Tag Archives: Duke Basketball News

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 -

Duke at Maryland Game Notes

• Game 20 •

[8 AP / 6 Coaches] Duke (16-3, 4-1) vs. Maryland (12-6, 2-2)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 • 9:00 p.m. • ESPN

The Opening Tip

• Duke (16-3, 4-1 ACC) faces Maryland (12-6, 2-2 ACC) on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Comcast Center. Tipoff is set for 9:00 p.m.

• Dan Shulman (play-by-play) and Bob Knight (analyst) will call the game for ESPN.

• Duke is ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Maryland is unranked in both polls. The Blue Devils are 70-16 all-time when ranked eighth in the AP Poll.

• Duke is one of three teams (Baylor and Kansas are the others) in the NCAA to rank in the top 5 of the RPI, Strength of Schedule, AP and Coaches Polls.

• The Blue Devils have won two straight ACC road games. Duke is 7-2 away from Cameron Indoor Stadium this season.

• Duke has won its last 13 games following a loss and has not lost back-to-back games since 2009.

Duke-Maryland Series

• Duke and Maryland have met 171 times heading into Wednesday’s game with the first meeting between the two schools coming in 1926.

• The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 110-61, including a 5-4 mark at the Comcast Center.

• Duke has won three straight and nine of the last 10 games in the series. The Blue Devils topped Maryland three times during the 2011-11 season.

• Mike Krzyzewski is 51-21 at Duke against the Terrapins, including a 31-24 record in College Park, Md.

• The two schools have met 18 times in ACC Tournament play with Duke posting an 11-7 record in those games.

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

• The Blue Devils have won three of the last four games at the Comcast Center. Duke has a +12.7 margin of victory in those three wins.

Numbers Game

l Duke has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll in 86 straight weeks, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.

l Duke has not lost back-to-back games since February of 2009. The Blue Devils are 13-0 following a loss in that span (does not include season-ending loss in 2010-11).

l The Blue Devils have a +14.8 scoring margin in their last 13 games following a loss. Duke has posted a double-figure win in nine of the 13 contests.

l Duke ranks in the top 15 nationally in scoring (80.5 ppg. - 10th), field goal percentage (.498 - 13th) and three-point percentage (.409 - seventh), despite playing five games (Ohio State, Virginia, Florida State, Kansas and Michigan State) against teams ranked in the top 15 nationally in defensive efficiency.

l The Blue Devils are one of 12 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 Austin Rivers was named ACC Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season after averaging 19.5 points per game against Wake Forest and Florida State. He is the only freshman in the ACC averaging over 10.0 points per game with a team-high 14.4 ppg. scoring average.

l Andre Dawkins is averaging a team-best 15.0 points and 3.6 three-point field goals per game in ACC play. He is 18-of-39 (.462) from three-point range in Duke’s five league games. He ranks second in the ACC in threes per game and tied for third in three-point percentage in league play.

l Mason Plumlee and Miles Plumlee combine to average 15.7 rebounds per game. One of the Plumlees has led the team in rebounds in 17 of 19 games.

l Mason Plumlee has improved his free throw shooting over the last three games, going 10-of-13 from the line during that span. He was shooting 39.8 percent from the free throw line prior to that stretch. Plumlee averages 5.6 free throw attempts per game.

l Ryan Kelly is shooting 46.0 percent (23-of-50) from three-point range on the season. He shot just 30.7 percent (27-of-88) in his first two seasons at Duke.

l Tyler Thornton leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.0:1) through five conference games. He has 18 assists with just three turnovers in the last five games for the Blue Devils.

l Duke’s bench is averaging 27.2 points per game since beginning ACC play. The Blue Devils have gotten at least 30 points from reserves in three of five ACC games, including a 43-point outburst against Wake Forest.

BDN Monday Musings takes a look at Duke Athletics

This week, we have an abbreviated version of Monday Musings as we continue to work on other site projects -

Rebounding from a tough loss

Duke is not feeling sorry for themselves after the Florida State loss at home which killed several records.  This team will now start new streaks if they have their way.  After any loss, much of the Blue Devils fanbase goes into Chicken Little mode and you would swear that the sun will never rise.  Food for thought is that Duke has 3 losses against a brutal schedule ranked the toughest.  That means on Kentucky and Syracuse have less losses of any of what are considered the true national contenders. 

The new polls

Kentucky is the new #1 after Syracuse faced their first defeat of the season but are they good enough to be a unanimous #1 save 4 votes in the A.P. poll?  Duke is ranked 6th in the Coaches poll and 8th in the A.P. this week.  Interestingly, Florida State moves into the A.P. poll at #23 after their upset win in Cameron, ranked one spot ahead of a UConn team they lost to by a bucket.  Duke has defeated #5 Kansas, #10 Michigan State, #19 Virginia and #20 Michigan and lost to #3 Ohio State and #23 Florida State which translates to 4-2 against the top 25.

Bracketology

For me, early bracketology is much like "what if," articles in that I'm not a big fan of either one.  But many do and in this weeks edition of ESPN Bracketology by Joe Lunardi, Duke is a #2 seed opening with  a tough Cleveland State team.  Kansas is the #1 seed followed by the Blue Devils, then West Virginia at #3 and Creighton at #4.  FWIW, they're in the St. Louis region, if they get that far for the first two games will be in Greensboro.  I'd take  that bracket and yes, I just got caught linking and reading early bracketology ... ugh.

Duke Women are young and GOOD!

Due to workload we haven't been able to cover the women as much as we'd like but I made it to the Maryland game yesterday and it is by far the smoothest, cleanest game I have been to since Coach P took over.  No missed free throws and few turnovers made for a good game on the eyes and of course, Duke won and remains atop the ACC.  The Blue Devils offensive sets against were crisp and there was great spacing.  Freshman Elizabeth Williams has it going on for sure and you should check here out and Haley Peters "womaned" up yesterday with an outstanding performance.  Duke takes on UConn in Cameron next Monday and very few tickets are left.  Get you a pair through Duke and back the Blue Devils against the beast from the east.

Football recruiting red hot

Duke entertained Jela Duncan and others and BDN Football Analyst Patrick Cacchio has the latest on all the happenings on the front.  BDN Premium has some good stuff up for members and gridiron fans and we have the only recent and in depth interview with Amile Jefferson.  It's a great time to join and talk Duke Athletics on our subscription only message board where you avoid all the free board maniacs and have real discussions.

Blue Devil Nation Open Facebook Page

As most of you know, Blue Devil Nation on has a message board for paying members of BDN Premium, but we do have a Blue Devil Nation Open Facebook page which you can join and it is our version of a free message board.  So, if you want to hang and chat with other Duke fans, check it out.

Florida State at Duke Game Notes

• Game 19 •

[4 AP / 4 Coaches] Duke (16-2, 4-0) vs. Florida State (12-6, 3-1)

Saturday, January 21, 2012 • 4:05 p.m. • ESPN

The Opening Tip

• Duke (16-2, 4-0 ACC) hosts Florida State (12-6, 3-1 ACC) on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tipoff is set for 4:05 p.m.

• Mike Patrick (play-by-play) and Len Elmore (analyst) will call the game for ESPN. The game is also on national radio with Marc Kestercher (play-by-play) and Will Perdue (analyst) calling the action for ESPN Radio.

• Duke is ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Florida State is unranked in both polls. The Blue Devils are 51-9 all-time when ranked fourth in the AP Poll.

• Duke is one of two teams (Baylor is the other) in the NCAA to rank in the top 5 of the RPI, Strength of Schedule, AP and Coaches Polls.

• The Blue Devils have won 45 consecutive home games, one shy of matching the school record.

• Duke has won 21 consecutive January home games dating back to the 2006-07 season.

Duke-Florida State Series

• Duke and Florida State have met 37 times heading into Saturday’s game with the first meeting between the two schools coming on Jan. 3, 1955.

• The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 30-7, including a 17-1 mark at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

• Duke has won five consecutive games and 10 of the last 13 in the series.

• Mike Krzyzewski is 28-6 at Duke against the Seminoles, including a 15-1 mark at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Coach K missed both games against Florida State during the 1994-95 season.

• Duke has won 24 of the last 29 games in the series (dating back to Feb. 22, 1995).

• 11 of the last 16 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

• The Blue Devils have won 64 consecutive home games against unranked opponents, dating back to a 68-67 home loss to Florida State on Feb. 4, 2007.

Numbers Game

l Duke has won 64 consecutive home games against unranked opponents. The Blue Devils’ last loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium to an unranked opponent was to Florida State on Feb. 4, 2007.

l The Blue Devils have won 45 consecutive games in Cameron Indoor Stadium with 38 of the victories coming by 10 or more points.

l Duke is 59-1 at home since the start of the 2008-09 season.

l Andre Dawkins is averaging 22.5 ppg. and shooting 57.1 percent (12-of-21) from three-point range over the last two games. Dawkins scored 18 straight points on six three-point field goals during the first half of Duke’s win over Wake Forest.

l Mason Plumlee ranks third in the ACC in rebounding at 9.4 rpg. He has led the Blue Devils in rebounding 13 times overall this season, including 12 of the last 15 games.

l Austin Rivers leads the Blue Devils in scoring at 14.2 points per game. He is the only freshman in the ACC averaging over 10.0 ppg. Rivers leads the Blue Devils with four 20-point games, including 20 points in Thursday’s win over Wake Forest.

l Andre Dawkins is averaging a team-high 15.3 points and 3.75 three-point field goals per game in ACC play. He is 15-of-32 (.469) from three-point range in the last four games.

l Duke is shooting 52.9 percent (270-of-510) from the field at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season. Eight Blue Devils are shooting over 50.0 percent from the field at home, including a team-best 65.2 percent (43-of-66) from Mason Plumlee.

l The Blue Devils also have a +9.1 rebound margin in their nine home contests. The post trio of Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Miles Plumlee is averaging 23.6 rebounds per game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

l Duke ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring (80.9 ppg. - 10th), field goal percentage (.498 - t-10th) and three-point percentage (.407 -

BDN Monday Musings – Duke Basketball, Amile Jefferson offered, ESPN’s Jason Jordan and more

This is Amile Jefferson, the latest 2012 prospect to hold an off to Duke University. This picture was taken in Cameron Indoor Stadium during the 2010 Countdown to Craziness. BDN has been aware of and followed Jefferson for a long time and our team has seen him play multiple times. Want more on this latest offer? Join BDN Premium and be in the know.

When a basketball player has gone cold from the field and he struggles with his shot, he simply needs to see the ball fall in the basket, to get things going again.  It is generally known that shot will be a simple one, a lay in or dunk and or a sure thing.  I apply that same logic to Duke as a team and just seeing a win in the column, is just what the doctor ordered, with especially that win coming in the ACC opener on the road at Georgia Tech.  Like a shooter, I expect Duke will get back on track with a win in the column after two road games which resulted in an upset loss at Temple and squandering a 20 point lead to hang on for a win in Atlanta.  In this week's Monday Musings, BDN takes a look at the team and Amile Jefferson, the latest basketball prospect to be offered.

Grinding out a win

Duke got what it needed in the win over the Yellow Jackets, that being a victory.  One must remember this is not an old team and they started two freshman guards and that this team is still finding out its true identity on the court.   Add to that the psychological effects of a road loss at Temple, coming off another one against Ohio State and simply winning on the road cures a lot of ills and allows for  a foundation for adjustment.  While a lot of Duke fans lit up the message boards with concern and arm chair analogies, I, for one, was happy with the win and I have been around the block once or twice and realized that the game was already in the rear view mirror.  Duke needed to see a road win in the ledger and they'll be better from it.

Growing pains

Duke will not always play a perfect game where all goes as expected but fans seem to forget losing Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving is devastating and that this years team is in the process of finding their collective roles.  Unlike teams past, this years version has no stand out super star at this point.  This is a team where every player are learning their roles on the run and considering the tough schedule Duke has played to date, they're right where they need to be.   If you haven't done so already, you need to adjust your expectations with this team and not hold them to a spoiled standard if you will.  By season end, this may well be a team that can make a run in March, but it is the lessons learned along the way that make them possible.  And this is where I remind you that Krzyzewski has said all season long, that different players would have to step up each night until leaders are established.

The Hoo's await Duke in Cameron

The Cameron Crazies need to bring their "A," game for the Blue Devils take on a Virginia team that could lay claim to the perception of being considered second best team in the ACC to the loaded Tar Heels with an upset win.  Virginia comes into the Thursday evening  game on a roll having lost a single game on the season.  Make no mistake that this is a huge game right off the bat in ACC play and this game provides a good measuring stick for both clubs.  And we're back to those 9:00 starts in this one as the season takes off where there is little time to catch your breath until sometime in March or April.  Anyhow, I expect Duke to come out and be ready for the challenge this week.

A new offer is on the table -- Amile Jefferson

The Duke Blue Devils extended an offer to Amile Jefferson, a 6-8, 198 pound forward  from Friends Central High School in Philadelphia, PA.  That offer came after a conversation between Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Jefferson, who joins Shabazz Muhammad and Tony Parker as players still holding offers in the class of 2012.   The first thing I noticed when watching Jefferson was his length and how smooth he was on the court.  He also makes good decisions and is a great student in the class room.  While he is indeed slender, his frame will allow growth and he moves in a smooth way which allows him to slither around the basket with advanced body control.  Our BDN Recruiting analyst are breaking down his game for members of BDN Premium in that we, as a team, have seen him play around 25 or so times.  Our first interview with him came in early 2010 and there are five total in our archives and they are very informative.  Anyhow, all you want to know is being discussed in the members forum, so join today for full site access.

Jason Jordan on Julius Randle and ...

I had the chance to meet and chat with Jason Jordan of ESPN during the Holiday Invitational recently.  We originally had this video interview up for our premium members, but it is now open to the public and gives one an idea at our content.  We discussed Duke Basketball  recruiting and we'll do so again in the near future.  Here is the link to our chat - Mark Watson and ESPN's Jason Jordan.  And here is an article which is hot off the press where Jordan has key Duke prospect Julius Randle talk of his visits to Duke and UNC.