Tag Archives: Duke

No. 1 Duke Uses 15-2 Run to Stun Florida

Marvin Bagley III was named MVP as the Duke had a comeback win over Florida in the PK80 Motion bracket final.

There is something about this years Duke Basketball team that allows them to stage epic comebacks against good teams.  After an overtime victory over Texas on Friday, the Blue Devils gained an even more impressive win over a top ten team in the Florida Gators.

Florida held the lead for more than 34 minutes of the game and they built a 16 point advantage over Duke in the 2nd half.  But these Blue Devils did not fold and played through fatigue to go on a 15-2 run over the last 4:04 of the game for a 87-84 win.

Duke has a way of wearing teams down and hanging around just close enough to make a comeback.  But they were playing high level competition against a Gators team that will contend in the SEC all season long, so valuable lessons were learned.

After a painfully slow offensive start the 2nd half, Duke warmed up as did their defense.  The Blue Devils would go back to man to man and that held the highest scoring team in the nation in Florida to just 31 points.

Duke put game pressure on the Gators as they  did the Longhorns and much of that is from the play of their outstanding freshman, Marvin Bagley III.  The soon to be first pick in the coming NBA Draft scored 30 points while pulling down 15 rebounds.

Bagley was named the PK80 MVP after scoring 82 points and pulling down 45 rebounds in 3 games.   The young man is a match up nightmare while remaining a good team player.

The Florida defense held Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. scoreless for most of the 2nd half.  But when the two players came alive it was during some of the games biggest moments.

Allen (14 points, 7 assists) would knock down back to back 3 pointers during the comeback.  Trent (17 points, 2 blocked shots) knocked down two free throws to give Duke an 85-84 lead with 1:12 to go, then made a steal with 11 seconds left and sank two more free throws to seal the win.

All of the Duke players who played contributed.  Duke got good minutes from Javin DeLaurier, Wendell Carter Jr., Marques Bolden, Alex O'Connell and Trevon Duval.

The Gators held the edge on the boards for much of the contest, but Duke was tough on the glass during their 8-0 run to end the game.  They ended up holding a 43-36 rebound advantage when the dust cleared.

Two key factors played a role for Duke.  Firstly, going 19-20 from the free throw stripe was their best showing of the season in that department.  Secondly, Duke was hot from beyond the three-point stripe hitting 10 of 23 attempts.

Duke also shared the ball well with 20 team assists.  More importantly, they remained poised even when they were not playing well.  When you have a knack for continually chipping away at teams, good things will happen.

The Blue Devils celebrated the victory at mid court where Phil Knight awarded them their trophy.  The Duke team is likely heading for their flight as I type and will arrive in Durham mind morning.

Duke will soon have played 9 games in 20 days during a brutal scheduling stretch.  They will go to class on Tuesday afternoon before heading to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers in a game that tips off this Wednesday on ESPN at 9:40.

With tonight's win, Duke moves to an impressive 8-0 on the season and will remain the nation's top ranked team.  Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski continues to build on his record as having coached the most games as the top ranked team in the land.

All in all, it was a great learning experience for a young team as they played three game opponents and varying styles of play in four days.  Duke is far from a perfect team but they are certainly a special team which has plenty of upside moving forward.

Duke Surges Past Portland State 99-81

Duke found itself down by as many as 8 points to a pesky Portland State (4-1)  team while letting up 49 1st half points.  But the Blue Devils made some half time adjustments and their size eventually wore down their opponent for a  99-81 win.

After a lack luster effort from some starters in the first half, Duke started Alex O'Connell and Marques Bolden in the 2nd half.  Bolden ended the game with 6 points and 9 rebounds while O'Connell tallied 9 points.  Both players play helped keep Duke close going into the half.

Trevon Duval led Duke in scoring finishing the game with 22 points but had 5 turnovers to just 2 assists.  Grayson Allen had another off day shooting but still ended the game with 14 points but more importantly a team high 9 assists.

The Blue Devils were once again aided by a solid effort from  Marvin Baglkey III.  The stellar freshman had his double-double of the season where he dropped 18 points to go with 15 boards

After a slow start to the first half, Duke freshman Wendell Carter Jr, ended the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds.   Duke was sluggish on the boards early but ended the game with a 49 to 37 edge.  Duke also had 9 blocked shots in the game.

The Vikings challenged Duke early and this game was a good learning experience for a young team.  Teams are going to come after the Blue Devils hard and there is no doubt that Portland State will be very good in their league.

Mike Krzyzewski moved pastJohn Wooden of UCLA playing in the most games with his team ranked number one in the country.  Duke will now move to the semi finals of the Motion Bracket of the PK80 tournament where they will face the winner of the Butler vs Texas game which tips off at 5:30.



A Duke Fans Guide to the Nike PK80 Event

You almost need a map to navigate the many games in the Nike PK-80 event which is a tribute to company fonder Phil Knight and his 80th birthday.  There are two brackets, the Victory and Motion groups.   The two eight-team brackets will run simultaneously in the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the Rose Quarter with the crowning of two champions.

Duke will play in the Motion Bracket and open the event with an on campus game tonight against Furman in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils will then head to Portland, OR. tomorrow to face Portland State which is currently 3-0 on Thanksgiving Day in a game scheduled to tip-off at 4:30 on EPSN.

Duke will then face the winner of the Texas (3-0) with Top 25 honorable mention votes vs Butler (3-1 ) on Friday.  Butler handed Furman their only defeat of the season by 17 at home while they lost only to Maryland thus far.  Texas features Muhammad Bamba and Matt Coleman, two players Duke recruited,  It almost seems like a Duke vs Texas match up is in the works, but we will see if that is what the Basketball Gods have in mind,

Duke will play Furman in a PK80 on campus game tonight, then head to Eugene, Oregon.

If Duke survives that game they will play in the championship game on Sunday.  Opponent possibilities are 7th ranked Florida, 17th ranked Gonzaga, Stanford and Ohio State,  I kind of think Florida will come out of that side but a Gonzaga team playing near home will be tough as well.  Should both of those teams and Duke advance it will provide strong competition.

Duke arch rival North Carolina will play in the Victory Bracket that features a team Duke just defeated in Michigan State.  They open with Portland who lost to Duke's opening opponent Portland State (3-0) on their home court,    Oregon is likely the best of the rest which features Arkansas, Oklahoma, UConn and Georgetown.

Duke is a flagship Nike School.

All of the teams participating in this event will end up playing three games via brackets or sessions.  Not all of the teams play an on campus game.  For example Stanford takes on North Carolina at home tonight but neither of them play a home PK game.

There is some leeway with concern to starting times in future games as teams advance.  But it would seem Duke would tip-off at 3:00 on Friday on ESPNU against Texas or Butler with a win on Thursday.  On the ESPN website, they currently have the Motion Championship Game slated for ESPNU at 3:00, the same time as the Victory title game on ESPN.

Duke Ranked #1 in the Nation by Coaches

The 2017-18 Duke Basketball team has been ranked number one in the nation by the USA Today Coaches poll.

1 Duke 28-9 774 20 NR 0
2 Michigan St 20-15 747 9 NR 0
3 Kansas 31-5 723 0 NR 0
4 Kentucky 32-6 678 0 NR 0
5 Arizona 32-5 654 2 NR 0
6 Villanova 32-4 623 0 NR 0
7 Florida 27-9 549 1 NR 0
8 Wichita St. 31-5 543 0 NR 0


Once again, the Blue Devils will have a target on their back before they even set foot on the court.  Duke returns just one starter from a season ago but features the nations top recruiting class.

Duke holds their annual Countdown to Craziness tomorrow evening which will be televised on the ACC Network via ESPN via their streaming service.

Countdown to Craziness will broadcast live via ACC Network Extra as Ryan CraigGerald  Henderson and Chris Spatola provide commentary and analysis. ACC Network Extra is an Atlantic Coast Conference-dedicated live-events digital network available to authenticated subscribers of ESPN3 available on WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

Duke will open the 2017-18 regular season when it welcomes Elon to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday, Nov. 10. Prior to the start of the regular season, Duke will host exhibition games against Northwest Missouri State on Oct. 27 and Bowie State on Nov. 4.

9 North Carolina 33-7 515 0 NR 0
10 West Virginia 28-9 458 0 NR 0
11 Southern California 26-10 396 0 NR 0
12 Miami-Florida 21-12 383 0 NR 0
13 Cincinnati 30-6 349 0 NR 0
14 Notre Dame 26-10 305 0 NR 0
15 Minnesota 24-10 303 0 NR 0
16 Louisville 25-9 295 0 NR 0
17 Xavier 24-14 284 0 NR 0
18 UCLA 31-5 275 0 NR 0
19 Gonzaga 37-2 242 0 NR 0
20 Northwestern 24-12 208 0 NR 0
21 Purdue 27-8 167 0 NR 0
22 St. Mary's 29-5 152 0 NR 0
23 Seton Hall 21-12 139 0 NR 0
24 Baylor 27-8 107 0 NR 0
25 Alabama 19-15 82 0 NR 0

Preview — Northwestern at Duke

NORTHWESTERN (1-0) at DUKE  (1-0)


KICKOFF - 12:00 noon, Wallace Wade Stadium, Brooks Field

What we learned in week one

Duke will play a lot of true freshman this season.  Several newcomers on the defensive front and in the back got significant snap counts.  The Blue Devils ran all over the NCCU defense as they walloped their cross town foe 60-7.  The only truly concerning thing in the game was a missed extra point.

About Northwestern

The Wildcats are picked 2nd only to Wisconsin in their Big Ten West division.  They return 16 starters off a bowl team and could be the most experienced team Duke will face this season.

Northwestern is really strong on the defensive front with physical veterans at every position and they are solid on the back side of the defense as well.  Their top three recruits are even defensive lineman, so running the ball against them will be a challenge.  Phil Steele rates their DB's as 2nd best in the Big Ten and touts their QB and RB situation as 3rd and 2nd respectively.

The Wildcats feature a veteran duo of QB Clayton Thompson and RB Justin Jackson on offense.  Both of these players are among the nations best at their positions.   Thompson racked up 352 yards passing in their opening win over Nevada.  The Wildcats at over 500 yards in total offense.

How Duke can win

The Blue Devils are tabbed a 3.5 underdog at home against Northwestern.  The Wildcats will test the young Duke secondary in a big way, so limiting big plays is a key.  This weeks opponent is very balanced in all phases of the game but their special teams are suspect.

Duke will need to establish enough of a run against a tough front to help the passing game.  With Shaun Wilson and Brittain Brown this is possible.   The Blue Devils will also need some big plays of their own while not turning the ball over.

The main key could be special teams play.  Duke cannot afford a missed chip shot against a good team.  Nor can they allow for a big momentum swinging returns to the end zone as happened recently in this series.

If you want to beat Northwestern, you cannot play from behind. Duke needs early success on the scoring front or it could prove to be a long day of playing catch up against a veteran team.  Northwestern has perhaps their best team in a decade on paper and David Cutcliffe is 0-3 against them.  As fate would have it, they go off the schedule next season when they will be rebuilding.  That said, now is the time for some sweet revenge.

The Pick

Duke is young for sure, but they are also talented and fast. Northwestern knows how to win, but this Saturday they face a fired up group of Blue Devils who gut out a close win.


Duke Puts Out Feelers to Several Prospects

DSC_0549 (1)This past weekend ended a quiet period where Duke was able to contact prospects by phone.  The staff wasted little time and here is a short list of some prospects which heard from them during the NBA Top 100 Camp.

Cole Swider and David McCormack - We have already discussed these two guys with interviews.  The two played on the same Bucks team.  McCormack visited this past weekend and Swider will be in on Friday.

Byran Antoine is a 6-5 guard from Ramsey School in Trenton, NJ and is a part of the class of 2019.  Duke put in time on the phones with him and the interest here might stick in that it is reciprocal.

Armando Bacot is a 2019 PF who plays for Trinity Episcopal in Richmond, Virginia. He stands 6-9 and is considered a team player. Duke made the calls and will likely continue to stay in close touch.

Cole Anthony was the best 2019 PG I saw and he is still open to many schools.  But Duke is one of them and they were in touch with his father, Greg Anthony who played against Duke when at UNLV.  Anthony keeps things close to the vest but would say Duke was in it for his services late in the camp.  We will have an interview up soon with him.  He plays for Archbishop Molloy, stands 6-3 and has a feel for the game via lineage.

Matthew Hurt is a 2019 PF who plays for Rochester John Marshall in Minnesota.  Duke has had their eyes on him and made the calls,  His Dad quickly re-tweeted that Duke was showing interest when I sent one out.  He is 6-8 and active.

Simisola Shitu is a 2018 PF that got a call for Duke after being a stat stuffer at the camp.  A 6-10 PF from Vermont will be recruited if he shows interest in that Duke needs lots of bodies in this years class.  Stay tuned.

Quentin Grimes is another 2018 prospect Duke is showing interest in. The Texan native is a tall swing guard type who plays at Woodlands.  See, Duke needs bodies above.

Scottie Lewis, a 6-6 SG from Trinton Falls, NJ got a call as well to be informed he was on the watch list.

Duke has also checked out Joey Baler a 2019 SF and Kofi Cockburn who from what I gathered will not work out but still talked with him which I will mention in time.

The Blue Devils have many more calls into players not listed here as well and they will use the rest of the summer to zero in on the guys they feel can help them.  They are gauging interest while learning more about kids.

I chatted up all of these guys but may just list the highlights of those conversations instead of the whole interview. If there are some you want to see what they said in its entirety, let me know.  Anyhow, this is just a list of some of the new names to watch.