Tag Archives: Matthew Hurt

Core Players And A Lot Of Possibilities For 2020-21 Duke Basketball

When trying to come up with which players will be in the court in crunch time for Duke next season, I keep coming up with four players. My current feeling is that Duke will want true freshman Jalen Johnson, Jeremy Roach, and returnees Matthew Hurt and Wendell Moore Jr. on the court most of the time.

We should see a vast improvement from Hurt and Moore, both of whom will be depended upon to lead via knowing the Blue Devils system of doing things. Ideally, you want some older players in the lineup but Duke will be a pretty young team, save two key backups, if you can call them that, in Jordan Goldwire and Joey Baker.

Jalen Johnson is a sure bet one and done talent and Duke will allow him plenty of freedom to grow his game while in Durham. Jeremy Roach will be handed the keys to point guard duties early on as well.

So, I see these four as starters for most of the season which begs the question, who will the fifth starter be? Well, to start, Duke will have a lot of players fill that role and it will come down to how players are working in practice and matchups.

When Duke goes big, they can look to freshman Mark Williams and to a lesser degree Jaemyn Brakefield and Henry Coleman. The staff will also have incoming Columbia transfer Patrick Tape in the mix in the frontcourt. I can see all of these players getting a start and when practice resumes, we will have an idea of who is adjusting to perceived roles.

As for the freshman, Brakefield and Coleman each bring their skillset to the mix. Brakefield is a solid offensive player who can stretch the floor and Coleman is a versatile hard worker around the paint. Williams can be a basket protector and a force in the paint and has continuously improved in the past two years.

But Duke can go smaller as well and this is where I enter another freshman D.J. Steward into the mix. He is a potentially prolific scorer and talented enough to fill that fifth spot. In fact, when I took a poll of the few people I trust, he seemed to be what most considered the best bet for the fifth starting spot.

But, hold on a minute. This is where we talk about Jordan Goldwire. Talk about a hard worker that will get after you defensively. And then there is Joey Baker who is always a three-point threat and a player who can do much more than that.

This is where I tell you that while I have penciled in some perceived starters, it does not mean they will have to play ironman minutes. In fact, there are many lineup possibilities.

Duke can go small and pressure the heck out of teams with Roach, Steward, Goldwire, Moore, and a big. Or they can try and match up with the likes of bigger teams with Williams, Johnson, and Hurt with some help from Tape.

The Blue Devils have tweeners as well to insert into the mix, so at least early in the season, Duke will be able to go as deep as they did a season ago with concern to their lineups. I will go out on a limb and predict up to ten players will get a start at some point in the coming season.

While Duke will be young, they will be deep again this season. The key will be to get back on campus and get accustomed to one another as we all await positive news on the virus which has yet to clear.

Also, keep in mind this is my early take on Duke hoops in 2020-21 and it will change as we get closer to the season. But for now, this is a gauge on what we might expect.

I will be discussing other aspects and possibilities concerning Duke Basketball as we tie several articles in as an early bird preview in the coming days where we'll answer a lot of team questions. And speaking of questions, send any into our bluedevilnation@twitter feed with the hashtag #AskBDN and we will address the best of them.

A Dozen Feel-Good Takeaways From Duke’s Win

With the exception of an unfortunate injury to Cassius Stanley as he was warming up, yesterday was a total feel-good day for the Duke Blue Devils.

The Return of Zion Williamson

The former Duke standout has taken the world by storm and is now an attraction wherever he turns up. Williamson had participated in the NBA Rising Star game the night before wowing fans with his play. He went out of his way to make it to Duke in time to catch part of the game and when he entered necks were bending. Williamson was also able to see Mike Buckmire collect a late-game basket and it was clear that tickled him. Williamson went to the Duke locker room after the win and hung out with players but he did not address the media, not wanting to take the focus off the team. He spoke with the aforementioned Cassius Stanley who was not able to play in the locker room.

The Return of Tyus "Stones" Jones

A national champion was in Cameron yesterday. Tyus Jones came back to sit with his mom Debbie who is recovering after a health scare. The two were able to see Tre who is having a banner season for the Blue Devils. Tyus spoke with some in the media and it was clear he was there for his brother He also told me they would be able to spend some time together that evening.

D-E-F-E-N-S-E

It is fair to say that Notre Dame guards Rex Pfluger and T,J, Gibbs will not soon forget the Blue Devils defense on them. They were both held scoreless. The Duke defense was stellar in pushing the Irish off the three-point stripe which is their bread and butter strength. In fact, the Irish were held to a season-low made three's. Duke also scored 19 points off forced Notre Dame turnovers and their thing is ball protection.

Matthew Hurt is Playing his Best Ball of Late

At times this season, Matthew Hurt has struggled to adjust to the physicality of the college game. He has turned a corner of late and his 12 points and 9 rebounds were somewhat lost in a game where so many players had success. There was a play in the first half when Irish star John Moody was guarding Hurt and banging on him hard. Hurt backed him down despite the no calls and connected on a mid-range shot. If Hurt continues to hit the boards as he did yesterday and grows his inside game to go with his three-point shot, we will be talking about him a lot moving forward.

Goldwired

The most pleasant surprise this season is the play of Jordan Goldwire. He flat out shut down Irish guards. His offense is getting better and he was working with Duke assistant Chris Carrawell two hours before the game started. The one play where he was relentless on defense, gained a steal and connected on a drive on the other end was a crowd-pleaser. He will be further tested by a guard-heavy Wolfpack team next.

Big Vern Shows Off

Vernon Carey Jr took over in the first half against the Irish. He took it to John Mooney and showed he was at times unstoppable when he gets intense. Carey has been a difference-maker for Duke this season and he is the best big man in the league. Once Duke took a commanding lead, Carey's numbers dropped off, but he made a definite statement in the game,

Tre Jones

Make no mistake, the keys to the machine are owned by Tre Jones. His play continued to be top-notch on both sides of the ball as his brother and mom looked on. His steady play gives Duke two player of the year candidates. Duke is 33-4 when he scores in double-digits.

Duke Won Their 7th Straight Game

The Blue Devils are playing as well as any team in the nation as they won their seventh consecutive game. Duke is likely to move up in the rankings but a very hungry N.C. State team awaits them next. Duke rolled the Irish and never looked back once that started. The smashing of the Irish was a near-perfect performance.

The Win Puts Duke in 1st Place

The Blue Devils moved into sole possession of 1st place in the ACC with their blowout win over Notre Dame. Louisville stumbled at Clemson earlier in the day and that allowed for Duke to take a half-game lead in the standings.

Quinn Cook Return

The Los Angeles Lakers Quinn Cook was the other part of the 2015 National Champion backcourt to return from the NBA All Star break to take in a game. Always popular, the Crazies could not manage to get him to sit with them. He conversed a bit with mentor Nolan Smith on the bench once the game was in control. Cook had to head out shortly after with big Duke win to get back to business.

Everybody Contributed

We have mentioned some of the players which played well for Duke, but yesterday had a lot of good performances. Javin DeLaurier logged good minutes and he is playing well of late. Alex O'Connell had a team-high 4 steals to go with his 12 points for a super effort. Joey Baker scored 8 points in 14 minutes as well. And Justin Robinson and Mike Buckmire scored in late-game minutes.

Cassius Stanley Will Be Fine

I have no idea how a manager scratched Cassius Stanley's eye in the pre-game warm-ups. I do know he hated missing the game with former players back. As I said in opening this was one of the few negative moments. But the silver lining is he will be ready to go when Duke travels to N.C. State and that is good news and a way to close the feel-good dozen.

Duke Puts the Hurt on B.C.

The Duke Blue Devils moved to 2-0 in the ACC and 12-1 overall with an 88-49 win over Boston College in Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was the Blue Devils 300th win to close out the decade.

Duke came out of the locker room with their ears pinned back and played lockdown defense. By the time the dust cleared on the first-half the Blue Devils had a commanding 45-19 lead.

It was the 13th win in ACC openers for Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke rolled out to a lead at the half behind a strong defensive effort.

Matthew Hurt got the start today and he did not disappoint as he scored 20 points to lead the Blue Devils in first-half scoring. He would end the contest 25 points breaking his old high mark and earned praise from Krzyzewski who said he was getting a little stronger as the season progressed.

The return of Tre Jones certainly helped with ball distribution where he tallied 10 assists. Krzyzewski said he had not been playing a lot n practice while resting his foot and he was impressed he logged 24 minutes of gameplay.

Duke came out on fire in the second half as well forcing a Boston College timeout after back to back dunks from Vernon Carey and Alex O'Connell. Those two buckets gave Duke a 30 point lead with 16:12 to go.

The Blue Devils would stretch that lead while playing several players in the process prompting Krzyzewski to say once again that this is like an old school team that played its depth.

It was a day when Duke's younger players played older and advanced their games. It was exactly the kind of play you want to end the decade and a successful one at that for the program.

Duke outscored the Eagles 32-16 in points off the bench and 18-10 off turnovers. The team also has an impressive 7 blocked shots while limiting the visitors to 3 of 18 from the three point stripe.

The Blue Devils converted on 12 of 28 three-pointers on their own and went 6-9 from the free throw stripe. Duke placed just two players in double-figures but everyone contributed at some point in the game with balanced scoring.

The nation's number two ranked team will not travel to Miami this Saturday for a 9:00 start. They will then travel to Georgia tech for a 9:00 start on January the 8th before returning home on the 14th to take on Clemson.

Duke Rolls Past Central Arkansas

The Duke Blue Devils moved to 3-0 on the season with a 105-54 victory over Central Arkansas in the opening game of the 201 2K Empire Classic.

Duke jumped out to a 21-5 lead at the 12:40 mark of the first half where Duke freshman Matthew Hurt drained two three points to help lead the surge. Hurt ended the game with a career-high 19 points.

That lead grew after the Bears called a timeout to 25-5 as the Duke defense suffocated their opponent to 18% from the field at that point. It would not get much better for Central Arkansas which fell to 1-3 on the season.

By the half, Duke on a near-perfect display of basketball where they took a 57-20 lead.

Duke point guard Tre Jones took a hard fall at the 7:57 mark and went to the Duke bench with just over seven minutes left in the half and did not return. Jones posted 7 points and 2 assists and sat due to the lopsided Duke lead and precaution.

After the game, Krzyzewski said Jones was joking about and should be ready to go for Friday's game.

The Blue Devils came out a tad sluggish in the second half and one could see Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski yell, "Come on," to try and keep his team's intensity up. In fact, a timeout was called where the hall of fame coach showed his team how they were running up and down the court in an attention-getting manner.

Duke was up 67-30 when that happened and it was clear that Krzyzewski was looking for intensity while teaching a young team how to close games out.

Cassius Stanley continued his torrid play early in the season scoring the next 5 points. Stanley would finish the game with 13 points.

Duke was so dominant in the first half it was hard to keep the intensity going. But the Blue Devils responded to Krzyzewski encouraging them to close the game out which led to the 51 point win.

Vernon Carey recorded his first double-double in a Duke uniform with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Duke placed six players in double figures and held their opponent to 36% shooting. The Blue Devils also 14 steals and 26 points off turnovers.

Duke will return to the court for a 7:00 tip off with Georgia State this Friday. A Duke win would likely lead to another #1 ranking with the Kentucky loss earlier in the evening to Evansville.

Duke Adds Three to Hoops Class

Vernon Carey, USABB

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced the addition of three student-athletes to the Blue Devils’ incoming class, as the program closes in on the nation’s No. 1-ranked class.

Vernon Carey Jr.Matthew Hurt and Cassius Stanley will enter the Duke program for the 2019-20 season, and join Wendell Moore and Rejean “Boogie” Ellis, who were signed during the early signing period in November.

With the addition of Carey, Hurt and Stanley, the Blue Devils jumped to No. 1 in ESPN’s 2019 class rankings. Should Duke finish at No. 1, it would mark the third consecutive season, and fifth time in the last six years, that Coach K landed ESPN’s top-ranked class.

Vernon Carey Jr. – 6-10 – 275 – Center – Southwest Ranches, Fla. – University School

  • Five-star center
  • Ranked as the No. 5 overall player in the ESPN 100 and the No. 3 center
  • Top-ranked player in Florida
  • Two-time USA Basketball gold medalist for the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup.
  • Averaged 21.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game his senior year at the University School
  • 2019 McDonald’s All-American and played in the Jordan Brand Classic
  • 2018 MaxPreps Player of the Year as a junior
  • As a junior in 2017-18, averaged 26.1 points and 10.4 rebounds to help his high school team to a 36-2 record, a 5A state title, the City of Palms Classic title and the final game of the GEICO High School Nationals.
  • Chose Duke over ACC North Carolina, Miami, Michigan State and Kentucky

Matthew Hurt – 6-8 – 214 – Forward – Rochester, Minn. – John Marshall High School

  • Five-star recruit
  • Ranked No. 10 overall in the ESPN 100 and the No. 2 power forward
  • Top-ranked player in Minnesota
  • 2019 McDonald’s All-American
  • Averaged 37.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game as a senior
  • Earned Associated Press Player of the Year for the state of Minnesota
  • Finished with 3,550 career points and 1,451 career rebounds at John Marshall
  • Continues a recent trend of Duke players from the state of Minnesota with brothers Tyus and Tre Jones (Apple Valley) and Gary Trent Jr., who played at Apple Valley HS before transferring to Prolific Prep in California
  • Chose Duke over North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas

Cassius Stanley – 6-5 – 185 – Guard – Los Angeles, Calif. – Sierra Canyon High School

  • Four-star recruit
  • Ranked No. 29 overall in the ESPN 100 and the No. 6 shooting guard
  • Averaged 15.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game for Nike’s 17U EBYL team this past season
  • Played in the Jordan Brand Classic
  • Led Sierra Canyon to the California Open Division Championship his senior year, scoring 20 points and recording seven rebounds in the championship contest
  • Recorded a team-best 17.7 points, grabbed 6.9 rebounds and registered 2.9 assists per game his senior year
  • Named 2019 Daily News Player of the Year and CIF Open Division Player of the Year, which is considered the highest level of high school basketball in the state of California
  • Second Duke player in three seasons from Sierra Canyon High, joining 2018 consensus first-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year Marvin Bagley III
  • Chose Duke over Kansas, Oregon and UCLA

Matthew Hurt Joins Duke Brotherhood

A major Duke target, Matthew Hurt, announced this afternoon that he will be the newest Blue Devil.

The 6-9, 210 pounds, Minnesota native played his high school basketball for John Marshall in Rochester.

Hurt will join fellow Minnesota native Tre Jones who elected to return for his sophomore season.  It is believed that this helped in his recruitment.

Duke had been a favorite for the last several months and Hurt spurned Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina to play in Durham.

Hurt received 19 total offers but many teams fell to the wayside with him being a consensus five-star prospect.

The Blue Devils head coach, Mike Krzyzewski took a vested interest in Hurt's recruitment where he played.  Duke played the long game with Hurt, whom they knew would not make an early decision.

Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer was the lead assistant in Hurt's recruitment.

The entire Duke coaching staff visited in-home with the Hurt family in early March.

The fact that four blue blood programs sought Hurt's services speaks volumes with concern to his talent.  A very skilled offensive player with size, Hurt is all but penciled into next years starting five.

Hurt was a mainstay on Team USA during his high school basketball career.   He was also named to the McDonald's All American game.  Hurt also garnered the Minnesota Mr. Basketball Award.

With Hurt on board, the Blue Devils will now turn their attention to Cassius Stanley, a high-flying, top-rated shooting guard from California.  He will make his decision this coming Monday.

Hurt joins Vernon Carey Jr., Wendell Moore Jr, and Boogie Ellis giving Duke one of the nation's elite recruiting classes.