[private]Statistically, you've really picked it up of late. What do you attribute that to? Are you getting in a comfort zone or something like that?
I guess you could say that, but I'm just realizing that I need to play like a really good player every game - not just every now and then. Part of becoming the player I want to become is being that person on a consistent basis.
My teammates are finding me and I'm being more aggressive on the offensve end. Being more hungry to score with the ball and also getting points off of my defense, getting out and running the floor has helped.
After the Michigan loss, I felt like I had't contributed like I need to do. Even though we lost, we were in the game for most of it and that kind of pushed me to contribute more.
Now that the team is getting into ACC play, do you feel fresher as a team than say last year?
Definitely my body feels good. The guys fell good. We've have some hard practices, but we've rested ourselves well and are prepared for whats coming.
Is there more intensity going into ACC play during practices?
Coach is always intense. We are always intense, but there is an added level of intensity as we go into the season - a little bit more urgency. Every ACC team - you're going to get their best fight every game - we get that from anybody. You can't get knocked back. Really at the beginning of the game we try to set the tone early.
Can you comment on the play of center Brian Zoubek -
He's a heck of a player. He's really developed his game and is becoming one of the better post players in the country. There are some simple things he does which make him a better player. Since Brian has come here, we've always had confidence in him. I think a big thing is that his injuries have definitely set him back. He played well as a freshman, but injuries were a set back. Brian is going to do fine. We have confidence in him and he is confident himself now. He's going to be a huge part of what we do this year.
Are you guys at the place you want to be so far this season?
Absolutely. We feel like we are in a good spot. We feel like we are in a good spot, but we can definitely continue to get better.[/private]
[private]The Blue Devils close out 2008 in style by defeating Loyola, Maryland 92-51 to raise their record to 11-1. There was little sign of lay off blues, save the fact that Duke hit just one three point field goal in route to 92 points.
Despite being cold from beyond the stripe, Duke was on target in all other phases of the game. Kyle Singler led the Dukies with 20 points.
Brian Zoubek had one of his best games of the season scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Gerald Henderson continued his stellar play of late, tallying 19 points. "G" as he is known by his teammates and staff was pretty much all over the court making several outstanding plays.
Hendersons play prompted Krzyzewski to say, “I think G now has put three really good games together. We need him, we need him badly – he and Jon and Kyle, really are the three guys that have to be there every day for us at a really high level.”
There will be no more breaks the rest of the season as ACC play begins in earnest. Duke will host Virginia Tech this Sunday and getting off to a good start against what has proved to be a tough match up will be vital.
“We’re excited to get going. Hopefully some of the students are back Sunday night to create a really good atmosphere in here. Virginia Tech has played a very difficult schedule. In Vassallo, they have one of the top scorers in the league. They’re a veteran team – I think they’re a really good basketball team. Once you start ACC play, everything is kind of even. That’s why you start 0-0 again,” said Krzyzewski.
Today's win was the Blue Devils 66th straight home victory ove an out of conference opponent. Check back in with the Blue Devil Nation this Friday for player quotes going into ACC play.
Coach Cutcliffe and the Duke staff landed a jewel in Tyree Glover a 230 pound physical linebacker. "I like giving the punishment rather than taking it. And just the thrill of the chase," Glover said. Be sure to read the article and you will see how hard Duke is working on the recruiting trail. Click this link
Here is an excellent article in the Philadelphia Enquirer which talks of the injuires that have slowed Brian Zoubek and Gerald Henderson and how both are reviving their games. Many fans forget that both of these kids had off season surgery.[/private]
[7 AP/5 Coaches] Duke (7-0) vs. [10 AP/9 Coaches] Purdue (5-1)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 • 9:05 PM ET • ESPN
Mackey Arena (14,123) • West Lafayette, Ind.
Game Quick Facts
TV: ESPN; Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (analyst), Doris Burke (sideline).
Radio: Duke Radio Network (flagship WDNC 620 AM in Durham); Bob Harris (play-by-play), John Roth (analyst) and Matthew Laurance (sideline).
All-time Series: Duke trails the all-time series 4-1. The two teams have met twice in the regular season and three times in
postseason play. Purdue posted a 78-68 win over Duke in the finals of the 2003 Great Alaska Shootout in the last meeting between the two schools.
Overall Record: 810-267 (34th year)
Duke Record: 737-208 (29th year)
vs. Purdue: 1-2
Overall Record: 86-46 (fourth year)
Purdue Record: 61-41 (third year)
Blue Devil Bits
l Duke is 7-0 on the year, marking the 22nd time in school history and 15th time under Mike Krzyzewski it has opened the season with seven straight wins. The Blue Devils have started the season with at least seven straight wins in seven of the last nine years.
l The Blue Devils are ranked 7th in the AP poll and fifth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
l Purdue, ranked 10th in the AP poll and ninth the coaches poll, is Duke’s first ranked opponent of the season. The Blue Devils are 159-111 under Coach K against ranked teams.
l Duke is coming off a 95-72 win over Duquesne on Friday, Nov. 29. The Blue Devils shot a season-best 54.7 percent (35-of-64) from the field in the win.
lLance Thomas had a career-high 21 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line against Duquesne.
l Sophomore Kyle Singler had 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals on Friday. He led the team in rebounds, assists and steals against the Dukes. Singler has now led the team in assists in five straight games.
l Duke made a season-high 10 three-pointers in its last outing, including three from senior Greg Paulus, who missed the Montana game with a right forearm contusion.
l Duke is 9-0 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including a 2-0 record in true road games. Boston College (2-0) is the only other team undefeated in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
l The ACC has won each of the first nine ACC/Big Ten Challenges. ACC teams have won 56 of the 86 games played in the challenge.
l Duke is 61-23 all-time against teams currently in the Big Ten. The Blue Devils have won six straight contests against Big Ten opponents (last loss was 78-68 versus Michigan State on March 25, 2005), including a 71-56 win over Michigan on Nov. 21 in the championship game of the 2008 2K Sports Classic. Duke is scheduled to play Michigan again on Dec. 6.
l Duke is 152-24 all-time in the month of December under Coach K. The Blue Devils are 44-2 in the month since 1999-2000.
l Duke is 268-52 this decade, more wins than any other team in the NCAA. The win total ranks as the ninth-most in any decade by a team in NCAA history.
l The Blue Devils are 8-6 all-time against teams ranked 10th in the AP poll.
lKyle Singler leads the Blue Devils in scoring (16.7 ppg.), rebounding (6.9 rpg.) and assists (23). Danny Ferry was the last Blue Devil to lead the team in all three categories during the 1986-87 season. Singler also leads the team in three-point field goals (10) and is second in steals (12).
l Junior Lance Thomas is shooting a team-high 67.6 percent (23-of-34) from the field this season. He was a perfect 8-of-8 from the field against Duquesne, tied for the ninth most field goal attempts in a game without a miss in school history.
l Sophomore Nolan Smith is averaging 12.4 points per game, an increase of 6.5 ppg. from last season. Smith has scored in double figures in six of seven games and led the team in scoring in twice this season.
| Sophomore Kyle Singler is averaging 7.1 free throw attempts per game this season. He is 37-of-50 (.740) from the foul line. Last year, Singler averaged just 3.1 free throw attempts per game.
l Duke has four players averaging over 10.0 points per game. Kyle Singler leads the way at 16.7 ppg., while Nolan Smith (12.4), Jon Scheyer (12.0) and Gerald Henderson (11.4) are also averaging double figures in scoring. The Blue Devils have had at least four double figure scorers in five of seven games this season.
l The Blue Devils have recorded 14 steals in each of the past two games. Duke ranks third in the ACC with 10.9 steals per game. Junior Jon Scheyer is sixth in the ACC with 2.1 steals per game.
l Duke is second in the ACC in rebound margin at +10.1 rebounds per game. The Blue Devils have outrebounded five of their seven opponents and have grabbed 40+ rebounds in a game five times.
l Duke has outscored its opponents 276-170 in the paint this season. The Blue Devils scored 48 points in the paint in each of the past two games.
l The Blue Devils are shooting .546 (153-of-280) from inside the three-point arc this season. Duke is shooting .478 (193-of-404) from the field overall and .323 (40-of-123) from three-point distance.
[private]Duke got a little bit defensive on their way to a 83-58 win over Southern Illinois to advance to the finals of the 2K Coaches for Cancer Classic in New York City. Going into the game, there was much talk of the Saluki's defense, but by games end Duke proved that they are known for their man to man prowess as well.
Duke shot an incredible 40 of 47 from the free throw stripe during a contest in which they struggled in the first half offensively. The bright spot was Gerald Henderson who scored 20 points not to mention gaining the ESPN Play of the Day on a thunderous dunk.
He was helped by the continued good play of Brian Zoubek, who tallied 10 points and 6 rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. Singler and Scheyr contribute 13 apiece, putting four Devils in double figures. Duke advances to play Michigan, an upset winner over UCLA this evening.
The game went pretty much as our preview said it would in that Duke used the first game to adjust to MSG and got one of their key contributors in Henderson to step up.[/private]
[private]The following is courtesy of Duke Sports Information/GoDuke.com
• Game 3 •
[8 AP/5 Coaches] Duke (2-0) vs. Rhode Island (0-0)
Sunday, November 16, 2008 • 4:32 PM ET • ESPNU
Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) • Durham, N.C.
Blue Devil Bits
- The Blue Devils are ranked eighth in the AP poll and fifth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Rhode Island is unranked in both polls.
- Duke has won 61 consecutive non-conference home games. The Blue Devils have won 191 of the last 194 non-conference home games.
- Duke is 2-0 on the year, marking the eighth straight year it has started with back-to-back wins.
- The Blue Devils have a 37.0 points per game margin of victory through two games. Duke topped Presbyterian by 31 points (80-49) in the opener and Georgia Southern by 43 points (97-54) in the second game of the year.
- Duke and Rhode Island have played just two times entering Sunday’s contest. Both games came in the NCAA Tournament with the Blue Devils recording one-point victories in 1978 (63-62) and 1988 (73-72). Duke advanced to the Final Four with the narrow win on March 24, 1988.
- Sophomore Kyle Singler earned 2K Sports Durham Regional MVP honors after averaging 19.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game against Presbyterian and Georgia Southern.
- Six Blue Devils are averaging at least 8.0 points per game, while five players are grabbing 4.0 rebound per game or more.
- Duke has forced 45 turnovers and allowed just 34 made field goals this season.
- Duke is 105-16 all-time in the month of November, including a 91-10 mark under Coach K.
- The Blue Devils have won 11 straight games in November and are 42-2 in the month since 1997-98.
- Mike Krzyzewski is fifth all-time (first among active coaches) with 805 career wins.
- Duke is 263-52 this decade, more wins than any other team in the NCAA.
- The Blue Devils are playing in their third straight game on ESPNU.
- Duke is 73-27 all-time against teams currently in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Blue Devils have won 11 straight contests against A10 opponents (last loss was 59-58 versus Temple on Jan. 25, 1996). Duke will also play A10 schools Duquesne (11/28) and Xavier (12/20) this season.
- Duke pulled down 58 rebounds for a 58-36 rebounding advantage against Georgia Southern. The 58 rebounds are the most rebounds by the Blue Devils since March 4, 1999, when they had 59 rebounds in a 104-67 win over Virginia in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. It is the most rebounds at home since Duke had 59 against Xavier, in an 82-60 win on Dec. 4, 1993. The 58 rebounds on Tuesday are the second most at home and fourth most overall under Coach K. On the year, Duke is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 18.5 rebounds per game.
- Against Georgia Southern Duke went to the free throw line 49 times (25-of-49), the most since Jan. 30, 2005 when the Blue Devils also recorded 49 free throw attempts (30-of-49) against Virginia Tech.
- The Duke bench is averaging 33.5 points per game through two contests. The reserves posted a
big game against Georgia Southern with 40 points. Duke had three games last season with 40 or more points from the bench.
- The Blue Devils collected at least 10 steals in both games with 17 against Presbyterian and 11 against Georgia Southern. The 17 steals rank tied for the 14th most in a single game in school history and were the most since the Blue Devils recorded 17 steals against UNC Greensboro on Nov. 16, 2006.
- Duke held both of its first two opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting. They held Presbyterian to just 16-of-53 (.302) and followed by holding Georgia Southern to 18-of-64 (.281) from the floor. Duke is 280-9 under Coach K when holding opponents under 40.0 percent shooting and 39-0 when limiting them to under 30.0 percent shooting.
- Sophomore Nolan Smith is shooting 53.1 percent (52-of-98) from the field in 18 career games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Smith is 11-of-17 (64.7 pct.) from the floor at home this season.
-Scheyer has recorded more assists than turnovers in 18 consecutive games. Scheyer enters Sunday’s game with a 10:1 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season. He had a career-best seven assists and just one turnover against Georgia Southern.
- After turning the ball over 21 times in the season opener, Duke trimmed its turnovers to 11 against Georgia Southern.[/private]