There is plenty of reason for Duke Basketball fans to tune into the NBA Draft which will be held at Barclays Center in New York tomorrow evening.
The draft will start at 7:00 with the Phoenix Suns on the board and it will not take long before we hear a Blue Devils name called.
In fact, five Duke Blue Devils are expected to go in the NBA Draft where the team is losing their entire starting lineup.
You may have seen in the news recently where Marvin Bagley III signed a deal with Puma. To do so, players have to have agents in place and in the case of Bagley, he has secured the services of Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management. Bagley is expected to be a big part of a Puma campaign to promote its brand. They recently signed his former high school teammate DeAndre Ayton while naming Jay-Z as president of Puma Basketball.
A player who is destined to go in the lottery with Bagley is WendellCarter Jr. Carter has signed with Mike Seigal of Impact Sports Management.
Four year Duke standout Grayson Allen has signed with Mitch Nathan of CAA Sports. He is in good hands in that he represents NBA standouts, Karl Anthony-Towns and Victor Oladipo.
Gary Trent Jr. has signed with Daniell Cantor of FAME. She is one of the most accomplished female agents who has worked closely with David Falk. She most recently represented Malcolm Brogdon who played at Virginia and won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
Trevon Duval has inked with Raymond Brothers of IAM Sports. Among his clients are Markelle Fultz who was last season's top overall pick.
DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s basketball team has announced its 2018-19 preseason schedule, which includes the dates for Countdown to Craziness and the two exhibition games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The season tips off with Countdown to Craziness presented by Delta Air Lines on Friday, October 19 at Cameron Indoor. The annual event features a night of entertainment, games, engaging videos and on-court contests all leading up to the introduction of the 2018-19 Blue Devils, the unveiling of this season’s team poster and the annual Blue-White scrimmage.
As has been tradition at Duke, the Blue Devils will host the reigning Division-II national champions and the reigning CIAA champions for exhibition contests. On Tuesday, October 23, defending CIAA winner Virginia Union is the opponent, while last year’s Division-II national champ, Ferris State, comes to Durham on Saturday, Oct. 27. Tip times and broadcast information for Countdown and the exhibition games will be announced at a later date.
Duke opens the 2018-19 season versus Kentucky on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis on ESPN. The Blue Devils welcome Indiana to Cameron Indoor on Tuesday, Nov. 27 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The remainder of Duke’s regular-season non-conference schedule will be finalized later this summer.
In August, the Blue Devils head north for three summer exhibition games on the Duke Canada Tour. Duke faces Ryerson University (Aug. 15) and University of Toronto (Aug. 17) in Toronto and McGill University (Aug. 19) in Montreal. Ticket packages are now on sale and can be purchased at www.dukecanadatour.com.
One of the players likely to play a major role on the coming seasons Duke Basketball team will be rising junior Javin DeLaurier. In his third year at Duke, DeLaurier hopes off-season work will take his game to another level.
We spoke to the rising junior during the recent Coach K Academy in Durham, N.C. which helps to fund the Emily K Center. DeLaurier shares how he will embrace his role as an upperclassman to teach the Duke way to the incoming freshman class while at the same time working to improve his game.
You're like the old guy on this team now. How does that feel?
Yeah. It's weird to think about. My third year came around pretty quick -- quicker than I expected but at the same time I'm excited to get these young guys here and to teach them how we do things here at Duke.
What has the staff shared with you about teaching the newcomers?
The entire coaching staff, including Coach Will (Stephens, Duke Strength Coach) has stressed the importance to all of us upperclassman to really be leaders and set an example for these young guys coming in. They're super talented but as freshman it takes some adjustment.
During his press conference, Coach K said he wants to see what you guys look like together; not just the freshman but the upperclassman as well who will all play larger roles. Can you share a little bit about what they've shared with you about this thus far.
You know it is just going to be different this year than last year. We obviously lost two talented bigs in Marvin (Bagley) and Wendell (Carter) and I might find myself more in the post. That is something I have to prepare for.
When you look at the roster it would appear that you are one of two post guys projected to play significant minutes..
Yeah. No doubt, no doubt.
There will be a lot of pressure to get on the boards and that kind of thing...
Yes sir. I know there will be some guys bigger and heavier than me in the post. I am looking to learn how to guard guys, especially guys who are bigger and heavier than me and developing more confidence to score down there.
What will you be working on the rest of the off-season?
I am looking to build my confidence up, my skill level and be more of a scoring threat.
There is no question who will run the point this coming basketball season for Duke. Another Jones is in town and he's been working on his game and leading a new group of Blue Devils.
Tre Jones is following in his brothers footsteps and those are some big shoes to fill. Tyus Jones simply led Duke to their last National Championship, earning the name "Stones." while nailing a key three point shot before his team's celebration.
Let me go ahead and tell you, when you have a Jones running a team, good things are bound to happen. Unlike his brother, Tre Jones is probably more athletic and stronger coming in. He had the luxury of watching his brother while at Duke, not to mention gaining experience from him as a tutor.
Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tre was more prepared than Tyus coming in during his press conference at the Emily K Center. And that comment should excite Duke fans.
"Not to put any pressure on him I would agree with Coach," said Tyus Jones during the Coach K Academy. He continued, "He is definitely ahead of where I was and he just has to continue to advance."
Tre Jones has clearly been given the keys to dirve the team this season. Here is the interview with Tre Jones -
So,what is it like to be on the Duke campus?
It's been amazing so far. Just being around here and other guys that have been through here already is a lot of fun.
Coach K was talking about your game earlier today at the Emily K Center. He said you were very advanced and when you passed the ball it was to places that would score. Talk a little bit about that and your brother Tyus.
Right. Yeah, just growing up and watching him, that's something he always did extremely well. For myself, I just try to watch a lot of basketball year round and some of the top players in the world. So, that is just something I take from other people's game.
He also said you were more advance than Tyus coming in ...
Right. It is probably just from watching him so much and learning everything he went through before. So, there are some things I will get a jump on. He has been a big influence on my game.
How does your mom (Debbie) feel about being able to come back and watch Duke games again? She is probably getting use to campus.
She is. She is just extremely blessed. And that is something she says all the time how blessed she is. So, that's definitely how she is feeling.
What are the coaches telling you to work on and or how to have interchanges with the players?
I am just working on all aspects of my game to be able to come in here and have an impact right away. I know that in order for that to happen I just have to work on everything.
On the upcoming trip to Canada ...
It should be a lot of fun to take the trip even before the school year gets started. I think it will be a big chance for bonding as well; not just on the floor but off it as well. Just being away from family and away from friends and being around each other will be a good experience.
Have you been talking with the other freshman a lot and if so what do you talk about?
Right. We talk daily and it has just been great so far. We all want to win and that is out main objective just to win. We have a great friendship coming in and we just want to work right away.
On playing where Tyus did and a possible shadow ...
People say I follow in his footsteps but I mean this has always been my dream school to come here and play for Coach K. It was the best fit for me, myself. So just choosing to come here was one of the best chances to win a championship and that is one of my main goals at Duke.
Closing comment - Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said that the ball does not stick in Tre Jones hands. What that means is that he believes in ball movement be it advancing the ball or immediately hitting open scorers. Tre likes to drive to the hoop more than his brother Tyus but he will face a lot of zone at Duke with athletic cutters on his team. He will need to learn how to bust zones from the outside as well. All in all, Duke has a true point guard who does not let emotion dictate his play. Like his brother Tyus, he plays the game in a cool manner and under control.
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Duke may well benefit from Marques Bolden's decision to remain on campus since the school break. The rising junior center is expected to play a key role on this seasons team. Instead of going home, Bolden has been working with coaches to get in the best shape possible while recovering from minor surgery on his nose. Blue Devil Nation caught up to the Texan big man yesterday for an interview. Here is what he had to say -
Coach K said earlier today that you remained on campus and would be working a lot with the staff. Can you elaborate on that?
Yeah, that's the plan. I had this surgery done after school and wanted to get it back right whole getting my body in the best shape it can be.
What was the procedure?
I had a deviated septum, so it was just a little small procedure. So now I am working out and taking summer classes and like I said trying to get in shape that I can.
Has it made a difference -- the way you are able to breathe when working out?
Yeah, there's a difference. I kid of got used to it at first but now that I've had the procedure I can feel a big difference in my breathing.
A lot is expected of you this season. It looks like you have a golden opportunity to be the man in the middle starting. Talk about that a little bit.
I am looking forward to it. It's just something you work for; to be able to do things like that. So, I am just thankful for the opportunity. We've got a great group of freshman coming in, along with the returning guys that played, so I am looking forward to the year.
You were not able to take a trip with the team last season when Coach K had a procedure. Do you feel the upcoming trip to Canada will be beneficial?
Yeah I feel like it's going to be real beneficial. Like you said, we were not able to take the trip last year so we don't know all the benefits. Instead of battling each other until the season starts we can play against competition and that will be good for us.
Coach K said he hadn't named captains yet, but is that something you think about a little bit being an upperclassmen?
Yeah, I mean I have obviously played on two great teams that had great captains so I have learned from them. And that is something if he were to give me that type of title, I would embrace it.
On some saying he has yet to live up to the hype he had coming out of HS -
Yeah, I feel like it's a personal thing. I really don't have much to prove to anybody other than myself and this coaching staff. So I am just working this summer and looking forward to this year.
It seems like you are just trusting the process, letting things work out in their own time. Would that be true?
Yeah, I mean I know the type of work I put in and I am confident in myself and the people around. I think we're going to have a great year.
The pre season prognosticators will probably say Duke has two players in the post who will play a lot. You're will likely play a lot of minutes. Will that put any pressure on you?
Naw. I feel like that would be a lot to think about. You just focus on being the best player that we can for this upcoming team. I really don't feel like we have to worry all the other little things. We've just got to focus on ourselves.
What is the one area that you feel like you need to improve the most on next season?
We are going to be more versatile. We've got a different group of guys compared to last season. We've got guys who can play different positions. Really, just being comfortable at each spot on the floor.
When I covered you school, you floated out a lot for some shots. Do you think that will be a part of your game this season?
Yeah. That is something I put a lot of effort into and I definitely feel like I can do that.
What has it been like to practice against players like Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley while at Duke?
It's been a huge help. You come here to get coached by the best and play against the best.
One of the players who will play a vital role for the Duke Blue Devils next season is Javin DeLaurier. Firstly, he will be one of the most experienced players on the team and therefore will be counted on to teach newcomers the Duke way of doing things.
DeLaurier started in five games for the Blue Devils last season and he has played in 45 games in his previous two years at Duke. As a junior, DeLaurier will take on a key role in the front court where Duke is losing both Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr, to the NBA.
Duke will have just three big men or post players on next seasons roster in DeLaurier, Marques Bolden and Antonio Vrankovic. That is a stark departure from the riches they enjoyed a season ago.
Incoming freshman Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson will most certainly have their moments down low, but neither of them are considered a center type of player. While Duke plays what is known as a positionless team by head coach Mike Krzyzewski; DeLaurier will be asked to guard players bigger than him at times.
So far, DeLaurier has career highs in 30 minutes against Clemson, 13 points against South Dakota and 11 rebounds versus Elon during his two-year career. Just having some experience will lend as a valuable teacher to the younger players as they learn what the college game is about.
As a rising junior and an upperclassman, DeLaurier will establish yet another new role next season. Duke will be taking a trip to Canada in August and it will be interesting to see how they blend five newcomers in with a handful of experienced players who are expected to play.
One of the players who should play a key role in the rotation on this seasons team will no doubt be Javin DeLaurier.
The Key Factors for DeLaurier -
Play under control.
Cut down on turnovers.
Continue to work on being a solid rebound guy.
Work on becoming a better free throw shooter.
In closing, DeLaurier played 13 minutes per game a season ago, but knocked down just 22 of 42 free throw attempts. On the other hand, he was 54 of 81 from the field which is a solid 67% clip showing he can clean things up around the rim.
With his athleticism, DeLaurier is capable of playing a larger role this season. Much of that will depend on having chemistry with basically a new roster while demonstrating more consistent basketball habits.