 17 steals rank tied for the 14th most in a single game in school history and were the most since the Blue Devils recorded 17 steals against UNC Greensboro on Nov. 16, 2006.
- Duke held both of its first two opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting. They held Presbyterian to just 16-of-53 (.302) and followed by holding Georgia Southern to 18-of-64 (.281) from the floor. Duke is 280-9 under Coach K when holding opponents under 40.0 percent shooting and 39-0 when limiting them to under 30.0 percent shooting.
- Sophomore Nolan Smith is shooting 53.1 percent (52-of-98) from the field in 18 career games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Smith is 11-of-17 (64.7 pct.) from the floor at home this season.
-Scheyer has recorded more assists than turnovers in 18 consecutive games. Scheyer enters Sunday’s game with a 10:1 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season. He had a career-best seven assists and just one turnover against Georgia Southern.
- After turning the ball over 21 times in the season opener, Duke trimmed its turnovers to 11 against Georgia Southern.[/private]