Tag Archives: Duke Basketball News

Duke Maryland 2012 290

Miles Plumlee hopes to build on 22 rebound effort

Sitting behind the Duke bench during the Blue Devils 73-55 victory over Maryland was a proud father who had just watched not one, but two sons produce double-doubles.  Perky Plumlee had that look of satisfaction on his face as he cracked his normally serious game face for a big grin and why not?

His eldest son, Duke senior Miles Plumlee had just grabbed an amazing 22 rebounds, the most of any player on a team Mike Krzyzewski has coached.  “Miles  was fabulous. That’s the most rebounds any player has ever had that I have coached in 37 years in a ball game, and I told Miles, I have coached some pretty good players,” Krzyzewski stated in his post game press conference.

The hope is that Plumlee will build on this performance and bring consistent play down the stretch as March will soon be upon us.  With just six regular season games left and three of those at home, maybe that is in the back of the seniors mind. 

Krzyzewski alluded to the fact that (Miles) Plumlee was great today and while he would not put pressure on Plumlee, he did mention him in the same breath as Brian Zoubek who played a huge role in helping Duke win the 2010 National Championship.

There are times when the light just comes on for players and if Plumlee were to bring half the rebounds he grabbed against Maryland to the table the rest of the way, it would be a good thing for Duke.

“I know I have the potential to be a great asset to this team,” said Plumlee who then stated, “I just have to be consistent and play strong every night and that’s something I can do.”

The mere fact that Plumlee has grabbed more rebounds in a single game than any other player in the ACC this season is impressive.  And Plumlee has the athleticism and size to be a major factor in coming games.

With wo straight double-doubles recorded by Plumlee it makes for a good start to stepping up his game as did the aforementioned Zoubek.  And one must also remember that he was on that title team and saw up close and person what it takes to make a run at the ultimate prize.

On a day when it was hard to get up for the task at hand after a rousing and classic win over arch rival North Carolina, Miles Plumlee answered the bell and Duke fans can only hope that the comparisons to Zoubek continue.

Many Blue Devils fans voiced their displeasure with the new Nike duds on social media networks but it seems Miles took to them just fine.  In fact, one might consider letting him wear that jersey underneath which ever other one he chooses the rest of the season.

Austin Rivers wins ACC Rookie of the Week, again!

Austin us a showe in for ACC Rookie of the Year - Rick Crank Photo

DURHAM, N.C. – Austin Rivers was named ACC Rookie of the Week for the league-leading sixth time this season, tying former Blue Devil Luol Deng for the most weekly league rookie selections in ACC history.

A 6-4, 200-pound guard from Winter Park, Fla. (Winter Park), Rivers averaged 19.0 points per game last week, scoring 18 in a 75-60 road win at Virginia Tech and 20 in a 78-74 home overtime loss to Miami. He has scored in double figures a team-leading 19 times and logged his fifth 20-point game of the season against the Hurricanes.

Rivers’ six selections tie six others, including Deng, for the third most ACC Rookie of the Week awards in league history. North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough and Georgia Tech’s Kenny Anderson share the ACC record with 10 selections apiece. Rivers has won his six awards in 13 weeks.

Against the Hokies, Rivers hit a career-high four three-pointers while also dishing out five assists. He followed that performance by playing a career-high 43 minutes against Miami, sinking 20 points while picking off two steals.

Rivers leads Duke and all ACC freshmen with 14.5 points per game and 31.5 minutes per game. He is on pace to become the first freshman to lead Duke in scoring since Johnny Dawkins averaged 18.1 points per game in 1982-83.

Rivers and the Blue Devils take on Tobacco Road rival North Carolina this Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Chapel Hill, N.C., at 9 p.m.

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A team victory for Duke

It was a sunny afternoon this past Wednesday on the Duke campus and at first glance it seemed business as usual, but parked in front of Cameron was a bus which would take the Duke Mens Basketball team to Blacksburg.  There would be no flight or luxuries past and even the traditional ice cream spread the evening before the game was gone, for this team was putting away all distractions, including the use of social media.

The Duke Blue Devils took a long bus ride to Blacksburg, Virginia after a tough couple of practices and a new found focus helped them to a 75-60 victory over Virginia Tech.  After allowing St. John’s to make a comeback where a sizable lead was blown, the Blue Devils went into “Circle the Wagon,” mode and whatever Krzyzewski did behind the scenes, prompted Duke to an easy team victory.

Once Duke adjusted to the way the game was being called, they took the crowd out of the game in the first half, working their way to a comfortable 10 point lead.   And from that point they never looked back on their way to an ACC win which would keep Duke in a three way tie for first place.

There were several signs in the air which went unnoticed by some in the media and fan base, that Duke was in a bit of a lock down mode.  Krzyzewski made no bones about that fact that he was not too pleased with the Blue Devils performances of late and that he more or less thought they’d become, pampered, fat and happy.  There was no media day this week where one could get player quotes and it would not surprise me if he didn’t go as far as to lock his team out of their cozy facilities as he has done on rare occasion in seasons past.

Whatever was said or done, the Blue Devils seemed rejuvenated and in the process played with intensity from the opening tip until the end, committing a mere 7 turnovers and they constantly battled with intensity from opening tip until buzzers end.

Austin Rivers played perhaps his best overall game at Duke scoring 18 points to go with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.  Rivers went an efficient 7 0f 11 from the floor, 4 of 6 being beyond the three point stripe to lead the Blue Devils in scoring.

It was an ACC Rookie of the Week performance by Rivers whose production level proved extremely efficient.  But this was a team win in every way where numerous players contributed where Duke got 34 points from it’s bench.  Of course, the Blue Devils had shaken their lineup up, but it was still the workman like togetherness that helped Duke to the easy win.

One of the players who came off the bench was Ryan Kelly who was replaced by Josh Hairston in a lineup change.  Kelly responded with 15 points and 4 rebounds while Hairston finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes of play.

Seth Curry was another junior that came off the bench and he tallied 11 points including 6 of 6 from the free throw stripe.  In fact, the team knocked down 13 of 16 attempts and that was a key factor in the win making one think this was an area of emphasis of late.

Duke also outscored the Hokies by a 38-26 margin in the paint and Mason Plumlee had a lot to do with that adding 10 points, 6 rebounds and the only two blocks of the game for Duke.  His brother Miles, added 4 points and 5 boards in just 9 minutes of play.

And every other player for Duke added something as well.  For Andre Dawkins it was his big trey in the first half and his questionable technical foul seemed to fire up the Blue Devils even more.  Dawkins and Duke were so pumped up that Krzyzewski had to calm them during one timeout. 

Quinn Cook dished three dimes and added a couple of key buckets keeping the lead at a comfortable margin while the Hokies tried to stage several comeback efforts in nine minutes of burn.  And Tyler Thornton added his steadying influence which doesn’t always translate to the box score.  Again, this was a team victory for the Blue Devils who sit a single win away from yet another 20 win season with the Mimi Hurricanes coming to town on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Blue Devils were never rattled in Blacksburg despite a very hostile and vocal home crowd and after taking a double digit lead as the 1st half ended, they never looked back.  I doubt Duke will be taking a bus on too many more trips other than next Wednesday’s game in Chapel Hill with arch rival North Carolina, but maybe they’ve learned what it takes to compete at the level it will take the rest of the way this season and have gotten back to the kind of hard nosed Duke Basketball Coach Krzyzewski and the fans love to see.

Game Notes – (courtesy of Duke Sports Information)

Duke 75, Virginia Tech 60
Thursday 02/02/2012 – Duke Sports Information

Team Notes:
• Duke improved to 38-8 in the all-time series against Virginia Tech and has won 16 of the last 19 games. The Blue Devils are now 9-3 against the Hokies under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
• After falling 64-60 to the Hokies in Cassell Coliseum last season, the Blue Devils came away with a 15-point victory in Blacksburg. Duke has lost to just one team – Wake Forest in 2004 & 2005, and again in 2008 & 2009 – on the road in back-to-back seasons since the 2003-04 season began.
• With sophomore forward Josh Hairston making his first career start tonight, Coach K has used seven different starting lineup combinations in the last nine games. Mason Plumlee is the only player to have started every game during that span. Plumlee has started 43 consecutive games.
• In a game that featured the ACC’s top two three-point shooters, Duke’s Ryan Kelly topped Virginia Tech’s Jarell Eddie by finishing 2-of-4 from the three-point line and 15 total points. Eddie went 0-of-5 from three-point range and scored just six points. Entering the game, Eddie led the ACC in three-point shooting percentage (minimum 50 attempts) with a .493 (37-of-75) mark, while Kelly ranked second with a .472 (25-of-53) percentage.
• The Blue Devils held Eddie without a three-point field goal for only the sixth time this season. Eddie had connected on a trey in 12 of the Hokies’ last 13 games.
• Virginia Tech, which ranks 45th nationally in scoring defense, is the seventh opponent that Duke has faced this season that ranks among the NCAA’s top-50 in that category. The Blue Devils have are 6-1 and have outscored each of those opponents’ defensive scoring averages in those games.
• With the score tied at 21-21, Duke embarked on a 17-7 scoring run over the final 7:13 of the first half to stake a 38-28 lead. Kelly scored seven points for Duke during that run, hitting a layup and a dunk on consecutive possessions and then knocking down a three-pointer to increase the lead to 32-23. The Blue Devils maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
• Duke held Virginia Tech without a field goal over a 5:40 minute span from 8:15 to 2:35 in the first half.
• Duke continued its improved free throw shooting, finishing 13-of-16 from the line. The Blue Devils have shot 75.0 percent or better from the free throw line in six of their last eight games.
• Duke forced Virginia Tech into committing 13 turnovers while holding the Hokies to five assists. Duke amassed 12 assists and made only seven turnovers.
• With 33 rebounds to Virginia Tech’s 29, the Blue Devils outrebounded their fifth straight opponent. Duke holds a +3.3 rebounding margin per game.
• Duke improved to 9-2 when playing outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium this season.

Player Notes:

Seth Curry
• In a return to Blacksburg, where his father Dell starred for the Hokies from 1982-86 and went on to play 16 years in the NBA, Curry scored 11 points on two field goals and a perfect 6-of-6 performance from the free throw line.
• Extended his consecutive made free throw streak to 14. Curry ranks second in the ACC with a .887 free throw shooting percentage. That would rank sixth on Duke’s single-season leaderboard if he can reach the 100 made free throws threshold.
• Defensively, helped to hold Virginia Tech guard Jarell Eddie to just six points and an 0-of-5 performance from the three-point line.

Andre Dawkins
• Hit his only three-point attempt of the game. Dawkins leads Duke with 50 three-pointers on the year.

Josh Hairston
• Made his first career start and played 15 minutes.
• Scored six points on 3-of-6 shooting. Threw down his second dunk of the season on a second-half alley-oop from Austin Rivers.
• Also contributed three rebounds, including two on the offensive end. On the season, Hairston has more offensive boards (20) than defensive (13).

Ryan Kelly
• Scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and the fifth straight game. Kelly is averaging 15.0 points per game during that streak.
• Improved his team-leading three-point percentage to .474 by shooting 2-of-4 from three-point range. Kelly leads the ACC in three-point percentage (minimum 50 attempts), surpassing Virginia Tech guard Jarell Eddie whose shooting percentage fell to .463 (37-80) with an 0-for-5 performance tonight.

Mason Plumlee
• Made his 43rd consecutive start. Duke is 36-7 during that 43-game streak.
• Recorded two blocks, increasing his career total to 126. Plumlee ranks ninth on Duke’s all-time blocks list, trailing Josh McRoberts (2005-07) by two blocks for eighth place.
• Scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and the third straight game. Plumlee has scored at least 10 points in four of Duke’s six ACC games.

Austin Rivers
• Scored in double figures for the team-leading 18th time this season and led Duke in scoring for the team-leading ninth time.
• Knocked down a career-high four three-pointers, finishing 4-of-6 from three-point range. Rivers hit three of his treys in a row.
• Dished out a team-leading five assists while committing just two turnovers. Rivers has 13 assists over his last three games, averaging 4.3 helpers during that span.
• Had his most efficient shooting performance of the season, finishing 7-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the three-point line. The .636 shooting percentage from the floor was the highest mark of his career.
• Matched a career high with five rebounds. Rivers has grabbed at least three rebounds in five consecutive games.

Duke at Virginia Tech Game Notes

• Game 22 •

[7 AP / 5 Coaches] Duke (18-3, 5-1) vs. Virginia Tech (12-9, 1-5)

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • 7:03 p.m. • ESPN

The Opening Tip

• Duke (18-3, 5-1) faces Virginia Tech (12-9, 1-5) on Thursday, Feb. 2 at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.. Tipoff is set for 7:03 p.m.

• Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Len Elmore (analyst) and Jeannine Edwards (sideline) will call the game for ESPN.

• Duke is ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Virginia Tech is unranked in both polls. The Blue Devils are 77-20 all-time when ranked seventh in the AP Poll.

• Duke ranks No. 1 in Strength of Schedule and No. 2 in RPI according to ESPN.com. The Blue Devils are one of four teams (Syracuse, Michigan State & Kansas) in the NCAA to rank in the top 10 of the RPI, Strength of Schedule, AP and Coaches Polls.

• The Blue Devils have won three straight ACC road contests and are 8-2 away from Cameron Indoor Stadium this season.

Duke-Virginia Tech Series

• Duke and Virginia Tech have met 45 times heading into Thursday’s game with the first meeting between the two schools coming in 1912.

• The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 37-8, including a 3-2 mark at Cassell Coliseum.

• Duke has won 15 of the last 18 in the series.

• Mike Krzyzewski is 8-3 at Duke against the Hokies. The Blue Devils are 3-2 in Blacksburg under Krzyzewski.

• Duke has won three of the last four games at Cassell Coliseum in the series.

• Six of the last 10 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

• Duke won 10 straight games in the series from 1934-1948. Virginia Tech has won back-to-back games once in the series history.

• Duke has held Virginia Tech to less than 70 points in eight consecutive meetings. The Hokies are averaging 61.4 points per game in that span.

Numbers Game

l Duke has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for 87 straight weeks, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.

l The Blue Devils are one of nine teams in the NCAA with five or more players averaging 10 or more points per game. Duke has finished the year with five double-figure scorers six times under Mike Krzyzewski.

l Duke is the only school in the ACC with five players averaging over 11.0 points per game in league play. Ryan Kelly (13.7), Andre Dawkins (13.0), Austin Rivers (12.0), Mason Plumlee (11.7) and Seth Curry (11.5) each rank in the top 25 in the ACC in scoring through six league games.

l The Blue Devils rank 11th nationally in scoring at 80.3 points per game, despite facing six opponents that rank in top 50 in scoring defense. Virginia Tech is the seventh team Duke has faced that allows under 62.0 points per game.

l The Blue Devils are two wins shy of their 16th consecutive 20-win season.

l Mason Plumlee was named the USBWA National Player of the Week after averaging 19.0 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in wins over Maryland and St. John’s.

l Austin Rivers, a five-time ACC Rookie of the Week pick, is averaging a team-high 14.1 points per game. Johnny Dawkins was the last Blue Devil freshman to lead the team in scoring in 1983.

l Mason Plumlee collected his ACC-leading ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and a career-best 17 rebounds in Saturday’s win over St. John’s. He has collected 12 or more rebounds in a game 13 times this season.

l Andre Dawkins is averaging a team-high 15.2 points per game, while shooting 46.5 percent (20-of-43) from three-point range, over the last five contests.

l Ryan Kelly ranks second in the ACC in three-point percentage among players who have attempted at least 50 threes. He is shooting 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from three-point range on the season, including 51.9 percent (14-of-27) over the last 12 games.

l Mason Plumlee and Miles Plumlee combine to average 15.8 rebounds per game. One of the Plumlees has led the team in rebounds in 19 of 21 games.

l Tyler Thornton leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.7:1) through six conference games. He has 20 assists with just three turnovers in ACC play for the Blue Devils.

l Mason Plumlee has improved his free throw shooting over the last four games, going 20-of-27 (.741) from the line during that span. He was shooting 39.8 percent (37-of-93) from the free throw line prior to that stretch. Plumlee averages 5.7 free throw attempts per game

Mason Plumlee and Duke strive to go dancing in March

BDN Monday Musings – Big week ahead for Duke Athletics

Mason Plumlee and Duke strive to go dancing in March

A busy week lies ahead for Duke Athletics and BDN Monday Musings takes a look at the many events that will take place starting with tonight’s UConn at Duke Women’s game.  The Blue Devils have two men’s games as well one on the road and one at home and national signing day for football.

UConn at Duke – the ultimate measuring stick for the progrm on “Big Monday”

In a nationally televised game, the 5th Duke women (17-2) host the traditionally strong and 3rd ranked UConn women (19-2) led by their enigmatic coach Gino Auriemma.  The Huskies lost to the top two rated teams in the country Baylor and Notre Dame before going on a monster roll, where they demolished the Blue Devils arch rival, North Carolina by a score of 86-35 and all other comers as well.  The key to the game for the Blue Devils will be for their guards, Chelsea Gray and Tricia Liston to slow the Huskies backcourt of Tiffany Hayes and Bria Hartley.    As we’ve said in a past column, Duke freshman Elizabeth Williams is as advertised and tonight she’ll be on the big stage with the rest of this young Blue Devil squad.  There are still a few tickets left for the game and they’re very reasonably priced, so turn out tonight for this heavyweight bout and cheer the young Blue Devils to victory.

Rest for the men’s team

The Duke Men’s team returned to the practice courts today after taking off time to rest after their lack luster victory over St. John’s.  The Blue Devils will travel to Blacksburg on Thursday to take on a wounded in wait Hokies team that would love to make their season with an upset win.  One of the things happening is this years squad is getting accustomed to taking other teams best shot as some of the players grow into their roles.

Speaking of roles … who will step up?

Before the season Coach Krzyzewski said that different players would step up on different evenings on this years team.  And that’s what has happened to date and the Blue Devils are a not too shabby 18-3 from it.  But will any of the players have that light go off down the stretch and take over their roles in a consistent manner?  Mason Plumlee has pretty much been the star of this team and or the most consistent player.  Austin Rivers is on a learning curve, but his numbers are decent as well.  I mean, the kid will likely be named the ACC’s Top Rookie.  But are juniors Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Andre Dawkins ready to break out?  Duke needs more consistency from the group, but make no mistake, each of them have already played key roles in major victories as has sophomore Tyler Thornton in Maui.  This is also the final go round for senior Miles Plumlee and can he become a force as the season enters it’s grind?  And this folks, this is why we watch the games, to see how it all will unfold.

Just a reminder … March 16th and 18th NCAA Tournament in the ‘Boro

Get your tickets for Greensboro now Blue Devil fans!  Duke will almost assuredly be in Greensboro for two games and the kicker is that North Carolina will share that pod.  That said, get your tickets to the event as soon as possible.

The last ten games

It’s hard to believe that there are just ten regular season basketball games left this season and just five of them home games in Cameron.  Breaking it down for you, there are two games each with Virginia Tech and North Carolina, Miles senior day being the last regular season and home game.  Then road trips to Boston College, Florida State and Wake Forest and home games with Miami, Maryland and N.C. State.   So, how do you think the Blue Devils will fare?  I have heard 6-4 to 8-2 most often from those who cover the team.

National Signing Day for Football

On Wednesday, BDN will be on hand at Duke to hear the latest on the new group of Blue Devils from Coach Cutcliffe and staff.  We’re talking national signing day here and it is a big deal around the nation.  Several prospects are taking their decision to the midnight hour and in our premium section, Patrick Cacchio talks of that and how things are shaking out with the likes of RB hopeful, Jela Duncan.  Also, mark down March 31st on your calendar, for it is the date of the annual spring game where Duke returns 17 starters from a season ago.

 Just do it!

I am not going to open the can of worms known at the decline in attendance for the Cameron Crazies at this time.  There are five home games left and this is a team that needs the support in a big way, so no lecture or speculation from me other than this suggestion – Just do it!  Sorry for the overuse of that Nike trademark, but it’s what I’d tell them to do down the stretch if asked what should be done.  Prove the critics wrong and show them you are not the weak bunch many think you to be.  Man, was that a challenge or what?  Crazies means getting crazy, so let go of yourselves, have fun and all will play out.  I have faith that the many who follow this site can get it done.  And for what it is worth many of the ones there are the best and if their leadership spreads, you will hear few complaints by seasons end.

Sluggish Blue Devils hang on to defeat St. John’s

DURHAM, N.C. – Coach K wasted little time in showing his displeasure in the media room after his Blue Devils had just finished defeating St. John’s 83-76.  Duke rolled out to a 45-29 half time lead but in the second half, the Johnnies lit up the Duke defense for 47 points and more disturbing was the fact the Blue Devils simply wern’t playing together or making easy plays.

“We’re treating this game as a loss. I t was a loss for me today, I didn’t like today.” said Krzyzewski.  He also said that his team had had a tough month and that they would take two days off before preparing for their road trip to play Virginia Tech in Blacksburg at 7:00 on Thursday evening.  Despite the lack luster second half, Mason Plumlee continued to be a bright spot for this years team.

Mason recorded his double-double of the season tallying 15 points to go with a dominating career high 17 rebounds.  But like Krzyzewski, Mason was not too happy in the post game in that his team did not perform well.  “We just have to learn to start putting teams away,” as he looked down and then up again saying, “Our defense was horrible in the second half.”

With just over 17 minutes left in the second half, Duke held a 21 point lead, but from that point forward were outscored by 14 points the rest of the way.  Duke failed to finish a lot of what should have been easy buckets and left a good 20 points or so on the floor.   Duke was also outscored in the paint and second chance points and in fact had just one put back on the offensive end in the half.

The Blue Devils also went ice cold from the three point stripe going just 1 of 7 after going 6 of 11 to open the game.  In short, it was just a disjointed no traditional Duke like performance and one that clearly was unacceptable to Krzyzewski.  With the win Duke improves to 18-3 overall, avenging last seasons upset loss to the Johnnies in New York.

Ryan Kelly led Duke in scoring with a 16 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double, ending the game with 9 boards.  Andre Dawkins chipped in 14 and Austin Rivers dropped 12 to round out the double-figure scores for Duke.  Dawkins nailed three three pointer in a 20-9 Duke run to close the first half while Rivers recorded his 12 double figure scoring game which is tops amongst all Blue Devils.

Duke knocked down 32 of 42 free throws, and Kelly had 10 of 12 of those and Duke did finish the game going 10 of 11 over the final three and a half minutes.  The score was tied just once and the lead changed but a single time and Duke won the game, just not in an impressive fashion.  “We did enough to win and that’s not us, that’s not Duke Basketball,”  said Krzyzewski.  Hear the rest of his comments via BDN Video below -