Tag Archives: Duke Basketball

Chatting up Duke Freshmen Wendell Carter

Wendell Carter

Blue Devil Nation chatted up Duke freshmen Wendell Carter recently and here is how that conversation went.

A lot of changes since I last saw you on the Nike circuit.  You've cut your hair.  Are you going to keep it short now?

I don't know, I don't know.  We'll see how it's feeling.   I might row it back out in a little bit.

What has been your biggest adjustment so far?

Time management.  We are out here and basically on our own now.  We are required to get to practice and class on time.  You don;t have your parents to reinforce what you have to do, so time management has been my biggest adjustment.

I am looking at a rebuilt body.  


How did that come about?

A great coaching staff, weight lifting and my trainer has us on a great eating plan.  So just taking care of your body and doing a lot of work in the weight room.

What do you think your role will be this season?  I mean nobody has likely ever played with this many big men who can all play.

We are all kind of looking for our role right now.  Me, Marvin and Marques and Antonio are all looking at what we can do to better fit the team.  It is kind of like a gray area where we are trying to figure it all out, but we are really great friends off the court, so I think we should be fine.

(Grayson Allen walked by and gave Carter a solid whack on his rear about this time.  To his credit, Carter just played it off as a smiling Allen walked away.)

What do you think about that?

That's just Grayson.

What has he been like as a leader so far this year?

He's been a really great leader and somebody I can talk to on or off the court.  He is just easy to relate to and has a great sense of humor, but he knows when it is time to lock in and when it is time to have fun.

Who is your go to guy among the assistant coaches?

Umm, shoot... if I had to pick one I guess it would be Jeff Capel.  I mean he recruited me and we had the greatest relationship out of all the coaching staff.  So, that is someone I can go to when I have problems.

What are the coaches emphasizing?

The biggest thing they are telling me is I've got to run.  The game is a lot faster than it was in high school.  It is more so like you just have to go out there and play and not over think the game because the ball is going to find the right person.

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Coach K Talks Duke Basketball

Coach K talks Duke Basketball

Coach Mike Krzyzewski addressed the media today.  The vast majority of the questions and answers were directed at the latest happenings in college basketball.  That being the situation with shoe camps and assistant coaches caught in scandals.

Since you will be reading about that pretty much everywhere within a few hours, I will concentrate on the few things he said about this years team.

Opening Statement

"We have had a few practices that have gone well.  The whole fall and summer we have been pretty much injury free.  We made a lot of changes in how we were going to condition and test and that has gone real well and we're in good shape.  The only kid who has had a little bit of a problem is Javin (DeLaurier) who had a little bit of an issue with his hamstring on Saturday.

We will keep him out.  We will practice today, tomorrow and Thursday and then there is Fall Break for our school and we will have off until next Tuesday evening.  We will keep Javin out until then. He's been a big surprise, he has had a great off-season.

I'm pleased with out team -- we are not a team yet.  We are a much different team than last year because we are big.  We are very big and athletic.  We normally have this plethora of shooters, but probably, well, we don't have that many.  We will not be the outside shooting force we have in previous years.  But hopefully we will be an outstanding rebounding team and defensive team while playing up and down the court.

Our freshman just need to communicate with one another.  They get along with each other off the court, not that they do not on the court.  But communication ...reinforcing the roles of others is a very difficult thing to teach a young player.  There mind (as a freshmen) is more inward than outward.  So the more we can adjust that the more communication we will have.

I am in good shape, I am 7 weeks out from my knee replacement.  I am not where I am going to be but I am really good.  I have done two rehabs a day for two weeks.

On his Defense with a Big Team

"One of the things we are doing right now is trying to learn about our guys.  Instead of putting them into an old system, it takes time to figure our guys out.  Obviously, if we went real big, it lends itself if we play zone.  If you had Bolden, Wendell and Bagley in and we will at certain times or starting. "

"What does that do? How do you play them offensively.  We are still going to play man but we can do some zone and that is a very big zone.  Whether you play them with Trevon and Grayson or Grayson and Gary, I think this will be a unique process of seeing what we can do. I think this will very much be a developing team and when I say that it is not a cop-out.  Are we suppose to win right away?  So, be it.  But who we are right...and who we can be...I think we will keep getting better as the season goes on."

On being so young

It means that players who have played little and are sophomores need to be empowered to express the culture.  Because, they know it but do not have the credibility of playing time but do have the credibility of being here.  And out managers and staff will be a part of that.  Team building things we did in the off-season help with that.  There could be some team slippage x's and o's wise or culture wise.  The fabric of a junior-senior season team is hard to replicate and we have to adapt and figure out how to win and keep up our standards.

On Grayson Allen

"One, you can only vote for a senior, K says laughing.  He deserves the opportunity to lead.  Often times the best leader is the one who has gone through the most experiences.  I think it a tremendous opportunity for him and the guys.  He's in great shape (knocks on wood - really)  and he is playing lights out basketball right now."

On Javin

He's as good an athlete as we have.  To get back to this...it does not mean that every kid who leaves high school has to go pro straight away to get there.  I think Javin will eventually be a pro.  It is just the process of becoming that will take longer.  He is long, 6-9, 230 and he is a really good athlete who has become a really good rebounder.  He eats up the court when he runs and he can defend multiple positions.  We could have him out on the perimeter or he could be one of our bigs.  He has earned it.  I don't want to say we have five starters but he is in that group that can play significant minutes this season.

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.