Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski briefly addressed the media today. Here are some tidbits from that Q & A.
-If there is one thing that bothered the Duke coach in not only the loss to St. Johns but in the games of late; that would be turnovers. Krzyzewski said that many of the turnovers against St. Johns were unforced. "A really good team doesn't need to beat itself and when you commit that many turnovers we beat ourselves."
-Krzyzewski would like to see a more aggressive Grayson Allen. he wants him to shoot hunt his shot and to play aggressive. "He has done that for the most part but not all the time. He is trying to help his teammates but you have to be careful not to lose some of you."
-Krzyzewski said it is easy to see what his team has to do better and while he is not minimizing issues as a simple fix -- he feels hard work will get the team to where it needs to be,
-Krzyzewski praised UNC for still being a good rebounding team despite playing a smaller lineup. "Thursdays game is not an end all. It is a huge game but there will be another after that. Their program and out program is built on more than one game."
-When asked of struggles of late, Krzyzewski said, "Nobody wants to be at their peak in February."
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They did it again! Just when you thought the team was about to lose their third game of the season, Duke came alive. The Blue Devils uses an 18-0 run to shock Miami and snatch a key ACC road win. Without further ado, here is volume V of 10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball.
30 Point Efforts
No other team in the ACC has more than two players with 30 plus scoring games this season. Duke, on the other hand, has now had players go for 30 points or over in seven games. Last night it was Gary Tent Jr.s turn. After being sick the game before against Wake Forest and still playing well, Trent followed up that game with 30 points which included some big time three pointers. His effort helped Duke remain undefeated against teams in the current A.P. Top 25.
Trailing 66-53, Duke went on an 18-0 run and outscored Miami 27-4 over that stretch which sealed their fourth conference win. Gary Trent went 6 of 9 from three-point range, knocking down two consecutive trays to start the comeback. Trevon Duval also stepped up his game after struggling with turnovers early in the game and ended up having 8 assists. Duke has had a way of turning up their offense for spurts all season long. Quite simply, they are capable of staging major comebacks in just a few minutes or when the game looks to be in doubt.
Not to take anything away, but ...
The Blue Devils still need to find some consistency in many areas of the game. Firstly, they need to protect leads they build in the first half or leads in general. Duke also needs some work on their free throw game. They got away with going 10 of 21 from the charity stripe last evening and left a lot of points with misses of late. Then there is the need for a consistent effort and better shot selection not to mention a better understanding of man to man defense. Duke is young and learning. Once they take better shot and gain a killer instinct with the lead, they will be hard to beat. Just a little bit of improvement in the aforementioned areas could pay huge dividends.
A different role from Bagley
Well of course Marvin Bagley III got his 15 double-double on the season. And he tallied 13 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists by deferring to other Duke players at times. Last evening three other Duke players had more shots than Bagley. The talented freshman took another step in his development by allowing this to happen which translated to a win. And if Duke wins, Bagley will still remain the center of attention for many.
Wendell Carter went beast mode
When teammate Marvin Bagley went to the locker room with a shoulder injury, Carter played outstanding basketball. He was a machine on the boards where many of his game high 14 rebounds came early or in key times in the game. Carter is a double-double guy as well and he has pout together back to back games with the not so easy feat. Duke would be well served to make sure he continues to get touches moving forward for he is better when that happens as is the team. What people might miss is there is a timed development with players from the staff. They told Carter he would float outside for some shots to better that part of his game when recruiting him. They are keeping their promise. BTW, Carter has an insane stat line - 15 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocked shots, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Allen continues to struggle with his shot
Sometimes players get in a shooting funk. That has been the case with all of the Duke backcourt players at times this season. It is scary to think how good Duke can be if all three are hitting on the same night. What Allen is doing is finding his way into the stat line and remaining the senior leader a team needs. Last evening he led Duke is steals with 5 and his effort towards the end of the half to get one and assist Trent for a 3 halted Miami's momentum.
I know there is a part of Mike Krzyzewski that hates going to a zone. But in the one and done era with limited teaching time with players, not to mention a top-heavy team with concern to minutes: it is necessary. And when Duke does go to that zone it seems to have a great effect to date. When they went to it last evening, the Hurricanes offense immediately struggled with the length and movement.
Bad Duval, good Duval
Trevon Duval got into some early foul trouble and had to sit. He needs to learn to harness his aggression in that Duke needs him on the court. He is the best option at his position hands down. I thought he was on his way to 8 turnovers like he had against NC State, but he flipped the switch and halted that. Instead of 8 turnovers he ended the game with 8 assists. And he was very efficient from the field going 7 of 11 and 2 of 2 from 3. There is no position like the point guard spot which makes mistakes stand out. Duval was good down the stretch and was a part of Duke not committing turnovers after a season high 19 during their 30-9 run to close out the game.
This and that
Duke has now had players garner 25 double-doubles on the season. Bagley is 2nd in the nation in double-doubles and 1st among freshmen players. Trent tied a Duke freshman record with six made three pointers. Coach K is now 1014-273 at Duke and has 1087 total wins.
Pitt will visit Cameron Indoor Stadium on Coach K Court this coming Saturday. That game will tip-off at 4:00 on ACC Network Extra. Duke should get both rest and good practice time this week. They should also be able to let injured players continue to mend against Pitt which s struggling while rebuilding their program.
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It is time for the third installment of the season of 10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball.
Great crowds are not an automatic norm - It seems like a while since Duke has played but we must address how good the crowd was during the FSU game in Cameron. Even Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told the players they got their first true Cameron experience after a victory over a team shooting lights out.
Now, the odd thing here is that there were no cheerleaders or students to speak of, yet Cameron was at its loudest this season. It goes to show that spirit is often brought in more-so from fans who really want to see the team and rarely have the chance.
Duke will not play again in Cameron until January the 13th against Wake Forest. And the bar was set high for when the students come back to keep up a winning atmosphere. There are games when empty seats are found when the students are there, but Cameron was packed last Saturday and they need to find a way to keep the place full.
Next up, N.C. State - Yes, the Wolfpack was man handled by Notre Dame minus Bonzie Colson. Yes, Duke is the favorite. But the Pack has a way of playing their best against Duke no matter their record or national perspective. This will be the first time meeting between Kevin Keatts and Mike Krzyzewski in ACC play.
What will the Pack do? That's easy They will launch a ton of three-point shots. While streaky beyond the arc, that is how this team beat Arizona on a neutral court. The scouting report on Duke is that you must make your threes to win.
Duke should have an advantage in the paint - The dynamic duo of Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. has given Duke their best frontcourt ever under Krzyzewski. Yeah, I said it. But Omer Yurtseven and Abdul Malik-Abu will play well and try to make a name for themselves.
What I think Duke needs to do vs N.C. State - I am convinced that Duke will score the ball inside. But they will also need to hit their free throws. Some misses almost caught up to them in the win over FSU. Duke will also need to knock down a few threes while keeping the starters out of foul trouble early in the game. N.C. State and other schools play the name on the jersey and look forward to this match up and are therefore loose.
What does a player have to do? Marvin Bagley III won the ACC Rookie of the Week after his 32 point, 21 rebound stat line against the FSU. But I am not sure how that stat line and the significance of a key conference game kept him from player of the week as well.
After the Pack? Duke plays at Pitt on January 10th. Oh look! They also play them again just 10 days later in Cameron on January the 20th.
It's on now! After the game with Pitt, the breaks will be few and far between for Duke. They take on Wake 3 days later and then travel to Miami 2 days later. In short, the games will come quick now that conference season has started. When Duke tips off against the Pack in Raleigh on Saturday, they will have exactly 2 months before the ACC Tournament begins.
Duke loses Jordan Tucker - Transfers happen. Especially when players want to play right away and not willing to ride out the process. It is worth noting that Duke assistant coach Nolan Smith and many other stars past rode the bench in their freshman season.
We, of course, wish Tucker the best. At the same time, there is an appreciation for players who trust the process for many Blue Devils have become solid players in their junior and senior seasons.
I mentioned in the pre season that minutes would likely boil down to who won practice battles between Alex O'Connell and the aforementioned Tucker. I personally feel that O'Connell was a bit better prepared with his overall game to contribute.
The year to date and what is ahead - I mean, the team is ranked 2nd in the nation against a solid schedule and has perhaps the nations best player in Marvin Bagley III. Freshman starters Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Trent Jr., and Trevon Duval are playing older than they are. That, which Krzyzewski has stated, must continue.
Grayson Allen has become a leader and Duke has three good options off the bench and maybe even four. There have been no major injuries and the team likes each other and seems to have fun with the game.
So, not much to complain about. They are not perfect nor will they be and some more losses lie ahead. But plenty of wins do was well . The team can certainly win the league with some luck and make a deep run in March. I am certain their goal is the exact same one the fans have in mind. But take it one game at a time folks...one game at a time and enjoy the season.
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Welcome the second installment of "10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball," where we take time to reflect during the break in competition. Give it a read. It gets better and you go...
Duke is coming off a bad loss -- Look! I am as big an optimist as anybody, but there is no sugar-coating the fact that Duke Basketball is coming off a bad loss. The team was a 16 point favorite on the road and it was the all important ACC opener. But what's done is done.
Good things can come from bad losses -- Nothing gets a good teams attention like an upset loss on the road. Fans storm the court making an exit difficult and then the players are peppered with questions about what happened. The young Duke players found out that they will get every teams best shot and that they are not as good as the hype which surrounded them. Now, the team must look at the ACC standings where they are 0-1 and in last place until they can do something about it on December the 30th against Florida State. If this does not motivate the team, then there is no hope.
Practice counts -- As I look around I see a lot of people complaining about what the current group of players need to do better. Well, they are finally getting some time for practice, sort of. The team will be taking exams this week and that makes for a stressful time.
What needs to happen in coming practices -- Get better on defense. The team to date is very efficient on the offensive end but their defense, especially against the perimeter has been suspect at best. One of the hardest tasks the staff has is to teach one and done or young players how to play defense. But to win and win big, the team must buy into what they are about to learn. In fact, I would bet that 75% of practices will concentrate on teaching the defensive aspects of the game. Teams will continue to jack threes against Duke until they prove they can run players off the stripe.
A little perspective -- Before I go on, may I remind you that Duke has wins over Florida, Michigan State and Texas. They have a single loss which everyone with the exception of Villanova, Arizona Sate and one or two other contenders do as well. The team has a bevy of freshman playing key roles who have played together in 12 games and they will get better with the aforementioned practice time and another break to come after the Evansville game. The teams talent alone will win games, but once they improve things will get even better. Number four in the country in December is not a bad place to be. And better to learn lessons now than later.
However -- The ACC is once again good this year and Duke will face a test almost every night out in league play. A game with Florida State is looming and the Seminoles are ranked and undefeated. Six league teams are currently ranked and Virginia Tech should be. UNC is adjusting as is every other team in what will be another brutal league schedule. There will be many wars ahead as the season progresses.
Evansville is good -- It is always fun to hear fans say, we'll take it out on our next opponent which in this case Evansville. Well, a look at the standing shows a team that is currently 8-2 and likely to be 10-2 when entering Cameron on December 20th. The students will be gone for this game and the ACC home opener with FSU, so the fans who have closest to Coach K Court will need to be loud and proud.
The mental part of the game -- So many things can happen when you have a youthful team. But the one thing that will no matter how talented the youth might be is there will be a learning curve. As good as Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval are, they are going up against grown men. And as grown men, it is not just their physical aspects which come into play, but the mental part of the game where they can take advantage via experience. In short, improving mentally is important. Shot selection, consistency, team play and much else fall into the mental category.
Development -- It is already clear to many what Javin DeLaurier brings off the bench with his motor that helps with energy. But another freshman in Alex O'Connell seems to be developing and earning the staffs trust. The key is to play within yourself and not try to do too much when earning burn.
Lastly -- Nobody involved was happy with the loss at Boston College. But basketball can be a cruel sport at times. Duke faced a team that had players step up for great games and flirting with a loss via having to stage a comeback caught up with the team. But the future is bright and this group while not immensely deep is talented. Keep in mind that this is December basketball and while it counts, the goal will always be to develop fully come March. This has and will be a fun group to watch, so enjoy the ride for Duke Basketball never stops.
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PORTLAND, Ore. (from Nike) -- Today, Nike announces the names of four new structures in its campus expansion. Two buildings honor champion Nike athletes Serena Williams and Sebastian Coe and a new fitness center is named after Duke Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Additionally, a new parking garage celebrates the sporting heritage of New York City. These spaces reinforce the original campus master plan and link to preexisting areas through open green areas, sports courts and fields, and are positioned for fluid future growth.
The architecture itself was inspired by movement, while new workspaces support collaboration and enable employees to continue to imagine, invent and deliver the future of sport at an ever-quickening pace.
A trio of Northwest-based firms (ZGF Architects, SRG Partnership and Skylab Architecture) have guided design, while PLACE, of Portland, has provided landscape architecture services and Hoffman Construction built the facilities. This phase of the WHQ expansion project is slated for completion in 2019.
Michael Krzyzewski Fitness Center
The Michael Krzyzewski Fitness Center, opening in early 2018, is a 47,000 sq. ft. facility housing premium workout studios, weights, exercise equipment and locker rooms. The building’s third-floor features a basketball court that pays homage to Coach K, his family and Duke University.
The winningest coach in NCAA men’s basketball history, Mike Krzyzewski has led Duke University to five NCAA Championships and has won five gold medals in international competition as the National Coach for USA Basketball. He’s been a Nike Coach since the 1993-94 collegiate season.
Serena Williams Building
When completed, the Serena Williams Building will be the biggest structure at WHQ at more than one million square feet covering nearly three city blocks. It is expected to open in 2019.
Williams has been a Nike athlete since December 2003. Her record in tennis majors, an unmatched 23 single titles, solidifies her stature as one of the greatest athletes of all time, and one of the most inspiring people in sport.
Sebastian Coe Building
Opening in early 2018, the new six-floor Sebastian Coe Building will add about 475,000 sq. ft. to WHQ and was designed to emphasize connectivity.
Coe, a longtime Nike athlete, is one of the greatest middle distance runners in history, with two gold and two silver Olympic medals to his name. He also owns the unique accomplishment of once having held world records in the mile, 800 and the 1500 simultaneously.
The space is artfully themed around the New York City’s sporting heritage. Each level features graphics for championship New York sports teams. A covered outdoor courtyard for community gatherings, special events on campus and sports activities includes asphalt, cobblestone and artist-commissioned graffiti walls, while spaces for basketball, wallball and futsal further give off a distinct New York City vibe. The garage opens in January 2018.
October 18, 2017– Duke Men’s Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski will be joined by popular NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and former NBA and Blue Devils star Grant Hill for one-on-one interviews on the season premiere of Krzyzewski’s weekly SiriusXM show, Basketball and Beyond with Coach K. The show airs Thursday at 6:00 pm ET on ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM (channel 84 on satellite radios and the SiriusXM app) and will be available to subscribers after the debut on SiriusXM On Demand.
Dale Jr., who was voted by fans as NASCAR’s most popular driver 14 times during his career, discusses his decision to retire from full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition, following his legendary father into the sport, the future of NASCAR, and the recent news that he and his wife, Amy, are expecting their first child.
Hill, who won two NCAA Championships playing for Krzyzewski, talks about the FBI investigation into fraud in college basketball, and his involvement in the NCAA’s newly formed “Commission on College Basketball.”
Dale Jr. on today’s young drivers being the key to NASCAR’s future popularity:
Dale Jr.: “We have a very young crop of drivers, and actually a lot of drivers coming into the sport all at once that have a tremendous appeal personality-wise that I think is going to help the sport in the next 20 years, in the next 10 years especially. We have got a lot of veterans that are going to be around and still successful but there’s this really young group of guys, they grew up in the social media culture. They know how to access and entertain and connect with fans. … I think that NASCAR needs to promote these kids to the fans, promote them outside of the NASCAR bubble to attract new fans, bring old fans back to the sport that may have left. There’s tremendous opportunity there and that’s how it happens. The cars are important, the speed, the thrill, the excitement of the racing is important but nothing is better and more profitable for the sport than the personalities behind the wheel.”
Dale Jr. on distinguishing himself from his father:
Dale Jr.: “I promoted myself as being different than my father and I wasn’t going to try to emulate him outside the car or inside the car. A lot of people wanted me to be the same way he was, mannerisms and personality and so forth, and I wasn’t and so I tried really hard and maybe put in a little extra effort to show people that I was different and I liked different things and didn’t have the same personality or attitude and approach to my job. And I think that that helped actually in the long run get me out from under those expectations and people could see me for someone solely as my own person.”
Dale Jr.: “You hear from everybody over the years, ‘This is going to change your life, it’s the greatest thing ever and there’s nothing like it.’ And it’s hard to understand what they are saying and what that means until you start to go through the very beginning of the process and that’s where we are right now. And it is, it’s so real and there are so many emotions, all very good. We’re really excited and can’t wait to go down this journey.”
Basketball and Beyond is entering its 13th season on SiriusXM and features Coach K and co-host Dave Sims interviewing successful people from many different walks of life, including sports, pop culture, politics and more. Some of the high profile guests who have joined Krzyzewski on the program in recent seasons include New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick; former Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, General Martin Dempsey, actor Rob Lowe, University of Washington head football coach Chris Petersen; University of North Carolina head basketball coach Roy Williams and many others.