Tag Archives: Marvin Bagley III

Duke Basketball Rising

Duke Basketball is on the RIse - Duke Basketball Rising - Photo - BDN

The Associated Press college basketball top 25 poll was released today where Duke moved up seven spots to become the nations 5th ranked team.

As usual, the Duke haters questioned how the Blue Devils could make such a jump in the rankings.  And as always, the facts are right in front of them.

The Blue Devils won consecutive conference games over Virginia Tech and Clemson.  Both of these teams are NCAA Tournament bound and are considered consensus op 30  teams.  Meanwhile, almost every team ahead of Duke stumbled.

Duke won games via their much improved defense which is a sure sign that the team is improving and on the rise as the regular season winds down.

In the win over Virginia Tech, Duke unleashed a new version of their zone defense which caught the Hokies off guard.  And trust me, Virginia Tech is a good offensive team, so that lopsided win was a huge notch in the Blue Devils belt.

Duke then followed that win up with another grinding style win over Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum.  Considering the Blue Devils were the first team to defeat the Tigers at home this season while holding them to 57 points was impressive.

In the last two wins, Duke had held its formidable competition to just 54.5 ppg.  And that is a huge improvement from what was happening a few weeks ago.

These Blue Devils are also starting to play much better half court offense.  In fact, Krzyzewski and his staff knows to win games in March you will play a grinding style at times.

That grinding style which Duke has been good at of late grooms much-needed mental toughness.  This is especially the case with a team full of freshman who are asked to become older than their years by making wise on court decisions on every play.

And then there is the play of Duke's team captain, Grayson Allen.  In his last few games, Allen has looked like his old self.  After being in a bit of a slump, Allen is now vocally leading his teammates on both ends of the floor.

"In the last two years he has led us in assists each season, so he is accustomed to making passes.  He is much more mature as a player -- he's a smart player," stated Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

He was alluding to the fact that his team has now developed more individually and that opened the door back up to get the ball in Allen's hands.

Krzyzewski continued, "We are putting him now in charge of a more veteran group of freshman.  He is a lot better and it has helped Trevon too.  He can go out on the side and also play on top."

Allen flat-out kept Duke in the game against Clemson in the first half and his defense of late is has been outstanding.  Allen had 4 steals in the game against Clemson as did his teammate Trevon Duval.

Speaking of Duval, he had one of his better games of the season in his last outing  You may have also noticed that he played at the top of the zone in the win at Clemson.  This was a switch off with Allen who manned to top versus Virginia Tech.

The bottom line is that the zone is getting better or at least staying consistent.  Add that to Allens improvement and Duvals acceptance of a different role and it once again points to improvement.

The list of positives continues.  Duke has succeeded of late without the services of the likely ACC Player of the Year, Marvin Bagley III.  His absence has afforded Duke the chance to design other players roles.

Wendell Carter Jr. has learned top play tired during this stretch.  He will also benefit from the return of Bagley in that he can no longer be double teamed.

Duke has also seen its bench step up and give truly meaningful minutes.  Marques Bolden is logging good time and has become a respect shot blocker and a good finisher.

JavinDeLaurier grabbed 10 rebounds in his first collegiate start and has earned the praise of his head coach.  And Jack White and Alex O'Connell have both filled in admirably at times as well.

Duke has also been hitting their free throws of late and making the three-point shot where Gary Trent Jr. is always a threat.  Trent consistently puts up good stats at times plays mature beyond his years.

With the expected return of Marvin Bagley on the horizon, there is a bright future for Duke.  That is as long as he is able to return in time to take care of easing back into the new-found team chemistry.

There is no timetable on Bagley per Krzyzewski, but he is getting better.  "It is not day-to-day but in some respects it is.  He is moving and I will know more today,  He is getting better and we're going to make sure that he is completely good before we get into March," said Krzyzewski during his Monday press conference with the ACC.

Duke will take on Louisville and Syracuse in home games this week and the team has four regular season battles left.  The team has a golden opportunity to take care of business at home.

So, while Duke is certainly worthy of their rise in the rankings, they must take another step in the process.  That points to simple consistency and continued forty minute effort and communication.

If the Blue Devils can take it one game at a time, protect their home floor with wins, then once again, next week, they'll remain a team on the rise,

Marvin Bagley III, Grayson Allen Make John Wooden List

Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen are 2 of the 25 players selected for the John Wooden Player of the Year Award - Photo - Blue Devil Nation

John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s has announced 25 players who are vying for the coveted player of the year honors.

Included on the list released just moments ago were Duke senior Grayson Allen and freshman Marvin Bagley III.

Allen is the captain of this seasons team, while Bagley III leads the ACC in scoring and rebounding and has the 2nd most double-doubles in the nation.

Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the first half of the 2017-18 season, the list comprises of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.

2017-18 Midseason Top 25

Name School Conference Height Class Position
Grayson Allen Duke ACC 6-5 Sr. G
Deandre Ayton Arizona Pac-12 7-1 Fr. F
Marvin Bagley III Duke ACC 6-11 Fr. F
Mohamed Bamba Texas Big 12 6-11 Fr. F
Joel Berry II North Carolina ACC 6-0 Sr. G
Trevon Bluiett Xavier Big East 6-6 Sr. G
Mikal Bridges Villanova Big East 6-7 Jr. G/F
Miles Bridges Michigan State Big Ten 6-7 Soph. G/F
Jalen Brunson Villanova Big East 6-3 Jr. G
Jevon Carter West Virginia Big 12 6-2 Sr. G
Bonzie Colson Notre Dame ACC 6-6 Sr. F
Angel Delgado Seton Hall Big East 6-10 Sr. C
Marcus Foster Creighton Big East 6-3 Sr. G
Devonte' Graham Kansas Big 12 6-2 Sr. G
Tra Holder Arizona State Pac-12 6-1 Sr. G
Aaron Holiday UCLA Pac-12 6-1 Jr. G
Jock Landale Saint Mary's WCC 6-11 Sr. C
Yante Maten Georgia SEC 6-8 Sr. F
Luke Maye North Carolina ACC 6-8 Jr. F
Brandon McCoy UNLV Mountain West 7-0 Fr. F
Jordan Murphy Minnesota Big Ten 6-6 Jr. F
Collin Sexton Alabama SEC 6-3 Fr. G
Landry Shamet Wichita State The American 6-4 Soph. G
Allonzo Trier Arizona Pac-12 6-5 Jr. G
Trae Young Oklahoma Big 12 6-2 Fr. G

10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball Vol. IV

10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball - Trevon Duval (Val) Photo-Blue Devil Nation

Well, Duke got a much-needed road win over Pitt last evening.  Here are my 10 random thoughts on Duke Basketball going into the next game.

Put the win to bed quickly, get to bed quickly

The Blue Devils impressive  ACC road win over Pitt 87-52 cured many ills.  I will take a look back as my random thoughts progress, but the most important thing for Duke to do is put this game to bed.  Duke needs all the rest they can get before Saturdays high noon game with Wake Forest.  And just mere hours later, they will board a flight for Miami in a critical road match up.

That is why Duke played their depth

Come on.  You know it was fun to see Justin Robinson knocking down three pointers on his way to a career high.  Duke got major minutes from its bench players last evening and it was by design.  With games coming at a fast and furious pace, the Blue Devils need to rest their iron men starting rotation.  With injuries to Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier, Duke was able to steal some minutes and develop its bench against an even younger than they are Pitt team.  Those minutes will improve team camaraderie via involvement.  The team will benefit from strategic resting of players legs in certain games in the long haul.

Double-doubles are the norm for Bagley III

How ridiculously spoiled we are for now expecting a double-double from Marvin Bagley III each time out.  Last night he scored 16 points and pulled down 15 rebounds and he happens to lead the league in scoring and rebounding.  If you are counting, that was his 13th double-double which puts him one game shy of the record held by Jabari Parker and Gene Banks.  This young man is special.

Jabari Parker is set to return to the court for the Milwaukee Bucks in February.

Speaking of Jabari Parker

If you follow my Blue Devil Nation twitter feed, you saw where I retweeted video of former Duke player Jabari Parker moving well in the pre game for the Milwaukee Bucks.  Parker is expected to return to the Bucks before the NBA All Star Break.  Parker underwent his ACL surgery on Feb. 14, 2017, after tearing that ligament — for the second time in his career.

Vote Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram and other Duke players into the NBA AS game with some retweets

Staying on the NBA for a moment

How cool is it to see so many Mike Krzyzewski era Duke Blue Devils playing key roles in the league?  I must admit to being a bit of a Boston Celtics fan now that Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum are both starting and tearing it up.  But I like following Brandon Ingram and all the rest as well.  Back to my twitter feed, you can vote Blue Devils into All Star game considerations with retweets.  So, get at it!

Six double figure scorers

With every starter hitting double figure scoring and JRob's points off the bench -- Duke had six players in double figures for the first time this season.

Gary Trent Jr. had a sharp performance against Pitt.

I want to talk about Gary Trent Jr.

A shooter has to keep shooting even when their shot is off.  But there have been some games this season when Trent Jr. IMHO, may have taken too many shots.  We saw the best of Trent Jr. last evening where he allowed the game to come to him while getting other teammates involved.  He looked for his teammates first and that led to his career high in assists.  Trent then scored at will down the stretch after finding a balance or comfort zone.  And do not overlook his 2 of the 11 Duke steals.  He is a good defender capable of getting even better.

Don't overlook the positives

There has been a lot of talk about the Duke defense and for good reason.  Until last evening and in select other games they have not been very good in that area.  But don't overlook the positives with this team.  Duke leads the nation in scoring at 93.5 ppg.  Duke is 2nd in the nation in rebounding and close to the top in scoring margin of win.

And then there is Trevon Duval

It's Du-val.  Think Val Kilmer.  While many are figuring out how to pronounce his last name, Duval is quietly leading the ACC in assists.  What burning minds want to know is if that 3 of 5 from the three-point line was a mirage.  If he hits that shot at a 40% clip, his game would go through the roof.  Of course, he was just over 16% going into last evenings win over Pitt.

And then there is Wake the snake

Will Duke allow for Wake Forest to slither into this  game and challenge them in Cameron at high noon this Saturday?   Wake had a six game winning streak after a slow start to the season and they took UNC down to the wire in Chapel Hill.  They most recently lost to a good Virginia Tech team at home.  Hidden in the stat line from that game is the fact they outrebounded their opponent by ten and connected on nine three-point shots.  You cannot overlook them, but Duke certainly needs to come away from this game with a win.  And then go to bed.  Back to random thought number one here... Duke will fly all the way down south to Miami and be hit by the body shock of its warmer weather.  The team will have about 50 hours in between the end of the Wake post game meal and their next opponent.

Stay tuned for the next 10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball coming next Tuesday after the game with Miami.  One more thing, we are still doubling the time of premium memberships through January.  You can get two years for the price of one or a full year for the six month price.   Help support BlueDevilNation.Net by joining at this discounted rate --

Membership Options

Duke Rolls Past Pitt 87-52

Duke rolls past Pitt 87-52 Picture - Associated Press

The Duke Blue Devils rebounded from an upset loss at N.C. State for a convincing 87-52 win over Pitt on Wednesday evening.  In the process, the Blue Devils push their season record to 14-2 overall and 2-2 in the ACC.

After letting up over 90 ppg in their first three ACC games, Duke held Pitt to 52 points which included 11 team steals and 15 forced turnovers.  It was the Blue Devils best defensive effort since a win over Evansville in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

All six Duke starters would end the game with double figure scoring.  Duke was one again led by Marvin Bagley III who tallied yet another double-double.  The National Player of the Year candidate scored 16 points to go with 15 rebounds.

Trevon Duval added 14 points and had just a single turnover after committing a season high 8 in his last outing.  Duval was also 3 of 5 from beyond the three-point stripe despite shooting just 16% for the season coming into the game.

Duke was also aided by Gary Trent Jr. scoring 14 points, most of those coming late in the game where he scored 9 straight points in one stretch.  It was perhaps his best overall floor game of  late in that he led the Blue Devils with 5 assists to go with 2 steals.

Grayson Allen would add 12 and Wendell Carter Jr. 10 for Duke.  Justin Robinson was also in double figures with a career high 10 points including three from beyond the 3 point stripe.

Duke had 22 points off the bench despite missing Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier who are out with injuries.  Alex O'Connell added 8 points while Jordan Goldwire and Antonio Vrankovic had 2 each.

"Our bench was really good.  They all gave good minutes and kept us going in the first half," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Jack White also played and while he did not score, he had 2 key rebounds and 2 steals.  In fact, Duke had 11 steals as a team.  In short, Duke got production from everyone who played.

Duke also dished out 21 assists as a team and scored 30 points off turnovers.  The Blue Devils also protected the ball with just 6 turnovers while forcing 15.

Pitt cut the lead to 17 in the 2nd half, but after a timeout, it took the Panthers over 8 eight minutes to score another field goal.  Whatever Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, allowed his team to close strong.

One thing he did was play zone knowing Duke was tired where their big men were taxed having to do more due to injured players.  Duke was very efficient from that point on.

"We have been practicing hard and played while we practiced.  We are trying to play good defense and played good zone in the last ten minutes," said Krzyzewski after the game.

Duke will take on Wake Forest in Cameron Indoor Stadium in their next game.  That contest will tip-off at 12:00 noon. "We have to hope our fans are ready for when we play Wake Forest," said Krzyzewski.

 

10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball

It is time for the third installment of the season of 10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball.

Great crowds are not an automatic norm - It seems like a while since Duke has played but we must address how good the crowd was during the FSU game in Cameron.  Even Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told the players they got their first true Cameron experience after a victory over a team shooting lights out.

Now, the odd thing here is that there were no cheerleaders or students to speak of, yet Cameron was at its loudest this season.  It goes to show that spirit is often brought in more-so from fans who really want to see the team and rarely have the chance.

Duke will not play again in Cameron until January the 13th against Wake Forest.  And the bar was set high for when the students come back to keep up a winning atmosphere.  There are games when empty seats are found when the students are there, but Cameron was packed last Saturday and they need to find a way to keep the place full.

Next up, N.C. State - Yes, the Wolfpack was man handled by Notre Dame minus Bonzie Colson.  Yes, Duke is the favorite.  But the Pack has a way of playing their best against Duke no matter their record or national perspective. This will be the first time meeting between Kevin Keatts and Mike Krzyzewski in ACC play.

What will the Pack do?  That's easy  They will launch a ton of three-point shots.  While streaky beyond the arc, that is how this team beat Arizona on a neutral court.  The scouting report on Duke is that you must make your threes to win.

Duke should have an advantage in the paint - The dynamic duo of Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. has given Duke their best frontcourt ever under Krzyzewski.  Yeah, I said it.  But Omer Yurtseven and Abdul Malik-Abu will play well and try to make a name for themselves.

Marvin Bagley III

What I think Duke needs to do vs N.C. State - I am convinced that Duke will score the ball inside.  But they will also need to hit their free throws.  Some misses almost caught up to them in the win over FSU.  Duke will also need to knock down a few threes while keeping the starters out of foul trouble early in the game.  N.C. State and other schools play the name on the jersey and look forward to this match up and are therefore loose.

What does a player have to do?  Marvin Bagley III won the ACC Rookie of the Week after his 32 point, 21 rebound stat line against the FSU.  But I am not sure how that stat line and the significance of a key conference game kept him from player of the week as well.

After the Pack?  Duke plays at Pitt on January 10th.  Oh look!  They also play them again just 10 days later in Cameron on January the 20th.

It's on now!  After the game with Pitt, the breaks will be few and far between for Duke.  They take on Wake 3 days later and then travel to Miami 2 days later.  In short, the games will come quick now that conference season has started.  When Duke tips off against the Pack in Raleigh on Saturday, they will have exactly 2 months before the ACC Tournament begins.

Tucker will transfer from Duke.

Duke loses Jordan Tucker - Transfers happen.  Especially when players want to play right away and not willing to ride out the process.  It is worth noting that Duke assistant coach Nolan Smith and many other stars past rode the bench in their freshman season.

We, of course, wish Tucker the best.  At the same time, there is an appreciation for players who trust the process for many Blue Devils have become solid players in their junior and senior seasons.

I mentioned in the pre season that minutes would likely boil down to who won practice battles between Alex O'Connell and the aforementioned Tucker.  I personally feel that O'Connell was a bit better prepared with his overall game to contribute.

The year to date and what is ahead - I mean, the team is ranked 2nd in the nation against a solid schedule and has perhaps the nations best player in Marvin Bagley III.  Freshman starters Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Trent Jr., and Trevon Duval are playing older than they are.  That, which Krzyzewski has stated, must continue.

Grayson Allen has become a leader and Duke has three good options off the bench and maybe even four.  There have been no major injuries and the team likes each other and seems to have fun with the game.

So, not much to complain about.  They are not perfect nor will they be and some more losses lie ahead.  But plenty of wins do was well .  The team can certainly win the league with some luck and make a deep run in March.  I am certain their goal is the exact same one the fans have in mind.  But take it one game at a time folks...one game at a time and enjoy the season.

Also - take advantage of our membership special by following the link on the front page.  We have extended the discount through the month of January.

 

 

Marvin Bagley III Sets New Duke Record

Marvin Bagley III

Marvin Bagley III set a new Duke record becoming the first player in the Coach Mike Krzyzewski era to score 30 plus points and rebounds in a game.  Bagley finished with 32 points and 21 rebounds helping Duke to a thrilling 100-93 victory over a game Florida State team in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Blue Devil nation caught up to Bagley in the post game after his interview with Clark Kellogg of CBS Sports and here is what he had to say -

That was a war out there today.

Games like that are always fun to play and compete in, especially with this group of guys.  We fight to the end and no matter what  if they go on a run, we just get ourselves back together and play hard.  I am just happy to win this game and blessed to be around this group of guys.

Coach said he was proud of us and that we made big plays and at the end we just locked in and got it done.  Every game we play, it seems like they are locked in and the team hits their threes.  It feels like they are alway on against us, but we got together and figured out how to clow them down in the 2nd half and it was a great win.