Tag Archives: Blue Devil Nation

Tre Jones Named 2nd Team All American/USA Today

DURHAM, N.C. – USA Today announced its 2020 college basketball All-America Teams with Duke sophomore Tre Jones earning Second Team honors.

The ACC Player and Defensive Player of the Year, as well as a Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports Third Team All-American, Jones was the floor general all season long for the Blue Devils. The sophomore team captain, who is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and the John R. Wooden Award, and a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring (16.2), second in assists (6.4), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (+2.4), sixth in steals (1.8) and 11th in field goal percentage (.423). He was the only player ranked in the league's top 11 in each of those categories. The native of Apple Valley, Minn., was a three-time ACC Player of the Week selection.

Duke ended its regular season with a 26-5 overall record and 15-5 mark in the ACC.

Duke Looks to Get Back on Track vs Hokies

The Duke Blue Devils will attempt to get back to playing winning basketball when Virginia Tech visits Durham for an 8:00 tipoff on ESPN this Saturday.

Both teams are coming off disappointing losses but in a different fashion. The Hokie let a three-overtime game slip away to Miami, while Duke suffered a butt whipping to N.C. State.

The Hokies (15-11) have won just one of their last seven games. That means Duke will be a healthy favorite. But before you think it is a sure win, consider they were ranked early in the season and beat a then #3 Michigan State team. And is this where I mention they have a 14 point win over N.C. State?

Teams are fighting for their tournament lives this time of year and the Hokies are one of them. They're a guard-heavy team led by Landers Nolly that lost to Duke by 14 in the first matchup in Blacksburg.

Duke will likely come out with some fire. There was enough dejection from the way they lost to the Wolfpack to make sure focus will be intact come tipoff time.

The Blue Devils need to get their entire team involved again where they had a mere six assists in their last outing. But what people will look to see is if they come out with purpose.

Chances are that the Blue Devils will rebound with a win, but what the staff seeks is consistency in the team's effort. Duke can ill afford let-downs the rest of the season where just five regular-season games remain.

Duke will look to shut down two freshmen coming off their career games. Tyrece Radford and Jalen Cone scored 26 and 20 points respectively vs Miami.

The Blue Devils should also be able to score the ball inside where Vernon Carey Jr, should get looks early and often. Duke will also try and get their offense going beyond the big to of the aforementioned Carey and team leader Tre Jones.

The Blue Devils are currently a half-game out of first place in the ACC and tied with Florida State for second place.

Sidebar

  • Duke holds an impressive 48-11 edge over Virginia Tech in the series which began in 1912.
  • Duke is 12-3 in the last 15 meetings.
  • Vernon Carey Jr. was just 4-7 in the first matchup, a 77-63 Duke win.
  • Tre Jones led Duke in scoring with 15 points in the first game.

Q & A With Tre Jones – Post UNC win

You cannot talk about the thrilling Duke overtime win over North Carolina without mentioning Tre Jones -- a lot. I mean, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Wendel Moore Jr., and Cassius Stanley all lauded his play in the post-game presser and they did so for good reasons.

Jones was dominant down the stretch doing everything one could ask of the teams leader. His exploits to get Duke into overtime and then help his team pull out the win will live forever in Duke-UNC rivalry lore.

His teammates praised his positive attitude when all hope looked dire before Duke made a miraculous comeback. Tre finished the game with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and the W.

Perhaps, his teammate Wendell Moore said it best, “It all started with Tre [Jones]. Tre had that look in his eye. When he had that look, we knew that we could follow him to victory. He led us there today.”

On his last shot of the overtime which he missed -

I missed and Wendell [Moore] pursued it. He got down low and was able to tip it out to Jordan Goldwire and saved the ball to me. I went up with a look and again, Wendell pursued it like he was doing a game and he got that huge basket.

On if he thought the team stole the victory -

No. Not at all. I feel like we earned this one. Things were not always going our way necessarily bt we continued to just ground it out. We never gave up and I think we earned and came out with the win.

What were you thinking when you got the ball in that situation?

Just get the shot off in time.

On the missed free throw... is that something you practice?

It is something I practice, yeah. Me and Scheyer [Jon, Duke Assistant Coach] actually talked about that in practice together. At the time it wasn't really serious but it helped tonight.

Q & A WITH VERNON CAREY JR.

One of the key performers in the Duke win over Pittsburgh last evening was Vernon Carey Jr. The big freshman tallied a team-high 26 points to go with 13 rebounds but he also had a career-high 4 assists. Carey now has nine double-doubles this season and he has scored 20 points or more and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in eight games. Blue Devil Nation caught up to Carey for a brief post-game chat.

It seemed like they wanted to get the ball into you early and often. Was that part of the plan against Pitt?

That was our gameplan coming in, to look inside early and just kind of play through me and I feel like we did a pretty good job of that as a team.

You have come into Duke and had a good shot from day one. What kind of work did you do in the offseason and here for that to happen?

I have always worked inside-out game or post and perimeter. We just work on screens and pops and just everything really.

The team was a little sluggish early after the break and you allowed them to make a comeback in the second half.

We came out a little sluggish and they cut the lead to three and just need to be more poised and turn the ball over less and get more stops.

You get to play in that [Carrier] Dome next. Have you ever played a game in a dome before and are you looking forward to it?

No, I have not played in one yet. I am looking forward to it.

Duke Seeks Continued Growth vs Miami

The Duke Blue Devils (2-0 ACC, 12-1 overall) ended 2019 with a dominating victory over Boston College and now face Miami (1-1 ACC, 9-3 overall) in their first test of the new year. The Hurricanes will sell out their arena for the premiere game on their conference home slate against Duke. And that means added emotion for a Hurricanes team which comes into the contest with a five-game winning streak.

In their last few contests where the Hurricanes have secured wins over Clemson and Illinois on the road; Miami seems to have found their comfort zone with their rotation.

As for the Blue Devils, Duke is on a six-game winning streak and sits at the #2 ranked slot in both polls. In short, Duke is getting better as they constantly stir the pot with their own rotation before the ACC schedule to come.

This is just the second true road ACC game for the young Duke cast and that means we will see how they react to an always hostile home crowd whenever they wear the visiting uniform.

Other than consistent contributors, Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones, Duke has had a lot of different players step up each night. Thankfully, the Blue Devils have a deep roster and they are making this situation a strength.

Meanwhile, Miami is led by three guards who all average 15 ppg in Chris Lykes, Kameron McGusty and Dejan Vasiljevic. The emergence of two frontcourt players in Sam Wardeenberg and Rodney Miller Jr. balances out the starters and Keth Stone is a solid frontcourt contributor off the bench,

Miami will test Duke by driving the ball to the hoop and when they kick the ball out, they have solid three-point shooters. In fact, every player but Miller in their starting lineup is a threat from the three-point stripe.

The Hurricanes will also play nine players against the Blue Devils. so the Duke bench play will loom large in this game as well. It almost never fails, that one of the better Duke players on a given night will come off the bench. The reason for that is there is not major separation from competing players at this time of the season.

Duke will hope that Matthew Hurt can build off his career-high in their win over Boston College. Right now, Hurt and his other teammates seek consistency with their play.

The Blue Devils showed what they can do when hitting the three-point shot in their last outing, but all games are different. Miami will provide another test for Duke and they are better than the Eagles.

What we will watch for is Duke to continue to play good defense against a guard-heavy team. The Blue Devils have struggled a bit with teams who are physical with their drives and Miami will test Duke that area of the game.

This will also likely be a contest where the Duke wing players need to be at their best. The play of guys like Cassius Stanley, Wendell Moore and Jordan Goldwire on both ends of the floor will be critical to success.

The Blue Devils could use some continued scoring punch out of Alex O'Connell and Joey Baker as well. When just one of these guys steps up on the offensive end, it has been good for the Blue Devils winning effort.

Duke cannot afford to get caught with a lack of focus for this game could prove tougher than many think. What the staff and fans hope to see is continued growth as the season moves into ACC play.

Duke Hoops Monday Musings

Vernon Carey Coming Out Party

After four consecutive games where he tallied double-figure points and rebounds, Vernon Carey Jr. has officially arrived as one of the nation's best players. Once Carey started to take his game inside first, it has allowed him to be a stat stuffer in the Blue Devils 6-0 start. Carey leads the team in scoring and rebounding and has shown the ability to knock down various outside shots with his great touch for a big man. He is also realizing his ability to clog the lane on defense. Look for the staff to push Carey to be even more dominant moving forward.

New York Trip Beneficial for Duke

The Blue Devils took care of business with two wins over California and Georgetown during this past weeks 2K Empire Classic. In the first game, the Duke defense smothered Cal. In the second game, Duke seemed a little tired at first while learning the lesson every team will come after you hard when wearing the four letters on your chest. Duke was able to gather itself and play a complete second half defeating a Georgetown team that was playing its best basketball of the season. The team grew up a lot while defining the roles of certain players on the trip which is a major positive moving forward.

A Sign of Things to Come?

During the trip to New York, it became evident that Cassius Stanley and Wendell Moore were seeing more minutes. They did not disappoint and at times played off one another. In the win over Georgetown Stanley tallied 21 points and 8 rebounds in 27 minutes. Moore 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 36 minutes. More importantly, they showed signs of growing chemistry between themselves and teammates. If the two versatile freshmen continue their growth while playing efficient and together good things will follow.

Next - Getting Matthew Hurt Untracked

Anyone who saw Hurt in high school knows he can be a solid contributor on the court. I think Hurt has struggled a bit with the physicality of the game as he grows into his body. Sometimes a player needs to go inside first and then float out to get it going. Some buckets near the rim while working on rebounding could open his game up. It is not a question of if things will come together for the talented freshmen, but when.

Duke Still #1

The Duke Blue Devils will remain the top ranked team in the country when the polls come out later today. Duke takes on Stephen F. Austin tomorrow evening in Cameron and then entertain Winthrop this Friday at 7:00. The Eagles are better than their 3-3 record suggests (likely 4-3 after taking on Pfeifer on Monday) and likes to play a slow down style. They have a 2 point loss to St. Marys on the road

Next up - Stephen F. Austin

Duke will take on Stephen F. Austin which is off to a 4-1 start including a 30 point win over Durhams' own North Carolina Central. Guiard Kevon Harris leads the way for the Lumberjacks who have four players averaging double-figure scoring. Tomorrow night's game has a dreadful 9:00 tip off time in Cameron.