Tag Archives: Duke Basketball

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Jabari Parker names to Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List

13DURHAM, N.C. — Duke freshman Jabari Parker is one of 15 players on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List as announced by the USBWA Tuesday. Parker, one of four freshman named to the list, opens the season for Duke Friday, Nov. 8 against Davidson (7 p.m. – ESPNU) at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Parker, an All-America selection by several preseason publications, made his Duke debut at the Blue Devils’ annual Countdown to Craziness event Oct. 18. He dazzled the crowd with his play in the Blue-White Scrimmage, finishing with 24 points and 14 rebounds, and in the dunk contest when he jumped over three kids from the Duke Children’s Hospital.

Parker continued his solid play in exhibition wins over Bowie State and Drury as the Chicago native averaged 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals per game. He shot 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from the field and 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the free throw line in exhibition play.

Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List

Jahii Carson, Arizona State

Aaron Craft, Ohio State

C. J. Fair, Syracuse

Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Gary Harris, Michigan State

Joe Harris, Virginia

Doug McDermott, Creighton

Mitch McGary, Michigan

Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

Jabari Parker, Duke

Adreian Payne, Michigan State

Julius Randle, Kentucky

Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Russ Smith, Louisville

Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

A Few Duke Basketball Player Thoughts

SONY DSCThere haven’t been many public views of the 2013-14 Duke Basketball team just yet, but I will take a stab at what I’ve seen to date with concern to the roster -

Alex Murphy – Murphy looked good in the practice, following up with some hustle baskets and moving well on the floor.  There is no doubt Murphy practices well, but what he will need to do to earn serious playing time this coming season is the be consistent and confident with his play.  Murphy has a solid shot at being a contributor if he can translate his practice play into game action.  In the past, he has struggled a bit with this and from what I’ve heard the coaches think it begins and ends with his personal confidence in his own abilities.

Andre Dawkins – He has had to work into shape again after a long lay off but he did work hard to expand his game with a trainer in the off season.  Dawkins still has that three-point shot and he seemed more active defensively which is a key.  People quickly forget that without Dawkins key shots, Duke may not have slipped past Baylor to win the 2010 National Championship, but the key for Dawkins is to show he is not a liability by being aggressive and active on the court.  “He’s been pretty good in practice,” said one person close to the situation with emphasis  in a recent conversation when we were talking of players vying for the fifth starter spot.

Marshall Plumlee – The lone true Duke big man looked pretty good in the pre season viewings showing little signs of being hobbled by off season surgery.  Plumlee drew loud cheers for his hustle play in the recent open practice and he earned high praise a season ago before being sidetrack by injury.  One assistant coach said he was legitimately was set to get some major playing time a season ago.  Plumlee will not be challenged a lot in practice by other big men, so stay tuned to see how that translates come game action.

Tyler Thornton – Many who follow Duke basketball thought it a no brainer for Thornton to be named team captain.  What people do not see is how hard-nosed and team dedicated this young man is on the court.  He’s a gentlemen in the locker room, but he’s not afraid to do the “needed,” dirty,” work including a bit of timely trash talking in a game.  Thornton will carve out a role on a very talented roster.

Josh Hairston – You may not always see on television that Josh Hairston comes over and pumps up the Cameron Crazies before every home game.  The outgoing Hairston is a rah-rah guy at heart and he’s a senior leader.  The key for Hairston will be to accept what could be a difficult role as a leader more than a player on a roster which is loaded.  But don’t count Josh out just yet, for he will not give up his minutes without plenty of hustle.

Quinn Cook – Duke hopes to see a more seasoned Cook this season.  In the off season he worked out with Nolan Smith a lot in the D.C. and he’s come back a better on ball defender on the defensive end.  Cook is what I would consider a scoring point guard but he will be taking on a bit of a new role where I am expecting Duke to have multiple players handle and bring the ball up.  Still, there is reason to think he can elevate his teammates to lofty heights and he is a key component to success.  In short, Cook is now a veteran ACC guard.

Rasheed Sulaimon -  Known by his teammates as Sheed, the Texas native can break you down off the dribble and that makes him valuable.  Word is he’s not played up to expectations in some circles, but raise your hand if you are worried.  Yeah, not many hands in the air.  The key for Sulaimon will be to adjust to a new offensive scheme which will feature Hood and Parker.  Sulaimon has the ability to make a huge impact with his on ball defense.

Matt Jones -  Okay.  I will admit that I thought Jones could be the odd man out on a talented roster in his freshman season.  But Jones came in early and has worked his tail off per sources close to the situation.  Jones is stronger than a season ago in AAU ball and has better developed his handle.  A shooter in high school, the key for Jones will be to play all aspects of the game, a thing Coach K loves.

Amile Jefferson - There will be games where has to defend the post and games where he can float out, but Coach K seems to be high on Jeffersons abilities praising him early on.  Jefferson was not particularly sharp in the practice scrimmages, but that is not a worry.  Jefferson worked out in Philly in the off season and he just brings that feel for the game to the table.  Think efficiency for that is what Krzyzewski hopes to see from Jafferson this season.

Semi Ojeleye - I thought Ojeleye could contribute right away last AAU season, mainly due to his advance body at his age.  The key for Ojeleye is to learn to play quicker and that starts in the mind.  It is not easy adjusting to the speed of the game at the ACC level and for him to contribute right away, he will likely have to defend multiple positions and be cohesive with teammates when his number is called.

Jabari Parker – Parker will get every opportunity to show off his skill set right away in Durham.  But this is all new to Parker, not the game of hoops mind you, but an immediate role where he is asked to do it all.  Expect Parker to be all over the court this season.  As for his demeanor, Parker seems quite relaxed his own skin and anxious to get the ball rolling which is good news for the Duke fanbase.

Rodney Hood – Silky and smooth, Hood will be allowed to do his thing at Duke.  The coaches feel like Mississippi State never tapped into his potential and they are turning him loose.  You will love Hoods’ mid range game and his length and we can only hope he nails his free throws for he will be at the line a lot.

This was just a few brief observations and more are coming as we get closer to the season.  We’ll be talking of several aspects of the game, the competition and more as the week goes on.

 

Rodney Hood to miss University Games

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke’s Rodney Hood, one of 16 finalists for the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team, ended his participation in the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team training camp Friday due to an injury to his right achilles. Hood suffered the injury during an evening practice Wednesday, June 26.

“I feel so sorry for Rodney,” said USA head coach Bob McKillop. “He committed himself fully to be a part of this team, and we will miss him. He would have been a valuable team member for USA Basketball.”

Hood earned his finalists spot on June 26, after beginning training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., as one of 26 players on June 24. Hood sat out last season after transferring to Duke from Mississippi State. The Meridian, Miss., native averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebound and 2.0 assists per game while earning SEC All-Freshman Team honors in his lone season in Starkville.

The USA’s camp will continue through June 30, and the 12-member roster will be announced prior to the team’s departure for Russia on July 1. The 2013 World University Games (WUGs) men’s basketball competition will be played July 7-16 in Kazan, Russia.

Contending for one of 12-roster spots are: Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado); Yogi Ferrell (Indiana); Davante Gardner (Marquette); Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth); Jerian Grant (Notre Dame); Luke Hancock (Louisville); Tyler Haws (BYU); Cory Jefferson (Baylor); Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati); Alex Kirk (New Mexico); Doug McDermott (Creighton); Adreian Payne (Michigan State); Chasson Randle (Stanford); Will Sheehey (Indiana); and Aaron White (Iowa).

After departing for Russia on July 1, the USA will practice on July 3-6 in Kazan, Russia, including scrimmages on July 4 against Russian basketball club UNICS and on July 5 against the Russia World University Games Team before beginning World University Games play on July 7.

The USA has drawn preliminary round Group C for the 2013 World University Games men’s basketball competition, along with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Sweden and United Arab Emirates. Playing in Group A are Estonia, Germany, Oman, Russia, Ukraine and South Korea. Playing in Group B are Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Romania and Serbia. Group D includes Brazil, Chile, China, Finland, Lithuania and Norway.

The USA will take on UAE at 6:30 p.m. (times listed are local; Kazan, Russia, is +8 hours from EDT) on July 7; followed by Czech Republic at 1 p.m. on July 8; and Sweden at 9 p.m. on July 10; Australia at 6:30 p.m. on July 11; and Canada at 1 p.m. on July 12.

Following the preliminary round, the first- and second-placed teams in each of the four pools advance to the medal quarterfinals on July 14 to compete for first through eighth places; while the remaining teams will play out for ninth to 24th places. The semifinals will be played on July 15, and the finals will be contested on July 16.

World University Games

The United States has claimed 19 medals in the World University Games since beginning play in 1965, and has captured a record 13 golds, three silvers and three bronze medals in the 20 WUGs in which a USA Basketball men’s squad has competed. The USA men own a stellar 138-9 record in WUGs play, and the U.S. captured six of the first seven gold medals awarded in the WUGs basketball competition, including six consecutive gold medals from 1989 through 1999. In 2001 the USA fell to host China, which featured half of its 2000 Olympic team, including Yao Ming, Menk Bateer and Wang ZhiZhi, by a single point in the semifinal and finished with the bronze. The USA again captured the gold medal in 2005 and most recently, finished in fifth place with a 7-1 record after falling to Lithuania 76-74 in the 2011 quarterfinals.

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Duke Basketball Notebook – Hairston, Michigan, Schedule, Scheyer, James, Black

DSCF0032Welcome to another edition of Blue Devil Nation’s Duke Basketball Notebook, where we take a look at the happenings around Coach K’s program with some personal commentary thrown in.

Josh Hairston recovering from surgery

If you have ever been to a game at Cameron, you have seen the extroverted Josh Hairston getting the Cameron Crazies revved up during player introductions. It’s one of the reasons Josh is a fan favorite. Please send Josh well wishes as he is recovering from surgery to repair ligament damage in his right thumb.  Josh is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks.  He injured himself during practice last season, but played through the pain. He joins Marshall Plumlee among the walking wounded;  Plumlee has been seen in a cast in and around Durham. Although nobody likes being injured, we can at least take comfort in knowing that all Blue Devils receive some of the finest medical care available through Duke University, one of the nation’s leaders in health care.

And Duke will play Michigan

The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is alive and well for now, but with the added depth in the ACC, it makes one wonder how long the league coaches will want to schedule an extra big-time game going forward. But this coming year, on December 3rd in Cameron, Duke is slated to take on a Michigan team that will be one of the nation’s best.  The Crazies and the entire Duke fan base love these kind of games, so expect this one to be one tough ticket. Adding to the interest is that the beastly former Duke recruit Mitch McGary comes to town wearing Maize and Blue.  Interestingly, the day he signed with the Wolverines, he mentioned the possibility of going to Cameron and getting booed.  Congratulation, Mitch.  That dream will come true. It will be interesting to see how Coach K and company defend the aggressive McGary with a roster with some challenges in the post. That is the Blue Devils’ only apparent weakness at this point, so look for them to try to compensate with solid play on the wings.

IMG_20110430_110052Wiggins vs Parker

Over the past three years, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and to some extent, Julius Randle have played musical chairs as the top-rated high school prospects in the nation. Wiggins signed with Kansas yesterday, spurning the ACC’s Florida State Seminoles. But ACC and Duke fans will still see him up close and personal when Duke travels to Chicago for the Champions Classic in November, where they’ll face Kansas. That means a matchup between Parker and Wiggins. Parker, of course, suffered an injury setback and many feel that may have cost him the top spot in the mythical rankings, but regardless, having watched these kids play over 20 times each in my coverage of AAU ball, I can tell you that they are both supremely talented. Look for the game to get a lot of hype from the Parker-Wiggins angle, but the winner of the Duke vs Kansas matchup will come from how the rest of the Blue Devils and Jayhawks perform.

As an aside, the Blue Devils will also play in the pre-season NIT, where they could run head-on into Arizona, another team destined to be in everyone’s pre-season top 10. So, do you think Duke will be atop the strength of schedule ratings next year? Of course they will. This looks to be one of the most challenging slates in years, and the full schedule won’t even be released until it is hot-hot-hot outside.

Kyle Singler takes his own path

Former Duke forward Kyle Singler has always marched to the beat of his own drummer.  One attribute Kyle has is something that few men in the game possess these days: patience. Singler joined the Detroit Pistons this season after spending time playing for CB Lucentum Alicante, a professional team in Spain. When Singler was on the court this season, the Pistons flourished, so he earned plenty of playing time in his rookie season this year.  His play earned him a berth on the recently released All NBA Rookie 2nd team, which is quite an honor.

2011 K Academy Pictures 020A tougher path for Scheyer but the road is now clear

First of all if you missed this  recent article, you should take time to read it. Jon Scheyer is like many young men growing up playing the game in Chicago in that he has long been a gym rat. Scheyer loves the game of hoops and after helping Duke to win a National Championship in 2010, he sought to continue a career in basketball. There were setbacks along the way, but none more devastating than an eye injury in an NBA summer league game which would eventually cost him his career as a player. Scheyer has now landed on his feet in Durham. As Coach K (per Duke Sports Information) said after his hire, “Jon Scheyer is one of the amazing champions we’ve had in this program and he’s certainly one of the greatest young men to ever wear the Duke uniform.”  Scheyer like many other Duke grads under Coach K came to the one man who could help him, the one man who could help him remain in the sport he loves — Mike Krzyzewski. One of the things which often goes unseen in the world of Duke Basketball is the importance of the “family” nature of the program. Former players can always seek wise counsel and an open door on the top floor of the Schwartz Butters Athletic Building on the Duke campus. Scheyer will now take on Nate James’ former role on the staff as a Special Assistant. During this time, Scheyer will have plenty of time to consider which direction he wants to go with his career. And for the record, the Special Assistant spot is fast becoming a very coveted position in that is offers a springboard into the world of Duke Basketball.

James hits the road running

Nate James gained an assistant coaching job a few years back, but when Jeff Capel, a former player, became available, it only made sense that he move into that assistant’s position, as Capel had previous head coaching experience. The move for James back to the Special Assistant role was only temporary and he was still able to learn from the best, which included Capel, Wojo and the now-Head Coach at Northwestern, Chris Collins. James is no rookie, and he’s hit the road running on the recruiting trail where he has been one of the lead guys on several key prospects.  There is much more information on Coach James and his impact available to you when you join us as a member of Blue Devil Nation Premium, our subscription service. For instance, James is also taking a lead role with …

… Tarik Black

Black was on the Kansas campus yesterday, a day after his visit to Duke, which by all accounts went well. Duke and Black are in a bit of a win-win situation should they choose one another. Duke offers the best roster situation for Black, monster national exposure and he can play for a school which has had NBA first round picks of late with players that didn’t always see major minutes in college. Of course, there is no lack of time at Duke for Black, as the Devils need a big man to round out next season’s roster. If you read my comments on Scheyer, you will realize that Black can become a part of the Duke family and the family takes care of its own. Black would get maxiumum national exposure with the Blue Devils being a media darling and he would also have an opportunity to achieve his dreams of a championship. I don’t think it will be long before we know where the former Memphis player is going, so look for a decision sooner rather than later. Many feel that Josh Pastner never really used Black correctly while at Memphis, while others point to Black’s not being a good rebounder as the primary issue. Either way, Black is a most coveted “get” at this juncture.  It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.  There are a lot of rumors on this one, but mostly just folks’ speculation taking on a life of its own.

It is also worth noting that Coach Nate James is the lead assistant on the recruitment of Black. James actually took a long look-see at Black during his junior season in high school, so Duke was involved with the young man earlier than most realize. In fact, Blue Devil Nation interviewed Black that same season and looking back on that chat, it was clear that Black valued education and hoops.  Which is the combination that Duke still offers.